Atherton Tableland, Cairns

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    Babinda Boulders
    by tim07
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    View from the Gillies Highway
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  • Millaa Millaa Falls
    Millaa Millaa Falls
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  • phil_uk_net's Profile Photo

    Atherton Tablelands

    by phil_uk_net Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Swimming hole

    This was actually a great day out. I went with a company called Northern Experience Eco Tours. The Tablelands area is very scenic and we visited some nice waterfalls that were tucked out of the way. Another surprise was Paronella Park, a Spanish Castle built here by one man, Jose Paronella, in the early 1900's.

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    • Eco-Tourism

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    Atherton Tablelands

    by vtveen Written Dec 1, 2006

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    Atherton Tablelands - Lake Tinaaro
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    The last day with our rental we made a trip to the Atherton Tablelands, leaving Cairns to the south. In Gordonvale we turned off onto Gillies Highway. This road is climbing for 19 km’s with ‘1900’ curves before we reached the fertile green highlands with soft hills. On our way we had some great views on the rainforest and the coastal plains.

    We took the Danbulla Forest Drive: 28 km long scenic drive on a gravel road around Lake Tinaaro and through rainforest with lots of sights along the road. Like the Cathedral Fig Tree, Mobo Creek Crater, Lake Euramoo and Platypus Rock Lookout. A huge rock, but with NO view at all, because the surrounding trees are too high in the meantime. We had lunch in restaurant ‘Pensini’s’ very close to the impressive concrete dam in the Barron River, which was constructed in 1959 to realise Lake Tinaaro, the first irrigation lake in Queensland.

    On our way back we passed Atherton (nothing special) and Yungaburra, a quaint heritage village with some historical buildings and galleries. Very close to the village stands the Curtain Fig Tree.

    Lake Eacham and Lake Barrine are both volcanic crater lakes surrounded by lush rainforest.
    Lake Eacham is a popular beach, swimming and picnic destination in the Tablelands. The Perimeter Walk is about 4 km’s long and has also turtle viewing platforms. Lake Barrine has a teahouse with splendid views and it is possible to make a boat ride on the lake or to walk around and to take a look at the twin kauri’s.

    Atherton Tablelands is just an hour drive from Cairns and offered us a very pleasant day in a completely different scenery.

    Related to:
    • Jungle and Rain Forest
    • Road Trip
    • Hiking and Walking

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    Atherton Tablelands: The Waterfalls Circuit

    by xuessium Updated May 20, 2006

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    MillaaMillaaFalls
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    Took a one day Waterfalls Tour to the Atherton Tablelands with On The Wallaby Tours. Was charged A$80, circa June 2003.

    These were the highlights of the tour - folks getting VERY VERY wet. Once at Millaa Millaa Falls, in no time, half of the group had stripped down to their boardshorts, trunks and bikinis and were splashing away in the cold water. (Brrr....) The Falls is a popular bathing spot on a hot day - the car park has toilets and change sheds nearby. It is also highly featured in many ads for Australia and find its way into coffeebooks, souvenir booklets and postcards!

    Photographer tip: There are tracks along the side of Millaa Millaa Waterfall where you can walk (careful: slippery rocks!) to get a side view of the waterfall and get shots of the folks enjoying the splash of the water.

    Zillie Falls is 7.5km after Millaa Millaa Falls and the viewing platform is above the waterfall's height. There is no access to the bottom of the waterfall from the platform but there is a good view of the proceeding rapids and the top of the falls. There is no swimming access at this waterfall.

    The third waterfall, Ellinjaa is the furthest (another 3kms drive past Zillie) but again provided a good spot to get really wet once more. There is a grassed picnic area adjacent to the parking facilities and a viewing platform located at the beginning of the walk (which descends to the waterfalls base) which provides a clear view for photo opportunities.

    After the wet merriment of the afternoon, the tour swinged by "On The Wallaby" Lodge for coffee/tea (and a welcomed toilet break) as well as to drop off folks who had signed on for an overnight stay before departing for Cairns and reaching the city at about 7pm.

    Related to:
    • Jungle and Rain Forest
    • National/State Park
    • Water Sports

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    Atherton Tablelands: Cathedral Fig Tree

    by xuessium Updated May 20, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    CathedralFigTree

    Took a one day Waterfalls Tour to the Atherton Tablelands with On The Wallaby Tours. Was charged A$80, circa June 2003.

    The Atherton Tablelands, the highlands behind Cairns, are named after John Atherton, who made the tin deposits at Herberton accessible by opening a route to the coast in 1877. Dense forest still covers part of these highlands.

    Left Cairns at around 8am, the first stop was the Cathedral Fig Tree. The Cathedral Fig is a massive strangler fig tree. From the carpark, it was just a short distance to the boardwalk that encompasses the massive system of buttress roots. It was so large, you can do a walk INSIDE the base of the tree.

    The Cathedral Fig Tree is one of many visitor attractions along the Danbulla Forest Drive which runs around Lake Tinaroo.

