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Atherton Tableland

Travel QLD Information Destination Guide

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Atherton Tableland
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Nearby QLD destinations
• Cairns
• Cape Tribulation
• Chillagoe
• Malanda
• Mareeba
• Tinaroo

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Atherton Tableland - Cities, Towns and Localities
• Atherton
• Chillagoe
• Dimbulah
• Kuranda
• Mount Garnet
• Lake Barrine NP
• Lake Eacham NP
• Lake Tinaroo
• Malanda
• Mareeba
• Ravenshoe
• Tinaroo
• Tolga
• Yungaburra
 
Other towns, villages and localities in the Atherton Tableland region include:
• Almaden • Amber • Arriga • Barrine • Barwidgi • Beatrice • Bellevue • Biboohra • Bolwarra • Butchers Creek
• Carrington • Chewko • Crystalbrook • Danbulla • Desailly • East Barron • Ellinjaa • Evelyn • Forty Mile
• Fossilbrook • Gadgarra • Gamboola • Glen Allyn • Glen Russell • Glen Ruth • Groganville • Gunnawarra
• Herberton • Hurricane • Innot Hot Springs • Irvinebank • Jaggan • Julatten • Kaban • Kairi • Kalunga
• Kirrama • Koah • Koombooloomba • Kowrowa • Kureen • Lyndside • Maalan • Middlebrook • Millaa Millaa
• Millstream • Minbun • Minnamoolka • Mona Mona • Moomin • Moregatta • Mount Carbine • Mount Garnet
• Mount Molloy • Mount Mulligan • Munderra • Mungalli • Mutchilba • Myola • North Johnstone • Nychum
• Paddys Green • Palmerston • Peeramon • Petford • Ravenshoe • Silver Valley • Southedge • Speewah
• Springfield • Tarzali • Thornborough • Topaz • Tumoulin • Upper Barron • Wairuna • Walkamin • Watsonville
• Wondecla • Wongabel • Wrotham
The Atherton Shire is on the tropical Atherton Tableland, situated between Bellenden Ker Range and the Great Dividing Range, 90 km south-west of Cairns. Rich in red volcanic soil, it ranges from 500 m to 1,280 m above sea level and covers an area of approximately 620 kmฒ. Renowned for its mild tropical climate, its temperatures range between 17ฐC and 25ฐC during September to June and between 5ฐC and 14ฐC during July to August. Atherton enjoys cool summer nights and mild, sunny winter days and rarely suffers from the high humidity experienced in coastal areas.

The Atherton Tableland is accessible from the coast via four major highways:

  • the Palmerston Highway near Innisfail,
  • the Gillies Highway near Gordonvale,
  • the Kennedy Highway which passes through Tolga to Mareeba in the north, and south through Atherton and Ravenshoe, and
  • the Mossman-Mt Molloy Road near Mossman, which joins and becomes the Peninsula Developmental Road near Mount Molloy.

There are many attractions including the Waterfalls and Crater Lakes District where visitors can enjoy rainforest, with bird watching and wildlife, such as the platypus and musky rat-kangaroo. A leisurely drive leads to spectacular lookouts and waterfalls, a highlights is Australia’s widest waterfall Millstream Falls, the deep blue waters of extinct volcano crater lakes, Lake Barrine and Lake Eacham (both volcanic crater lakes), the ancient Bromfield Swamp near Malanda and Hypipamee National Park. There is Lake Tinaroo (which is three quarters the size of Sydney Harbour), Millaa Millaa (Millaa Lookout), Innot Hot Springs, Mungalli Falls, Davies Creek National Park, Chillagoe (home of the Limestone Caves), Koombaloomba Dam, Mt Hypipamee Crater and much more.

You can also enjoy bush walking through the national parks, wildlife cruises, hot air ballooning, fishing, white water rafting, and many other adventures. Visitors will enjoy the many picturesque townships and villages.

In addition to our listed online travel guide information, contact the local tourism visitor centre for your destination for more attractions, tours, local maps and other information.

Information Centre

Atherton Tableland Information Centre
Corner Silo Road and Main Streets
ATHERTON QLD 4883
Ph: 07 4091 4222
Email
Web: www.athertonsc.qld.gov.au / www.athertontableland.com
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Atherton Tableland Attractions

The Curtain Fig Tree
• Curtain Fig Rd, YUNGABURRA
• Located just outside of the township of Yungaburra is one of the largest trees in North Queensland. At over 800 years and standing some 50 metres high with a spread of 39 metres wide, this amazing and unusual attraction is a fine example of the natural world. The tree is part of the genus Ficus ‘Strangler Fig’, a species known as Ficus virens, more commonly called a ‘Curtain Fig’.

