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Is a hire car required?

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8 posts
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Is a hire car required?

As part of a longer vacation in Australia we are booked in Thala Beech Lodge for 5 nights in January followed by a 4 night cruise on the Barrier Reef and then 3 nights in Port Douglas. We currently have transfers organised but was wondering if we need a hire car to get the best out of the trip? Would appreciate comments from anyone whose been here.

South Pole
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1. Re: Is a hire car required?

altho u can do tours i think travelling at your own pace and to your own itinerary is always better.

so in the case of PD i think a rental is the way to go.

Daintree, Australia
Destination Expert
for Daintree
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2. Re: Is a hire car required?

Definitely suggest hiring a car as beautiful Thala Beach Lodge is about a 20 minute drive south of Port Douglas and, although near the main road, it is quite remote and there are no shops or restaurants nearby.

Having your own transport gives you so much more freedom to explore otherwise you would be reliant on sometimes expensive organised tours. You could visit Hartley's Creek Crocodile Adventures, about 20 mins south of Thala, then further south to Skyrail, And you might want to go to a Port Douglas restaurant for a change one night.

Other places to visit northwards from Thala can of course also be explored from Port D, which is a little bit closer. From Thala Beach Mossman Gorge is about 30 mins, Daintree Village, Daintree ferry, Cape Tribulation about 60-90 mins. Also easy access up to the Cairns Highlands (Atherton Tablelands).

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73 reviews
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3. Re: Is a hire car required?

We stayed at Thala in March (You'll love it!) and would have been lost without our own car. We met up with a number of other guests who regretted not having a car. Thala do run a regular shuttle into PD - from memory it was about $8 pp each way. But you are then at the mercy of their timetable. The car enabled us to come and go as we pleased. There's only one restaurant at Thala which we thoroughly enjoyed but we wouldn't have wanted to eat three meals a day there every day. In fact, PD has so many excellent rstaurants, we only ended up having two meals at Thala in 10 days.

The transfers to Thala from the airport were about the same cost as a rental for a day, so we picked up the car at Cairns Airport and drove there ourselves - it's about 45 minutes.

Have a wonderful stay!

Destination Expert
for Adelaide, South Australia, Kangaroo Island
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4. Re: Is a hire car required?

If you are at Thala then DEFINITELY.... unless you are happy to stay within the resort for the duration of your stay. Thala is up on the cliff top so a hike down to the beach but a lovely place .. If you want to wander around places like Pt Douglas and Palm beach you'll need a car

pd for now
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156 posts
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5. Re: Is a hire car required?

Yes, definitely a car. Thala is absolutely gorgeous. Well laid out, nice grounds and on the beach.Even though they have a few activities that you can join in with, a car is still a must to get out and do your own thing. So many places that you will be able to visit at your leisure.

6. Re: Is a hire car required?

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