Welcome to Atherton Tablelands and Gulf Savannah

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Atherton Tablelands Mareeba Outback and Gulf Savannah


Where the Rainforest

Meets the Outback CONTENTS The Atherton Tablelands & Mareeba Outback Drive Times Markets Kuranda Village Mareeba Bird Watching Mountain Biking Atherton Galleries & Antiques WWII Sites Yungaburra Lake Tinaroo Paddock to Plate Craft Breweries, Distilleries & Wineries

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The Wine Trail Lake Eacham Malanda Millaa Millaa Ravenshoe Herberton Country Pubs National Parks Chillagoe The Waterfall Trail Gulf Savannah Normanton Karumba Epic Cape York

ISSUE SEPTEMBER 2023 PUBLISHER – Australian Tourist Publications (07) 4041 3600 DIRECTORS/OWNERS – Trish Blackman & Jackie Honour ACCOUNTS – Jackie Honour SALES – Trish Blackman 0418 143 342, James Acklin 0432 511 492 DESIGN – Sue Dwyer Graphic Design IMAGES – Courtesy of Tourism Tropical North Queensland, Tourism & Events Queensland, Tourism Australia. Australian Tourist Publications acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands represented in this magazine and pay their respects to Elders past, present and emerging.

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© All content within this magazine is copyright-protected by Australian Tourist Publications.

Balancing Rock, Chillagoe

Views to the coast from the Atherton Tablelands

ATHERTON TABLELANDS & MAREEBA Lush rolling hills, abundant wildlife, rugged bushland, tropical waterfalls, impressive lakes, rich history, gourmet food and friendly hospitality sum up the Atherton Tablelands. Whether your passion is fishing, water skiing, bird watching, swimming, mountain biking, or stunning landscapes, for young and old, couples, families and adventurers alike the Atherton Tablelands has it all. Plan to spend a few days exploring the diverse and interesting towns of Kuranda, Mareeba, Malanda, Yungaburra and Atherton or the smaller centres of Millaa Millaa, Tarzali, Ravenshoe, Herberton or Chillagoe.

Located in a World-Heritage rainforest 1,000 feet above Cairns lies the picturesque village of Kuranda, renowned for its delightful mix of quaint village shops, world-famous markets, colourful characters and natural beauty. Initially people come to admire the mighty Barron Falls, but there is so much more on offer from wildlife attractions, walking trails, river cruises, souvenir shops and artists’ galleries. Mareeba is the largest town on the Tablelands. Its history goes back to the gold mining era but these days over 70 per cent of Australia’s coffee crop is grown there. Check out some tastings and buy coffee products at a number of local coffee roasters and coffee plantations.

Tropical food and wine, bird-laden wetlands, lush dairy pastures, World Heritage-listed rainforests and stunning ochre savannah plains are all within driving distance of each other and create a unique journey and offer amazing experiences.

Browse through Atherton’s quaint shops, enjoy a picnic at Hallorans Hill or learn about the Chinese history of the town. Nature-lovers and bird-watchers 4

Giant ant hills, Mareeba

OUTBACK must check out Hasties Swamp, a seasonal wetland which has an annual cycle of wet and dry, attracting a range of resident and migrant birds. Yungaburra offers country charm with stunning landscapes and beautiful natural attractions. There is so much on offer, from the landmark Curtain Fig Tree, charming cafes, great restaurants, galleries, quirky retail shops and the

Don’t miss great places to swim, walk, hike and ride and other places of interest. Places to swim






Mountain Bike Trail

Place of Interest

Avenue of Honour - a dedication to all who served in the fight against terror in Afghanistan.

