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Atherton Tablelands

Atherton Tablelands Queensland

The food bowl of Tropical North Queensland dotted with gourmet food and wine trails; and home to a vast expanse of stunning tropical rainforests.


At a Glance

The Atherton Tablelands are made up of beautiful old country towns. The region is widely considered a natural wonderland in Tropical Queensland. Lush green fields, stunning blue lakes, tropical rainforests and cascading waterfalls are the quintessential characteristic of the Atherton Tablelands. The area is also home to two of Queensland’s highest mountains!

There are lots of natural wonder here to be explored. Lake Eacham and Lake Barrine are among the most popular and picturesque volcanic crater lakes in the region. There are also plenty of efforts taken to preserve the wildlife in the Atherton Tablelands region, you can visit some Aussie bats in the Bat Hospital, meet the koalas at the Kuranda Koala Gardens and see thousands of tropical butterflies at the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary. Visit also the lovely heritage village and the historic heart of the Atherton Tablelands, Yungaburra Village, which boasts 18 heritage-listed buildings from the old times. There will not be a lacking of things to do here!


Atherton Tablelands
 
 


 

Where is the Atherton Tablelands?

 

The Atherton Tablelands is approximately 1400 kilometres northwest of Brisbane.

The Atherton Tablelands is located inland within the Tablelands Region in Tropical North Queensland on the coastal escarpment to the west of Cairns and stretching westwards. The Atherton Tablelands is also surrounded by several state forest reserves. The best way to get to Atherton Tablelands is to take a plane to Cairns and then hire a car.


 

Things to see in Atherton Tablelands

 

Kuranda

Kuranda is a small village hidden within the rainforest in the Atherton Tablelands near Cairns, as such, Kuranda has plenty of world renowned attractions. One such attraction is the Barron Falls, a spectacular waterfall widely considered the most essential place to visit there. Many also come to admire and discover the great diversity of native Australian animals in places such as the Kuranda Koala Gardens, Australian Butterfly Sanctuary and Birdworld Kuranda. There is a special way for you to get into Kuranda, which is via the Kuranda Scenic Railway. On the train ride, you will pass through spectacular natural landscapes as you travel through the rainforest.

Kuranda

Image Courtesy Tourism And Events Queensland/Andrew Watson

 

Crater Lakes National Park

The Atherton Tablelands region was known to have some volcanic activities in the past, the beautiful crater lakes in the region are the testament to that. Near the village of Yungaburra lies the Crater Lakes National Park, which houses two magnificent volcanic crater lakes: Lake Eacham and Lake Barrine. These craters were formed by great explosions from volcanic activities in the past and then filled by rainwater, making beautiful lakes. Walking tracks are available for you to walk around to admire the state of nature in the area.

Crater Lakes National Park

Image Courtesy Tourism And Events Queensland

 

The Crystal Caves

The Crystal Caves boasts a superb collection of natural crystals and fossils. Located near Atheron, The Crystal Caves are the result of one man's passion for crystals and fossils. The tunnels are all built by the owner, who had also travelled the world to collect and bring the best mineral speciments and fossils back to Australia. Grab your camera and head off to one of the most unusual attraction in Australia for spectacular photographs.

 

Tinaroo

Tinaroo is a great place to spend time with your family and friends. The nearby Lake Tinaroo is a perfect destination for a variety of watersports such as sailing, swimming, skiing and fishing. Not so big on watersports? You can trek and hike around the many national park and rainforests surrounding the Lake, there are paths suitable for all levels of activities. Else, You can simply relax walking around the lake, enjoy a picnic on the beautiful picnic spots here, or just sit down and look at the many different species of native birds in the area.

Tinaroo

Image Courtesy Tourism And Events Queensland

 

 
 

What's the weather like?

 

Due to its higher elevation, the Atherton Tablelands experiences a humid subtropical climate as opposed to the surround areas which experience a tropical climate. Rainfall varies significantly between the wet summer and the dry winter. In Summer (December to February), the average maximum temperature is 28°C with an average minimum of 19°C. In Winter (June to August), the average maximum temperature is 22°C with an average minimum of 11°C.

 

Get to know Atherton Tablelands's history

 

There were many different tribes that inhabit the Atherton Tablelands region for many generations. The area was first pioneered by the pastoralist John Atherton, who found deposits of tin in the area. Local story goes that the name 'Tinaroo' came from what Atherton shouted after he had found the tin deposit: 'Tin! Hurroo!'. As the infrastructure was improved in the area, more and more people came to settle the area. Other than the mining industry, the timber industry was also a major industry in the Atherton Tablelands as the area had an abundance of red cedar wood. There were a time where there were substantial Chinese population in the area, these immigrant came due to the mining prospects and later turned to timber and agriculture. The Hou Wang Temple in Atherton stands as the testament of this heritage today.

Today, the Atherton Tablelands is one of the popular tourist destination in Queensland and home to more than 40000 Australians.