The Tablelands are a fertile set of plateaus to the West of Cairns in the North Eastern tip of Australia. It's a lush, verdant land with red red earth, rain forests, plains, hills, and much beauty. We spent a couple weeks in and around Atherton, the Tablelands' capital, and had a wonderful time (thanks to some great recommendations by friends).
Things to do:
- The waterfalls! We visited in the "wet" (aka summer) and, thanks to recent rains, the waterfalls were in full bloom. Two are pictured below. The largest is Millaa Millaa falls, the smaller Malanda Falls. You can swim in both and it's a wonderfully refreshing experience...
- ... As is swimming in crater lakes such as Eacham and Barrine (below). A remnant of the region's volcanic past the water is clean and free of crocs
- Mount Hypipamee's crater is more impressive still but you can't swim in it
- The Barron River cuts through the Tablelands, literally, giving rise to the Barron Falls which are over 200m high in places
- There are unique fig trees in the area. Pictured below is the Curtain Fig tree. There's also a Cathedral Fig tree but we didn't have time to visit it
- Yungaburra and Tolga both have large fruit bat colonies. Yungaburra also has a monthly arts and craft market
- Keen on Aussie wildlife, Aborigine customs, and the rain forest? Take a day trip to Rainforestation, our boys had a blast there and, considering all you get to do, it was great value for money (more than Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo IMO). We took all three "tours" they offer and highly recommend a visit. BTW that's a cassowary, a dingo, and a saltwater croc below
- If you're a World War II buff there's a decent museum on the road between Atherton and Mareeba, though a little pricey
- The Crystal Caves is a shop / museum in Atherton. If you're really into rocks I'd take the self guided tour, otherwise just check out all that's on display in the shop
- This list is far from comprehensive!