Mungalli Falls

Lumholtz Tree Kangaroo


Lake Barrine

Lake Eacham is a beautiful place to relax and regenerate during your holiday. The famous crater lake, surrounded by tropical rainforest, has pristine blue water that is perfect for swimming. Visit Lake Barrine, another natural lake hidden in tropical rainforest. This water -filled crater was left by a volcano that erupted approximately 50,000 years ago. Experience a fully-guided boat tour of the lake and its creatures, have a swim, take a walk or grab some breakfast or lunch at the teahouse. The Atherton Tablelands is known for its adventure sports, and the best place to get the adrenalin pumping is at Lake Tinaroo where you can water ski, sail, swim and fish. Malanda is a small country town known synonymously throughout Tropical North Queensland with milk and cheese. As well as being the centre of a highly successful dairy industry this small country town is home to Malanda Falls and is great for bird watching, bushwalking, and scenic drives. Located half-way between Millaa Millaa and Malanda is the small 6

township of Tarzali. Spend the day at the Australian Platypus Park, a great stop for families and groups wanting to view the elusive platypus. Known as the village in the mist, Millaa Millaa is home to the Waterfall Circuit. The waterfalls in this area have been attracting visitors for over a century and are Queensland Heritage-listed. Visit Ravenshoe for its outlying areas offering spectacular scenery. At 930 metres above sea level Ravenshoe is the highest town in Queensland. There are fantastic craft shops and a high-quality art gallery which has been operating for years. The pioneer town of Herberton has become renowned as a centre for bush walking, mountain biking and horse riding. Check out the dynamic heritage village with its rustic old buildings and museums. The Atherton Tablelands’ rolling, paved country roads interconnected by quaint villages are just waiting to be explored.


Gillies Range Lookout

DRIVE Driving in the Atherton Tablelands is an unforgettable travel experience and self-drive tours are the most popular way to see the best of what the

Tablelands has to offer. Hire a car, pickup this handy guide and off you go. Get off the beaten track, explore and discover everything you want, all on your own schedule. It’s impossible to list all the choices you have with four wheels at your fingertips. Whether its history, wine, waterfalls, food or country pubs, this region has it all. For more information pop into one of the many accredited Visitor Information Centres across the Atherton Tablelands. The friendly volunteers are always happy to help.

Crystal Caves, Atherton






30 mins


30 km

30 mins



1 hr



30 mins



35 mins

Yungaburra Via Gillies Highway


1 hr 15 mins



35 mins



1 hr 15 mins

Lake Eacham



Lake Barrine


45 mins


1 hour 15 mins



45 mins


1 hr 30 mins



55 mins

Millaa Millaa


1 hr 5 mins


1 hr 35 mins


52.8km 46 mins



1 hr 50 mins

Via Kuranda


1 hr 42 mins


205km 2 hrs 50 mins



15 mins



20 mins

Atherton Via Gillies Highway

Atherton Via Kuranda

Yungaburra Via Kuranda






20 mins



55 mins

Lake Eacham


20 mins



55 mins

Lake Barrine


25 mins



6 mins



30 mins

Millaa Millaa


45 mins






2 hrs 5 mins



60 mins

Lake Eacham


1 hr 5 mins

Lake Barrine


1 hr 5 mins



1 hr 10 mins



1 hr 20 mins

Millaa Millaa


1 hr 25 mins




2 hs 15 mins

Karumba 9


50 mins

MARKETS Farmers’ and craft markets are located throughout the region and are a great way to sample an array of produce unique to the Atherton Tablelands.

ARCHER CREEK 2nd Sunday of the month. 7am-12noon, Kennedy Highway. ATHERTON 2nd Sunday of the month. 7am-12noon, Atherton Showgrounds. KURANDA Wednesday to Sunday. Original Markets, 9am-3pm. Heritage Markets, 9am-3:30pm. KOAH 1st Saturday of the month. March-December. 8am-12pm. KARUMBA Every Sunday. (April to September). 8am-12noon.

Kuranda Markets


Yungaburra Markets

MALANDA 3rd Saturday of the month. 7.30am-12.30pm, Malanda Showgrounds.

MT MOLLOY 1st Saturday of the month. (March to December). 7am-12noon, Fraser Road, QCWA Hall.