    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Jungle and Rain Forest
    • National/State Park

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    Atherton Tablelands: Crater Lakes National Park

    by xuessium Updated May 20, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    LakeEacham

    Took a 1-day Waterfalls Tour to the Atherton Tablelands with On The Wallaby Tours. Was charged A$80, circa June 2003.

    The rest of the morning were taken up by time spent in Crater Lake National Park.

    The tour stopped by Lake Barrine first, a clear, blue lake 65m deep surrounded by lush rainforest. It is a maar (a volcanic crater formed by explosions from overheating groundwater). The vegetation consists of mainly tall trees (35-40m), many large fig trees, and an understory with long-leaved ginger plants and aeroids. A 6.5km circuit track begins at the lake's edge below the car park and passes two exceptionally large kauri pines, a tree which dominated Tableland forests for thousands of years.

    Wildlife around the lake includes the common saw-shelled turtle, water dragons, amethystine pythons and the colourful Boyd's forest dragon, a lizard that grows to 45cm. There is a privately-owned teahouse and boat cruises here, though the biggest attractions, aside from the toilet break, were the pelicans! Everyone was snapping away, and the pelicans were seemingly lapping up the attention!

    The next stop was Lake Eacham. We actually spent more time here. It is also a maar surrounded by rainforest. Different soil types and drainage patterns can result in a wide variety of forest types. A 4.5km track around the lake passes many different rainforest communities.

    There are approximately 100 species of birds in the rainforest here as well as one of the few species of marsupial active during daytime, the small, dark, musky rat-kangaroo. Like Lake Barrine, Lake Eacham offers swimming, birdwatching, picnic areas and shady walking tracks. In fact, some folks in my group went for a dip in the (cold) lake while the other folks, who preferred to stay dry, sat on the grass, had breakfast (sandwiches and coffee/tea) and chat.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Jungle and Rain Forest
    • National/State Park

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    Atherton tablelands - Cairns hinterland

    by Myndo Written May 13, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Milla Milla Falls, Atherton

    Atherton-Tablelands, green soft flowing hills and many waterfalls.

    The Landscape feels very familiar to me, like the Jura in Switzerland.
    But the climate is a lot warmer, so the forests around here are more like Rainforests.

    To see:
    - Barron Falls (very big, expressive especially in the wet time)
    - Milaa Milla Falls (like on a tropical island-kitchy)
    - Dinner Falls (the typical Waterfall)
    - more: Zillie Falls, Ellinja Falls ..
    - Mt Hypipamee Crater: a hole in the stone with a lake on the ground - the way to it goes through a forest, beware of the leeches here!

    Related to:
    • Adventure Travel
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Road Trip

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    Atherton Tablelands - Waterfall Circuit

    by pugwashman Written Dec 9, 2004

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    Zillie Falls with rainbow
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    The Waterfall Circuit starts near the town of Millaa Millaa, aboriginal for "Plenty Water". The road goes round in a loop from the main road and takes in a number of different yet equally stunning waterfalls. Be prepared to play follow my leader as you and the rest of the tourists travel from one car park to the next.

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    • Hiking and Walking
    • Adventure Travel

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    Atherton Tablelands

    by pugwashman Updated Dec 9, 2004

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    Crawford's Lookout in the Atherton Tablelands
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    The Atherton Tablelands are about an hours drive from Cairns up a long winding road from which you can get wonderful views back across the valley towards the coast. There are lots of different tourist spots where you can see Ancient Curtain Fig trees and Kaori Pines, Waterfalls, Lakes, and stunning countryside. Well worth taking a trip to and once you're there just go with the flow and stop wherever takes your fancy.
    There's also a nice Dairy Farm at Mungalli where you can taste locally made cheese and have a nice cream tea ... mmmmm!!!

    Related to:
    • Adventure Travel
    • Hiking and Walking

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    Atherton Tablelands

    by Custodyspice Updated Apr 16, 2004

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    Millaa Millaa Falls, Atherton Tablelands

    There are countless shops in Cairns where you can book up trips into the Rainforest. I cant remember how much I paid. Some Aussie nutcase called Bill took us up to the Atherton Tablelands. The first lake we stopped at he told us crocs sometimes swam in it. He then proceeded to strip off, stark bollock naked, dived in, swam like a fish to the other side and yelled "Come on in then". Everyone reluctantly peeled off to their swimsuits and gingerly stepped in. I dont think anyone was bothered so much about the crocs. I think everyone was more shocked at the sight of his todger.

    It might be wise to put on some insect repellant because in the deeper parts the flies draw blood. We had a BBQ at Millaa Millaa Falls which was pretty.

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    Atherton Tableland.

    by Sharrie Written Sep 18, 2002

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    ATHERTON TABLELAND: At an altitude of 900 m in some places, the tableland has abundant rainfall. Combined with rich volcanic soil it has became one of the greenest places in Queensland. Farming & timber are chief activities in this area.

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    The Atherton Table Lands.

    by Alphons Updated Aug 22, 2004
    The Atherton Tablelands.

    Landscape of the Atherton Table Lands. It is a beautiful area where you can walk , make a bike ride, swim under waterfalls and lakes etc.

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