Things to do in Atherton Tablelands
At the heart of Tropical North Queensland’s diverse eco-scape is the Atherton Tablelands. Lush rainforests, stunning waterfalls, and sweeping volcanic landscapes await you.
Escape the bustling city and head into the lush rainforest. Following winding trails explore the dense forestry, marvelling at the diversity of plants. Continue into the Curtain Fig Tree National Park to discover the stunning Curtain Fig. The tree is instantly recognisable by its extensive areal roots, dropping in a curtain over 15ms to the forest floor. The roots had been gripping to a ‘host tree’ in order to stand however hundreds of years of being suffocated by the roots saw the host rot away, leaving the Curtain Fig freestanding. The tree is believed to be over 500 years old and almost 50m tall. View in the day or return in the evening to go spotlighting for rare Lumholtz’s tree-kangaroo.
After a morning hike the perfect way to cool down is to go for a swim! Queensland’s tropical wet season brings large quantities of water, and it all must go somewhere, right? Luckily for you this means beautiful waterfalls to explore! Follow the Millaa Millaa Waterfall Circuit past the beautiful Zillie, Ellinjaa, Pepina, and Mungalli waterfalls before finally coming to the Millaa Millaa Falls. It’s easy to see why these falls are one of the most photographed in Australia. Take a swim in the refreshing natural pool or take lunch with you and enjoy a picnic with a view. If you’re at the falls in the late afternoon keep an eye out for platypus swimming near the surface of the cool water.
Waterfalls aren’t the only happy benefit of Queensland’s wet season. For those who love to swim, snorkel or dive, Lake Eacham is the place to be. This extinct volcano has been filling with rainwater for hundreds of years, leaving a crystal-clear lake for you to enjoy. Motor crafts are banned, making it a tranquil place to look for fish and turtle or go for a smooth kayak. For those who prefer to stay dry, there are plenty of lookouts to enjoy the view from.
Hidden among the lush wilderness of the Atherton Tablelands you can find surprising and delicious local produce. Head to the Mungalli Creek farm and learn about their biodynamic and sustainable farming solutions. Have a bite to eat at the Out of the Whey café and sample some of their organic cheese and yoghurts. If you’re in need of a pick-me-up then make your way towards Mareeba, where you can find Skybury Coffee. Home to Australia’s purest Arabica coffee, sit down for a cup of brew made from beans roasted that very day! In addition to their velvety coffee, Skybury is Australia’s largest grower of papaya. Their fruits are large and sweet and best eaten with a dash of lemon or lime juice. Use a spoon to scoop flesh from the skin for a delicious natural snack.
The Atherton Tablelands hold a surprise around every bend and no two days are ever the same! This lush oasis is the perfect addition to any trip to North Queensland.