The curtain effect resulted from the first tree being strangled by the developing Curtain Fig tree. The first tree then fell into a neighbouring tree (which is a stage unique to the development of the Curtain Fig tree). Vertical roots then grow down from the Curtain Fig tree to form the curtain-like appearance. The host trees die and rots away, leaving the Curtain Fig tree free-standing.

To protect the site and provide views from all angles, there is an elevated boardwalk surrounds the Curtain Fig Tree. A story board at the site details the ‘Creation of the Curtain Fig’ with a welcome from the Traditional Owners of this country, the Ngadjon-Jii.
Hallorans Hill Lookout
• Hallorans Hill Lookout sits on top of a dormant volcano, at the highest point in Atherton. From here you get the most spectacular views over the Atherton Tableland. Here you can relax and enjoy the view, with barbecue and picnic facilities. There are colourful artworks by local artists scattered throughout the park.

If you take the walking track to the lookout (1.5 km), which starts at the Environmental Park next to the Atherton Hospital, Louise Street, you should allow an hour and a half return. During the walk you will see a curtain fig tree, miniature waterfalls, rock pools and rainforest. During the walk you may catch a glimpse of the bush turkey and the tree-kangaroo. Once you reach the lookout, there are sweeping views across some of the richest farming land in North Queensland. Points of interest include ‘The Seven Sisters’ (extinct volcanoes), Lake Tinaroo and Mt Bartle Frere (Queensland's tallest mountain).
Hou Wang Temple
• Donated to the National Trust in 1979, this 100 year old Joss House still stands today as a reminder of a once thriving Chinatown in Atherton. You can find this temple just a short walk from Platypus Park and the Old Atherton Post Office Gallery on the Kennedy Highway, Atherton. The Temple contains a substantial number of original artefacts.
Mount Hypipamee National Park
• Situated approximately 25 km from Atherton on the Kennedy Highway, see the Crater formed as a result of escaping gases blasting a vent hole clean through solid granite. The Crater is some 120 metres deep with a 70 metre pool of still water. Also take the walking track to Dinner Falls and enjoy a swim in the various swimming holes along the way. The Falls become the Barron River which flows into the ocean at Cairns.
Platypus Park
• Built on the surrounds of a local freshwater stream. This park can be found on the Kennedy Highway heading towards Herberton and is only 5 minutes out of Atherton. BBQ are supplied for your convenience and the park has a fenced playground area. Platypus Park is also used as the terminus for Railco’s 1920s steam train which travels regularly to Herberton and is considered to be one of the steepest lines in Queensland.
Seven Sisters
• Queensland Seven Sisters are a series of seven volcanic mounds on the Atherton Tableland, near the town of Yungaburra. You can see them from Hallorans Hill Lookout.
Tinaroo Dam
• Built on the Barron River and supplying water for drinking, and irrigation for farming. Tinaroo is one of the shire’s most popular tourist locations. Enjoy sailing, skiing, swimming, fishing, red clawing, bird watching, picnic spots, BBQs, and much more.
Tolga Bat Hospital
• Ph: 07 4091 2683 (please telephone to visit - bookings are essential) • Email
• Every year Tolga Bat Hospital rescues, rehabilitates and releases hundreds of bats that might otherwise die. We also provide lifetime sanctuary for many bats that are too severely injured to return to the wild. While this makes a real difference to the individual animal, and the volunteers who are privileged to interact with them, there is a lot more to be done. We are therefore very actively engaged in education, habitat restoration, research and advocacy.

A not-for-profit community group that is 100 percent staff by volunteers. Please help us save these wonderful animals by becoming a member of Tolga Bat Hospital, staying at the guesthouse, making a donation or shopping with us on-line.

The Bat Hospital Visitor Centre
• Open 3-6 pm - 1st June to 30th September - Wednesday to Sunday
BOOKINGS ESSENTIAL AT OTHER TIMES
• Visitors have a unique opportunity to see the work of the internationally-renowned bat hospital and meet some Australian bats. Learn what is special about these flying mammals. Why do they hang upside down? Why are they so important for the environment?

Visitors have the best experience if they keep to the 3-6pm timeslot as it is feeding time for the bats. They come down from their 6 metre roosting area and are down at eye level, ready for dinner.

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Atherton Tableland Events

• Queensland Events
Markets
• There are regular markets held throughout region. For a current list, see the Tablelands Regional Council Markets section.

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Atherton Tableland Other Links

• Atherton Tableland Community/Local Government Links
• Atherton Tableland Related Links
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