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Discover the incredible Atherton Tablelands

For a scenic, country escape from Cairns, it is hard to go past the beautiful Atherton Tablelands. The region is home to plenty of attractions, spread out between a number of interesting small towns that are ideal for exploring by four wheels. VroomVroomVroom has put together a list of some of the best places to visit when you are in the Atherton Tablelands.

Explore the waterfall circuit

The famous Millaa Millaa waterfall in the Atherton Tablelands.
The famous Millaa Millaa waterfall in the Atherton Tablelands.

The Millaa Millaa Falls Circuit is a breath-taking trip, and well worth the effort to get there. The waterfall circuit consists of the photogenic Millaa Millaa, Zillie, Elinjaa, Pepina and Mungalli waterfalls. Millaa Millaa is located just over 30 minutes from Atherton, offering easy road access to the waterfalls.

These are not the only waterfalls that are worth a visit in the Atherton Tablelands. Head toward the town of Ravenshoe and stop by the impressive Millstream Falls. Near Mareeba you will find Emerald Creek Falls.

Sample some local food

The Atherton Tablelands is renowned for the food produced there. Near Atherton, you will find the popular Peanut Place where you can try their chocolate peanut butter. Just outside of town you can find Shaylee Strawberries and Gallo Dairyland — unmissable stops if you are a fan of chocolate or cheese.

Mungalli Creek Dairy is another popular stop on the Tablelands trail. Their products can be found in stores around the Tablelands, and in some Cairns outlets. The region is also famous for coffee and tea, and Mareeba is responsible for 75 per cent of Australia’s coffee cultivation.

A number of small towns in the region also have great cafes and restaurants, including the town of Yungaburra. If you are passing through there, Nick’s Restaurant serves up delicious Italian food.

Discover unique plants and wildlife

Rolling hills on a misty morning in the Atherton Highlands.
Rolling hills on a misty morning in the Atherton Highlands.

The Atherton Tablelands is home to flora and fauna that is unique to Far North Queensland. If you’re passing through Malanda, see if you can spot an elusive tree kangaroo at the Malanda Falls Visitor Centre.

While heading down the Kuranda Range, keep an eye out for cassowaries, and spot other birdlife in areas like Hasties Swamp and the Mareeba Tropical Savanna Wetlands. If you’re interested in discovering more local fauna, check out rainforest giants like the Curtain Fig Tree, Giant Red Cedar and Cathedral Fig.

Have a picnic by the lake

Lake Tinaroo, Lake Eacham and Lake Barrine are all local favourites for a lazy day by the water. Enjoy a picnic on the shore, or take a boat out sailing and enjoy the sunny weather. Lake Tinaroo is open all year for fishing, but you will need a permit to drop a line in. You can purchase a permit from the caravan park shop at the Lake Tinaroo Township.