WONDECLA 3rd Sunday of the month. 7am-12noon, Wondecla Sports Ground.

TOLGA 1st Sunday of the month. 7am-12noon, Morrow Park Racecourse. No dogs permitted.

MAREEBA 2nd and 5th Saturday of the month. 7am-12noon, Mareeba Turf Club. 3rd Saturday of the month. Mareeba Heritage Museum and Visitor Information Centre. 7am-12noon.

YUNGABURRA 4th Saturday of the month. 7:30am-12:30pm, Bruce Jones Park. Christmas Market, 3rd Sunday in December. TUMOULIN 4th Sunday of the month. 7am-12:30pm, Tumoulin Railway Station. (Seasonal).


Barron Falls

KURANDA canopy before descending to explore the forest floor. Take a complimentary Ranger Guided Tour at Red Peak Station. From the moment you step aboard the Kuranda Scenic Railway you will enjoy a nostalgic and scenic journey. Travelling across 37 bridges and through 15 handcarved tunnels, reaching heights up to 328 metres above sea level, you’ll marvel at the engineering feat. Passing steep ravines and lush vegetation so close you could almost touch it, see the impressive heights of Stoney Creek Falls, before a photographic stop at the grand Barron Falls.

There is so much to do in Kuranda so make sure you allow plenty of time to visit all the attractions and activities. For more information on the area visit the award-winning Kuranda Visitor Information Centre where dedicated volunteers can offer friendly advice. The best way to discover and immerse yourself in Kuranda is by combining Skyrail Rainforest Cableway and the Kuranda Scenic Railway for one unforgettable adventure. Admire Australia’s World Heritage-listed rainforest from a truly unique perspective as you glide just metres above the pristine

RAINFOREST VIEW RESTAURANT A dining experience in a relaxed and casual atmosphere, overlooking the rainforest from their open deck. Kuranda Rainforest View Restaurant has 250 seats, right in the heart of Kuranda. They offer international cuisine and one of the best views in Australia. Open for breakfast and lunch, serving a la carte meals, pizza, pasta, burgers, grill, seafood, assorted wraps, barista-style coffee, desserts and a great selection of Australian beers, wines and spirits. 28 Coondoo Street, Kuranda T 07 4093 9939 rainforestview.com.au


Must-Do Adventures in Barron Gorge National Park STONEY CREEK, KAMERUNGA, CAIRNS Stoney Creek is reached by 20-minute drive from Cairns city. Take the Western Arterial Road and you will need to turn off onto Stoney Creek Road, Kamerunga – this leads you through the rainforest to the car park. From there the track is on the right and is clearly visible and will lead you onto a concrete footbridge, where it’s possible to fork off the track to a nearby swimming hole or continue to Old Weir Falls on the Stoney Creek walking track.

JUMRUM CREEK WALK, KURANDA Jumrum Creek Conservation Park features a pleasant walk on boardwalks and paths through vine-entwined rainforest to a small creek. Climbing palms twist to the forest canopy, creating a green curtain of foliage. It is accessed from the parking bay on Barang Street or via Barron Falls Road, which has a small parking bay. It can also be undertaken as part of a longer circuit, beginning at the Kuranda Visitor Information Centre.

KURANDA DOWN HILL This mountain bike track starts from the Kuranda/ Macalister Range lookout and follows the ridgeline down to the last bend at the bottom of the road. A nice selection of burns, jumps, rocky outcrops, fire road, forest and open sections await. This track is very popular with riders as it’s easily accessible by car. The ride is fine in light rain, however it’s very slippery in the wet and can be dusty in the dry.

DIN DIN BARRON FALLS WALK An elevated, wheelchair-accessible (with assistance) boardwalk suspended high above the forest floor winds through lush, rainforest canopy to the Barron Falls lookouts and Barron Falls railway platform. Enjoy views over the gorge and spectacular Barron Falls. Watch the gondolas on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway glide above the far-side of the gorge and, twice each day, watch the Kuranda Scenic Railway tourist train pull into the platform below.



