Do you like the sound of lush green rainforest and rolling hills, beautiful lakes and waterfalls, vibrant artistic hubs and historical villages? The Atherton Tablelands is an amazing, never-ending oasis of spectacular natural sights and cool, fresh forest air. And it’s massive! Which means there are tonnes of things to see and do, from browsing regional galleries to swimming to ziplining through the treetops. Just over an hour inland from Cairns
, it’s super accessible. So check it out with one of our Atherton Tablelands hotels below!
Food and wine
The biggest town in the Atherton Tablelands is Mareeba, a great spot for sky-high fun. It has clear blue skies brilliant for exploring by hot air balloon or plane, but it’s best known for its food! It’s a great spot for taste-testing your way through local coffee plantations and wineries, as well as fresh produce like avocados, lychees and other tropical delights. Don’t miss the Mareeba Wetlands, the local museums and discovering some of the local wildlife here too!
If cheese and chocolate is more to your liking, then head to Atherton, which is home to Gallo’s Dairyland. It’s also brilliant for browsing the quirky local shops and galleries, especially the Tablelands Regional Gallery. The Crystal Caves are great too, for an underground fairy-tale trip through a private collection of minerals and the world’s biggest amethyst geode.
Nature and walks
’s nickname is the ‘village in the rainforest’, so it’s a great spot to explore and take winding trails through the lush green rainforest here. There are also animal sanctuaries, fabulous markets, and it’s only a few kilometres from Barron Gorge National Park, where you can see the amazing Barron Gorge as the river tumbles down into the lowlands below. In the wet season it roars down!
Otherwise go for the nature theme in Malanda, which is super pretty in the heart of the Tablelands rainforest region and great for bushwalks, birdwatching and swimming in the local waterfalls. Milla Milla also has beautiful waterfalls to swim in!
History and adventure
If you’re keen for a bit more adventure, head to Chillagoe, an authentic outback town home to limestone caves to explore. For historic vibes, check out Yungaburra with its old-fashioned shopfronts, great dining scene and galleries, as well as the spectacular Curtain Fig Tree, a gigantic fig with an exposed 15m ‘curtain’ of roots. Herberton and Irvinebank are also lovely little historic towns, home to the Herberton Historic Village, the Spy and Camera Museum, a Mining Museum and a few different heritage and walking trails.
Wherever you go though, natural beauty abounds. It’s impossible to escape! Plus there’s food, vibrant art scenes and history to go with it. So give in and get out into nature – book your Atherton Tablelands accommodation and a cheap flight to Cairns
now and lock it in!
Image credit Teddy Fotiou
under Creative Commons