If someone tells you it’s possible to see the Tablelands in a day, chances are they aren’t from here! Gourmet food and wine trails, such as Tastes of Paradise, are a particular feature of our area. Wildlife tours with an emphasis on bird watching and unique marsupials, like the tree kangaroo, can lead to lasting impressions.
The “Must Sees” include the waterfall circuit at Milla Milla, with stunning rainforest backdrops. The region’s natural wonders, including the Curtain Fig Tree, Lake Tinaroo, Mt Hypipamee Crater, Undara Lava Tubes and the twin crater lakes of Barrine and Eacham, to name just a few! Try Hastie’s swamp for birdwatching.
For those of a more adventurous bent, we have a world class mountain bike park on Rifle Range Road, or take the scenic ride from the Chinese Temple to Walkamin, using the Atherton Tablelands Rail Trail. Those more interested in history and culture, try visiting the regional gallery, the Avenue of Honour at Yungaburra, or Herberton Historic Village, and you will be sure enjoy the experience.
The Golden Pride Mango Winery, a picturesque 20 minute drive north from Atherton, is the site of Australia’s largest mango plantation. Take a guided tour around the property, inspect the wine making process then kick back for a spot of sampling. Find a bottle of something golden and delicious, buy it on the spot at better than wholesale prices.
The Atherton Tablelands has a large population of these strange, unique Australian animals. The platypus is a semi-aquatic egg-laying mammal with a broad flat tail, webbed feet and a snout resembling a duckbill. They are extremely shy and you need to be totally silent not to scare them away. Yungaburra’s viewing platform is a good place to see them.
You’ve come to the right place. Lake Tinaroo is a fisherman’s paradise with the biggest Barramundi in the world just waiting to hitch onto your lure. Lake Tinaroo is the only place in Queensland where you can legally fish for Barramundi (National Parks License required) all year around. Come take part in the Barra Bash in November.
Lake Tinaroo is the premier water-skiing destination in Tropical North Queensland. Many boat owners don’t like running their expensive machines in salt water, so Lake Tinaroo is their only remaining option. The water-skiers usually restrict their activities to the far end of the lake, such as Fong On Bay. There’s boat ramps providing easy water access.
With international competitions held annually, Atherton Forest Mountain Bike Park is the perfect place to test your mountain biking skills. Seventeen trails covering 54kms meander through an open forest of gums, bloodwood, mahoganys, she-oaks, grasstrees and cycads. Located at Herberton Range State Forest Trailhead, Rifle Range Road Atherton trail vary from easy to difficult.
This is a great way to explore the arms of the lake in an ecologically friendly way. Sailing can be a challenge, however, because the wind shifts in direction and intensity depending whereabouts on the lake you are. The mountains channel wind in directions that can baffle a first-timer, but Lake Tinaroo is a terrific venue for sailing practice and makes your return to consistent winds seem very easy.
There are many bushwalking tracks across the Atherton Tablelands. Some hikes are short, taking under an hour to traverse. Some take many days. Mt Baldy is a good place to start, follow the signs at Rifle Range Road for a two hour trek or if you are brave, plan ahead for a two-day trek up Mt Bartle –Frere. There are walks around Lake Eacham and Barrine in under an hour.
The Atherton Tablelands is home to over 200 species of birds ranging in size from tiny finches to large Cassowaries. It is possible to see birds all over the region, but some places are reserved solely for bird watching. These include Hasties Swamp and Wongabel Botanical Walk near Atherton, where large flocks of Whistling-Ducks, Magpie Geese, Sarus Cranes and Brolgas are frequently sighted.
The 27km Danbulla Forest Drive circles Lake Tinaroo, providing access to picnic areas, swimming holes, camping sites and walking tracks. The dirt road meanders through pine plantations, Australian scrub and rainforest all within a few kilometres.
There are so many places to swim on the Atherton Tablelands, it’s almost impossible to list them all. Visitors can swim at swimming holes and creeks from Malanda to Mareeba. Lake Eacham is my personal favourite and.Innot Hot springs can’t be surpassed for its health benefits. All locations are safe from crocodiles.
The major towns in the Atherton Tablelands all feature world-class restaurants that range from good old Aussie tucker to Swiss delicacies. Try Nicks Swiss Italian Restaurant for Authentic European cuisine, or the popular Pagoda for Chinese food, and Baba curry for Indian. The Pub scene is awesome with some of the best value for money meals and freshest ingredients.
The various townships of the Atherton Tablelands provide abundant opportunities to souvenir local arts and crafts, pottery, gemstones, woodwork, genuine antiques and the vast array of culinary delights produced by the farmers and artesans that live in the region.Togla woodworks, crystal caves, and the big peanut just to name a few.
This is the most amazing tree you are ever likely to see. It stands as a century of natural history – a unique example of nature’s unpredictability and power.
The premier crater lake at the Atherton Tablelands, Lake Eacham is one of the best places for swimming. The lake is always glassy-calm. A large grassy picnic area with barbeque facilities is located on the banks of the lake.
A relaxing yet informative cruise around this crater lake operates many times each day. This is a great way to see the flora and fauna at Lake Barrine from the comfort of a cruise vessel. Their tea house has an array of souvenirs, historical information and great Devonshire teas made with local boutique Ulysses tea.
A short 2-minute walk from the car park at Lake Barrine are two gigantic Kauri Pine trees. These trees are hidden among the dense rainforest surrounding the crater lake, but as you walk along the footpath in their direction they suddenly appear through the dense vegetation. They are huge, very impressive, 200 years old, and definitely worth seeing if you visit Lake Barrine.
This wide waterfall that measures only about 4 metres high is located beside the quiet main road leading out of Malanda, and is great for a refreshing dip or a family picnic. Trees provide shade on the grassy area. Visit the information centre beside it.
This 15km drive through lush dairy country tracks next to waterfalls tucked away in deep crevices and dense pockets of rainforest. Millaa Millaa, Zillie and Elinjaa Falls plunge over vertical lava walls into inviting pools and splashing creeks.
Situated approximately 25 kilometres from Atherton on the Kennedy Highway, the Mt. Hypipamee Crater is a 124m deep extinct volcanic vent. The crater formed as a result of escaping gases blasting clean through solid granite.
Hasties Swamp is a bird watchers paradise. During the wet season, the 56-hectare swamp fills with water and attracts insects and abundant birdlife. It is a completely natural wetland that is rarely visited by travellers at the Atherton Tablelands. To get to Hasties Swamp, drive towards Herberton from the Atherton/Tinaroo region.
Rainforest bounty is a grower and manufacturer of local produce. They offer cooking classes and host local events featuring tropical cuisine and nature discoveries. Their keynote is paddock-to-plate relationships, sustainable farming of native species and landscape restoration as a viable alternative to intensely farmed crops.
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