Located in the world-heritage rainforest, 330 metres above Cairns, lies the picturesque village of Kuranda, renowned for its delightful mix of quaint village shops, world-famous markets, colourful characters and natural beauty. Getting there Travel on Kuranda’s Historic Scenic Railway, experience the World Heritage Rainforest from above the rainforest canopy on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway or drive yourself via the Kennedy Highway.

Markets Kuranda is most famous for its markets, the Kuranda Heritage Market and the Original Markets. You’ll find food, fashion, locally-produced souvenirs and more.

Barron Falls Stop off at the lookout to see the most famous waterfall in Tropical North Activities Visit the first-class nature-based tourist Queensland. The Falls are at their most spectacular during the wet season attractions which include koalas, when the Barron River is in full flood. butterflies, kangaroos, reptiles as well as native and exotic birds. You can Dining see traditional Aboriginal dancers There are a range of pubs, restaurants perform, travel on a riverboat on the and cafes offering tropical taste Barron River or join an Army Duck ride sensations to suit everyone, including vegetarian and vegan options. through the rainforest.

SKYRAIL RAINFOREST CABLEWAY Enjoy a truly unique perspective of Australia’s World Heritage-listed tropical rainforest as you glide above the pristine rainforest canopy before descending to explore at Red Peak and Barron Falls. Learn about this mystical landscape from a Skyrail Ranger and at the Rainforest Discovery Zone. Enjoy spectacular panoramic views of the Barron Gorge and Falls from The Edge Lookout. Download the Skyrail Interpretive App & Audio guide to unlock the secrets of the world’s oldest tropical rainforest. Arara Street, Kuranda T 07 4038 5555 skyrail.com.au




One of the largest collections of freeflying birds including Australian natives and exotics. Surround yourself in living colour with over 350 macaws, Eclectus parrots, cheeky cockatoos, lorries, Gouldian finches, cassowary and more. Great selfie opportunities and Free WiFi available.

A delightful boutique attraction in the heart of Kuranda featuring an array of Aussie wildlife including koalas, wombats, quokkas, bilbies, wallabies, kangaroos, freshwater crocodiles and other reptiles. Koala holding and python cuddle photos available (extra cost). Wildlife feeding talks twice daily. Fee WiFi available.

Heritage Markets, Rob Veivers Drive, Kuranda T 07 4093 9188 birdworldkuranda.com

Heritage Markets, Rob Veivers Drive, Kuranda T 07 4093 9953 koalagardens.com



Explore Australia’s largest butterfly flight aviary and exhibit, home to over 1,200 magnificent tropical butterflies. Wander through the aviary’s boardwalks, or join a tour behind the scenes, including the breeding laboratory, housing up to 4,000 caterpillars. Rob Veivers Drive, Kuranda T 07 4093 7575 australianbutterflies.com

This award-winning nature park offers three unique experiences. Board an amphibious World War II Army Duck for a rainforest tour, connect with local Indigenous culture in the Pamagirri Aboriginal Experience, and visit iconic Australian animals in the Koala & Wildlife Park. Kennedy Highway, Kuranda T 07 4085 5008 rainforest.com.au

KURANDA SCENIC RAILWAY Kuranda Scenic Railway is one of Australia’s most stunning rail journeys. Meandering from Gimuy (Cairns) through the ancient Wet Tropics World Heritage rainforest, Din Din Barron Gorge National Park, to the mountain village of Ngunbay (Kuranda), place of the platypus. Enjoy the beautiful scenery as the train winds its way through dense rainforest, past towering waterfalls, and deep ravines. Combine your trip with one of our day tour packages for a complete Kuranda experience. The journey from Cairns, Freshwater or Kuranda railway stations takes approximately two hours each way with travel in heritage timber carriages or upgrade to Gold Class experience! Kuranda Railway Station, Kuranda T 1800 577 245 ksr.com.au


Kuranda Koala Gardens

Birdworld Kuranda


Kuranda Koala Gardens

Discover the friendliest and cutest Australian wildlife at Birdworld Kuranda and Kuranda Koala Gardens, located right in the heart of Kuranda village.

around are species from the vanishing rainforests of the world, including some of Australia’s most precious and beautiful birds.

