The Atherton Tablelands is located 1 hour and 30 minutes from Cairns. It has some of the best national parks, waterfalls and hikes in Far North Queensland (FNQ), as well as some of the best activities and experiences. The Atherton Tablelands region of Queensland spans a vast 65,000 square kilometers, stretching from Tully to Kuranda in the North and all the way to Chillagoe in the West. You could spend a couple of days of spend a week exploring the area. In this blog I have put a list of places worth visiting.
The Millaa Millaa Waterfall Circuit
Millaa Millaa is Australia’s most photographed waterfall. This beautiful 18-metre cascade falls perfectly into a deep pool surrounded by tropical ancient rainforest. Also along the 18km waterfall circuit you’ll also find two more epic waterfalls just nearby, including Ellinjaa and Zillie Fall’s.
Is one of Far North Queensland’s waterfall icons and is located in the Wooroonooran National Park. Hikers can reach the top of the waterfall for incredible views over the gorge below.
The Herberton Historic Village is an open-air museum located in Herberton, approximately 15 minutes south of Atherton. This village features 8 live working displays including Billy tea making, heritage train rides, blacksmiths and more. You’ll also get to see a 130-year-old pioneer homestead. Entry into the Historic Village is $38pp. Click Here for more information and to book.
Lake Eacham and Lake Barrine
One of the most popular places to visit in the Atherton Tablelands is the Crater Lakes National Park. This park is home to two volcanic lakes. Lake Eacham is a crystal clear, blue volcanic crater lake located at the end of the long Gillies Range Road from Cairns. Lake Eacham features picnic areas and is salt-water croc free, meaning it is safe to swim. However, there is a harmless, resident freshwater crocodile who lives here. It’s surrounded by beautiful rainforest. There is a beautiful 3km easy circuit around the lake, where you will find a beautiful massive Tree along the way.
Lake Barrine has a few different walks for everyone. Twin kauris tree lookout is along a disability accessible boardwalk to two 40m tall Kauris Tree’s. You can then continue along to the Rainforest walk which is 600m and takes you back up to the top carpark. There is also the 5km circuit around the lake which is through the beautiful rainforest. There is also a tea house here and you can even do a boat tour. Which run every Weekend at 10am, 11am, 12pm and 1pm and goes for 30 minutes.
Davies Creek and Emerald Creek
These waterfall’s feature dryer, eucalypt-dominant forests and beautiful rock formations. You can even bring your dog to Davies Creek Falls. They are both short walks to the waterfall and feature a lookout over and out to the falls. Emerald Creek falls is a 1.9km circuit to the top of the falls and then down to the bottom. You can swim at the bottom of the waterfall. Davies creek falls is a 1.1km loop only to the top of the falls which you can swim at.
Emerald Creek Falls
Emerald Creek Falls day-use area is in Dinden West Forest Reserve which is located 15km south east of Mareeba. Emerald creek has a series of cascading waterfalls over granite boulders. The walking track takes you alongside the creek to numerous water falls. Allow about 1 hour walking time. The walking track is 1.9 km up and back. You can swim in the lower pool.
The Curtain Fig Tree And Cathedral Fig Tree
There is two massive fig trees one is located near Yungaburra. The walk out is less than 2 minutes along a suspended boardwalk. Cathedral Fig tree is located near Lake Barrine located on Boar Pocket Rd, off the Gillies Highway.
Platypuses at Yungaburra
Head out to Peterson’s Creek and park at the end of Penda Street. Once you are parked head down the path and turn left to the suspension bridge. We saw many platypuses here around the rocks. There is also a spot just off the Gillies HWY, where there is a platypus platform.
Turtle Rock Hike
Visitors will find Turtle Rock is located in Dindin National Park, near Davies creek Falls. The hike is a 6km return hike and allow 1.5-2 hours. There is also paid campgrounds in the area if you did want to camp out here too, its only suited to small set up’s. Like tent’s or small Van’s or small off road caravan’s.
Hypipamee Crater and Dinner Fall’s
One of the more unique places in the Atherton Tablelands is this crater and waterfall near Ravenshoe Or 20 minutes from Atherton. This crater is a huge, volcanic sinkhole filled up with water. The water colour is very green from the algae growth. The circuit is a 1.2km 40 minute return walk. The walking track is well-marked, wide, and easy to navigate, It has one section which is a little bit steep back up from the waterfall. The circuit is well worth it to see both and you can swim at dinner Falls.
Lake Tinaroo is a great place to go swimming, kayaking, skiers, Hiking, fishing (permit required), finding Crayfish. It’s also ideal for picnics with barbecues available and has five camping areas located around the back of the dam in the Danbulla State Forest. This lake is much bigger than the nearby crater lakes.
Atherton to Mareeba Rail Trail
The trail begins at Hastie Swamp in Atherton and ends in Mareeba Heritage Museum it’s a 34km one way trail. It is broken into 3 sections –Atherton to Walkamin 20km, Walkamin to Mareeba Airport 7.5km. Mareeba Airport to Mareeba Heritage Museum 7km.
There is a few walking options in Herberton Range National Park. Mount Baldy summit up and back is 4.5km return trail. There is also a 8.6km circuit which takes you up mount Baldy and Mount Yabi. The walk up to Mount Yabi and back is a 5km return trail. If time allows i would recomend heading up and doing the circuit it is a beautiful walk through the rainforest from Mount Baldy to Yabi.
Wharton Lookout and Carrington Fall’s
The trail is 6km return and allow 2 hours return walk.
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