There are two main drawcards to the Atherton Tablelands: all things nature and food! This is a region brimming with exotic and contrasting natural wonders; scenic vistas to take your breath away, lush rainforests with intriguing wildlife, rugged outback to explore and thundering waterfalls with refreshing swimming holes just waiting for you to plunge into. You’re never far from an adventure when you journey into the Atherton Tablelands.
Along the way, your tastebuds will be spoilt for choice too. The rich, fertile soils of the Atherton Tablelands support the diverse local farming industry. Stop into the boutique farms dotted throughout the region and learn about organic and sustainable farming, visit Australia’s oldest coffee plantation or indulge in a decadent cheese platter. A picturesque hour’s drive from Cairns, the Atherton Tablelands is a must-do destination when visiting Far North Queensland.
North of Cairns, the Kuranda Range Road takes visitors via the scenic rainforest village of Kuranda with its famous markets, then through the eucalypt forests and granite boulders of the Lamb Range. The southern access route on the Gillies Highway is a stark contrast showcasing the lush rainforest around the waterfalls of Millaa Millaa. This road is an experience itself with its epic 263 corners and 800m elevation change in just 19 km!
To get the most out of your Atherton Tablelands tour, follow the World-Heritage Wet Tropics waterfall circuit to discover beautiful Millaa Millaa, Zillie and Elinjaa Falls. Stop in for a bite to eat at the farmers’ markets in Yungaburra. Check out the 500-year-old, 50m high curtain fig tree in Curtain Fig Tree National Park. And visit the local producers of coffee, tea, dairy, sugar, and tropical fruits, including avocados, citrus, papaya, watermelons, blueberries, and strawberries.
The climate on the Atherton Tablelands is temperate and free from the coastal humidity found in coastal Far North Queensland. This makes it an attractive destination at any time of year. Summer temperatures rarely exceed 35 degrees here. Keep in mind that the summer months from December to March bring the wet season, or as it is known here the “green season”. Tropical rains are welcomed, bringing life to the tropics, and revitalising plants and animals after the stress of the extended dry season.
Ready to delve into the Atherton Tablelands? Pack your walking shoes, swimmers and camera. Prepare to graze your way from one farm gate to another. And take a look at our Atherton Tablelands holiday packages.
The nearest major city to the Atherton Tablelands is Cairns, the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest. From Cairns, it's an easy drive on well-maintained roads up to the tablelands.
Atherton Tablelands is a nature lover's paradise with a plethora of attractions to explore. Some popular attractions include the stunning Millaa Millaa Falls, the expansive Lake Tinaroo, the historic Yungaburra village, the Curtain Fig Tree, and the Atherton Farmers' Market, which is held every Saturday. Visitors can also take scenic drives, go hiking, bird watching, and experience the local Aboriginal culture.
Atherton Tablelands is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including tree kangaroos, wallabies, possums, platypus, echidnas, bandicoots, and a variety of bird species. Not to mention crocodiles in the waterways and turtles in the lakes. The region is also known for its abundance of butterflies, with over 400 species found in the area.
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