Kuranda Koala Gardens gives you the opportunity to see some of Australia’s most unique wildlife up-close, including wallabies, gliders, quokkas, wombats, lizards, snakes and freshwater crocodiles. The new ‘Aussie Bush Collection’ is a delight for photographers.

There are brilliant Amazonian macaws, the endangered and stately cassowary, cheeky Rainbow lorikeets, galahs, cockatoos and many more. The Finch Aviary is also home to a range of rare and colourful endemic species. Naturally landscaped with waterfalls, ponds, exotic and native plants, Birdworld replicates the natural habitats of almost 60 species that roam this unique rainforest immersion exhibit. It is truly a photographer’s delight.

Take the opportunity to cuddle a koala and receive a great souvenir photo. Check out the Nocturnal Wonders exhibit including bilbies, Northern bettong and the rare Mahogany gliders. Right next door is Birdworld Kuranda, a free-flight walk-through exhibit allowing visitors to interact with a spectacular collection of birds from Australia and around the world.

Don’t be surprised to find a feathered friend taking a ride on your shoulder. If a bird happens to land on you, take the greatest selfie of all time, to show friends and family back home. There are bags of feed available for purchase at the front desk to give you an even greater opportunity to interact with the various species of birds. Free WiFi available.

Birdworld boasts a large and very colourful collection of native and exotic parrot species. Join the birds in their beautiful rainforest habitat. Flying 16

Friends in the Rainforest Visit the best of Australian Wildlife! K U R A N D A


• Koalas • Freshwater Crocodiles • Quokkas • Wombats • Kangaroos and Wallabies • Lizards • Monitors and Bilbies!

Surround yourself with living colour!

birdworld kuranda


A personalised guided tour with our Birdkeeper before the aviary opens to the public.

OPEN DAILY 10am to 4pm Kuranda Heritage Markets 17 Ph: 4093 9953 • www.wildkuranda.com

DON’T MISS Davies Creek Lamb Head/ Kalilphalin Rock Davies Creek Mountain Bike Park Emerald Creek Falls Mountain Biking, Mareeba

MAREEBA Start your day on a high, in Mareeba, by watching the sun rise over the rolling hills of the Atherton Tablelands in the silence and romance of a hot-air balloon. Enjoy the 360-degree panorama before coming gently back to earth. Mareeba is the largest town on the Atherton Tablelands and has developed as a major multicultural centre. It boasts a total of 64 different nationalities which call it home. Mareeba’s history dates back to the gold-

Ford Memorabilia Ford cars, Engines & Tractors

mining days when it served mainly as a railway and communications centre for the mining, dairying, farming and beef industries which opened up the region towards the end of the 19th century. The region has a reputation as a food lovers’ paradise and is also rich in wildlife, museums, coffee and wine and produces over 70% of Australia’s coffee crop. The region is a magnet for self–drive visitors, and is a popular destination for grey nomads who enjoy Mareeba as a base to explore the Atherton Tablelands and as a gateway to Cape York and Gulf destinations. On your trip to Mareeba make sure you visit the area’s newest must-see attraction, the Blundell Classic Ford Museum on Cobra Road. Lime farmers Ron Blundell and his Ford fanatic son Paul started amassing their collection of beloved Ford motor cars, engines and tractors more than eight years ago and recently opened it to the public. The museum is open seven days and has memorabilia, Ford merchandise and the Cobra Cafe serving delicious homemade treats four days a week (closed Tuesday

Merchandise Shop

Museum Open 7 Days. PH 0487 306 636 Museum and Café Open Fri Sat Sun Mon 9.30am-3.30pm Museum Open Tue Wed Thu 9.30am-2.30pm. 109 Cobra Road Mareeba


