Atherton Tablelands

Find gourmet trails and colorful markets in the “food bowl of the tropics” or see waterfalls plunging from rainforest escarpments on the plateau’s rugged edge.

The Atherton Tablelands is a lush plateau of fertile farmland and dense rainforest within Tropical North Queensland’s Great Dividing Range. Renowned for its excellent fresh produce and hidden natural wonders, the Atherton Tablelands offers plenty of ways to enjoy the landscape. Discover the heritage of pioneering farmsteads, explore breathtaking crater lakes and spot a diverse array of rainforest-dwelling birds.

Go on a tasting tour of the tropics and savour some of the region’s finest coffee, tea, tropical fruits and cheeses. You’ll find sprawling coffee estates, biodynamic dairies and fragrant tea plantations, as well as fruit farms growing tropical delights. Sample fortified fruit wines, spirits and liqueurs made from produce grown in this fertile region. With so much delicious produce, award-winning restaurants and busy local markets are never far away.

Learn about the region’s pioneering days at Historic Village Herberton, where you can see beautifully restored period houses and agricultural relics. Visit Tinaroo Dam to check out over 200 kilometres (120 miles) of shoreline and a wide expanse of protected water for swimming, watersports and fishing. The historic town of Yungaburra is situated on the dam’s southern shores and provides easy access to Lake Eacham within Crater Lakes National Park and the cascading aerial roots of the Curtain Fig Tree.

The tablelands have sheltered pockets of rich volcanic rainforest for millennia. Experience the sights, sounds and smells of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area at Wooroonooran National Park. Spot rare birds and unique marsupials or see breathtaking waterfalls surging through the forest. Find sparkling minerals and fascinating lava tubes in the Undara Volcanic National Park further west.

Atherton and Mareeba are the tablelands’ largest towns. Stay in country estates and treetop eco-lodges. The Atherton Tablelands is southwest of Cairns and many of the region’s attractions and towns can be reached within a 90-minute drive from the city’s international airport. Visit in winter to enjoy milder temperatures or in summer when the rains renew the tropical vegetation and cascading waterfalls.

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