SAVVY travellers are looking for an alternative to crowded group tours that follow the less than inspiring tourist trails.
An approach that honours the experience of exploring the environment and participating in memorable activities is what discerning tourists seek out.
With the highest eco-accreditation credentials, Thala Beach Lodge, near Port Douglas Australia, is positioned to provide exceptional experiences to their guests.
Located in a rich environment, Thala Beach Lodge recently took out the 2013 Tripadvisor People's choice award for being in the top 20 resorts in Australia.
To provide guests with award-winning, unique experiences, Thala Beach Lodge's owner Rob Prettejohn follows the golden rule of travelling - find a local.
"From my own travels, I have experienced strong connections with places I have visited because kind individuals shared their personal insights and their local knowledge," he said.
Guest Relations Manager at Thala Diana Ealden believes the key is to have a genuine passion for the region.
"We all love this area, that's why we live and work here.
"For us, it's incredibly rewarding to share that passion with our guests," she said.
Diana has noticed a marked trend of guests requesting special, once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
"Far North Queensland is an extraordinary region that has so much to offer in terms of natural beauty, activities and local culture. Our guests are looking for alternative options to being herded on large group tours.
"Some of our guests have done some research on the area prior to arriving, so they know what is possible.
"But there are still others that have little or no knowledge about the region and so it is delightful to see their faces when they realize what opportunities await them during their stay," she said.
The Thala Beach Lodge team has adapted some unique experiences that are free for their guests, including onsite star watching, guided nature walks and bird watching as well as Australia's only coconut tour.
Thala Beach Lodge's list of local experiences
Fresh water snorkelling
Swimming with Minke Whales
Helicopter flights to sand cays and remote beaches
Spear fishing and Mud Crab tour
Binna art lesson at the Janbal Gallery
Guided Nature Walks
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