Mareeba Your Perfect Place to Discover the Tablelands

Blundell Classic Ford Museum

to Thursday). Today the museum houses three sheds full of 40 cars and 30 tractors all beautifully and meticulously restored to their original condition. The collection is always growing and the Blundells, as custodians of the Ford brand, plan to eventually display every Ford ute and tractor made in Australia. Set amongst the Dinden National Park, Davies Creek offers a plethora of activities. The creek flows over the granite landscape into swimming holes surrounded by picnic areas, purposebuilt mountain bike trails amongst a thicket of picturesque eucalypt woodland. For those fascinated by natural marvels, the Granite Gorge Nature Park (private nature park, fees apply) is an unforgettable spectacle. Volcanic activity has forced up huge boulders where you can spot and feed the wallabies. Like no other place in the world, this awesome landscape stretches as far as the eye can see.

• Affordable, high-quality accommodation in the heart of Mareeba • Spacious Motel Rooms • Self-contained 2-bedroom Apartment • Enjoy friendly, country hospitality • Cooked breakfast delivered to your room • Free WiFi


If you happen to be in town in July or October don’t miss out on two of this area’s major events, Mareeba Rodeo (July), Mareeba Multicultural Festival (August) and Savannah in the Round (Oct). See more msc.qld.gov.au/ community/events/events-calendar/. 19

Call (07) 4092 2677 340 Byrnes St, Mareeba relax@jackaroomotel.com jackaroomotel.com


Best of Queensland Experience

Historic Mareeba streetscape

One Very Special Museum

25 years of collections. 6000 curated artefacts. 47 exhibits. An amazing chronicle of life in Mareeba!

The Heritage Museum and Visitor Information Centre is your entry to this beautiful region and your pathway to understanding the rich and varied history of Mareeba. You will get excited at the Mareeba Heritage Museum with interactive, engaging and fun displays. With over 6,000 items, 47 exhibits and 25 years of collections, this museum is a lively space where you are drawn to explore, learn, engage and play.

Relax and Recharge

Enjoy a coffee, snack or lunch on our deck at Mareeba Heritage Coffee Shop.

Treasure Trove of Gifts

Browse the gift shop and find something to make your visit a memorable one! M a r e eb a H eri t ag e Muse um 345 Byrnes Street, Mareeba (07) 4092 5674 I Open 7 days

www.mareebaheritagecentre.com.au #visitmareeba #theheartbeatofmareeba

The Visitor Information Centre will help you discover Mareeba like a local and turn your holiday or visit into an exciting journey of discovery. If you’re looking for tours or accommodation, the friendly staff and volunteers are here to help. The Centre offers free parking, free WiFi, a coffee house and heritage gift shop and are open almost every day. See Mareeba differently at the Museum and learn about the local area’s incredibly rich and truly fascinating history. At the Mareeba Heritage Museum you will learn about the true character of the region. The Mareeba Heritage Centre was established in 1995 to collect, conserve and display the history of Mareeba. The museum has the largest tobacco exhibit in Australia. This nationally significant exhibition contains the remarkable stories and images of an industry that created the economy, character and the prosperity of the Mareeba Shire. 20

Listen for the whip-crack call of the Eastern Whip Bird

BIRD WATCHING If birdwatching is your passion you have come to the right place as the Atherton Tablelands’ 327 bird species attract global awe and attention. Twelve bird species are endemic to the region. The diverse range of species is due to the variety of surrounding habitats including riverine, wetland, woodland, rainforest, grassland, agricultural and parkland. Birding tours are available across the Atherton Tablelands including at Chambers Wildlife Rainforest Lodges.

brolgas and Sarus cranes are also found on the Tablelands feeding on agricultural fields. Top birdwatching spots include the dry regions of Mt. Molloy and Kaban, the wetlands of Mareeba, Chillagoe, Nyleta, Hasties Swamp, Nardellos Lagoon, Bromfield Swamp, Abattoir Swamp, the National Parks of Mt Hypipamee, Crater Lakes, Davis Creek, Barron Falls and Wongabel State Forest.

October to April are the hotter and wetter months, but also the time when migrant species arrive from Papua New Guinea, including the beautiful BuffBreasted Paradise kingfisher, Channelbilled cuckoo and common Koel. Many birds such as noisy pitta are also breeding at this time of year and are easier to observe as they search for food. During the cooler, drier, winter months (May to September) the Victoria’s riflebird species are displaying and winter breeders such as the White-eared monarch can be easier to see. During this period,

Fig Parrot


Misty Mountains Trails

MOUNTAIN BIKING Mountain biking is another great way to experience the stunning beauty of the Atherton Tablelands, offering top-class mountain biking and road cycling trails. The moderate climate and unspoilt natural scenery provide ample opportunities all year round to get active and explore this unique part of Australia. The Tablelands Mountain bike trails are world-class, winding through stunning World Heritage-listed parks, providing unforgettable experiences for riders of every skill level. To make the most of these superb tailor-made tracks and parks, get the folks from Off Camber Mountain Biking to take you there. Their expert guides and coaches know every inch of both the Atherton Forest and the Davies Creek Mountain Bike Parks, providing guided tours, skill clinics and coaching. Bookings are essential. Davies Creek Mountain Bike Park, 13 kms from Mareeba, is a network of flowing trails winding along the slopes of the Lamb Range, navigating granite outcrop and crossing clear mountain streams. This park includes lengths and grades suitable for riders of all skill levels. The usually dry climate of the Mareeba region means

these trails are a great alternative to the Atherton and Smithfield trails during inclement weather. The Atherton Forest Mountain Bike Park, in the Herberton Range State Forest on the edge of town, is a network of purpose-built, singletrack bike trails meandering through pristine open woodlands. The trails are well sign posted and offer some testing climbs, steep descents, and spectacular lookouts. The Tablelands’ trails have been built to international standard and have previously hosted many large events, including segments of the Croc Trophy and the Subaru Australian Marathon Championships. Tableland Cycle Sports host Elev8XCM, their signature cross country mountain biking event, annually in August. For more information on mountain biking, drop into one of the information centres in the region or contact local organisations Mareeba Mountain Goats or Ride Atherton. Maps and resources for the Davies Creek Mountain Bike Park and Atheron Forest Mountain Bike Park can be found on the Queensland government’s Parks and Forests website. 22

DON’T MISS Mount Baldy Atherton Rail Trail Dinner Falls Hallorans Hill Chinese Temple, Atherton

Hasties Swamp

ATHERTON Atherton is an historical town with an easy pace, located in the middle of an area that boasts some of the most picturesque driving in Australia. Like Mareeba, Atherton serves the outlying farming communities but it is also a thriving hub.

on what was once a site of social and religious significance for the region’s pioneering Chinese community. Discover the beautifully preserved artefacts within the temple as you are guided by passionate volunteers who are brimming with facts and information about this exceptional property. It is said to be the only existing temple dedicated to Hou Wang outside of China. Please see website for updated opening times.

Nature lovers and bird watchers will enjoy a visit to the Nyleta Wetland Bird Hide at Hasties Swamp National Park. Home to more than 230 species of birds, it includes a two-storey Bird Hide overlooking the wetlands within the 56-hectare Nyleta Wetlands National Park. Hallorans Hill Lookout is an ideal spot for a barbecue or picnic, watching the sunset or just enjoying the view of the surrounding farmlands and rolling hills. This popular attraction includes picnic and barbecue facilities, children’s playground and walking track. Just outside Atherton is the last timber and iron Chinese Temple in Australia, the Hou Wang Temple. Donated to the National Trust of Australia in 1979, featuring a full display of cultural artefacts, it will engage and educate the whole family 23

The Tableland Regional Gallery showcases the diverse artistic talent found on the Atherton Tablelands. Their three gallery spaces have regularly changing exhibits of local artists as well as travelling exhibitions. No visit to Atherton is complete without stopping at The Crystal Caves in the Main Street. Visitors are offered an interactive tour of a truly unique museum. Rockhound Rene Boissevain has built 300m2 of tunnels and grottos to house his collection of crystals and fossils that you can explore at your leisure.

1960s Agate Creek find

Massive amethyst geode, Crystal Caves

SHARE ONE MAN’S PASSION René Boissevain is a man with a passion for natural crystals and prehistoric fossils and he is delighted to share it every day with visitors to his manmade The Crystal Caves.

René started collecting crystals when he found a massive agate nodule at Agate Creek, near Forsayth, Queensland, in 1963. And after that this Indiana Jones of the Atherton Tablelands became an obsessed collector.

This oasis of tributes to million-year-old natural artifacts is situated in the heart of Atherton and consists of 300 square metres of tunnels and grottos built by René to feature his discoveries.

In 1987, he started building a cave in the back of his shop to house the collection and it has gradually been expanded to current dimensions.

On stepping inside his unique museum behind a humble shopfront, you are entering a whole new world of fantastic pre-history that René has spent a lifetime travelling to every corner of the world to collect. A new highlight exhibit is an 11kg meteorite space rock, about the size of a human’s head, that is estimated to be more than four billion years old.

The interactive and static displays at The Crystal Caves give visitors a unique hands-on experience to see and touch at least 600 natural crystals and real fossils. Self-guided tours of these natural treasures equip visitors with a headlamp, a souvenir guidebook to René’s World, and encourage unlimited photo opportunities in a free WiFi setting. The tours can take at least an hour but if you want to be sure to see and touch every specimen, and browse in the shop, it will be a rewarding two hours.

Found in 1973 at a meteorite crater in Western Australia, it was originally donated to René’s collection about five years ago, but was snatched by thieves. It was recovered in 2020 and is now on proud, but secure, display.

Keen rockhounds have been known to spend several hours inspecting the 24

Crack a geode at The Crystal Caves

fossils, geodes, crystals and rocks, and taking in all the accompanying and meticulously presented details of their origins.

the crystals that grew inside a volcanic bubble 44 million years ago. And you get to keep the rock! The International Gemological Institute considers the collection of René, originally from the Netherlands, as the best private collection of crystalised mineral specimens on public display in Australia.

A guaranteed highlight of a visit will be the opportunity to ‘crack a geode.’ A geode is a small cavity in rock that is lined with crystals.Once you crack it, you will be the first person to see


Ochre Pits by Helen Hume

The Brolga Rests by Daniel Joseph

Artistree Gallery

GALLERIES AND ANTIQUES potters, painters, glass blowers, wood workers, textile artists and jewellers. And visitors to Kuranda can see and purchase their works all in one place at the Kuranda Arts Co-op. The Co-op has been showcasing quality local artwork from its members since 1996. The famous Kuranda markets, now from two locations at the Kuranda Original Rainforest Markets and the Heritage Markets are also a great source of local art and craft. Kuranda also has galleries selling local and interstate Aboriginal art, and an excellent photographic gallery.

The Atherton Tablelands has a rich arts and crafts tradition that continues to surprise and delight visitors. The surrounding villages are dotted with smart and quirky, galleries, busting markets, delightful boutiques and wonderful antique stores. The charming village of Kuranda in the northern Tablelands has long been home for creatives, inspiring


Visit Atherton to enjoy the vibrant galleries and accomplished artists of the Tablelands Region. Tableland Regional Gallery - 16 Robert Street. Old Post Office Gallery 86 Atherton Herberton Road. Foyer Gallery - 45 Mabel Street. T 07 4089 2253. Opening hours www.trc.qld. gov.au/services-and-facilities/galleries/


A dynamic arts community also thrives in the Atherton region, inspired by the natural beauty of wide, rolling pastures, bountiful crops, lively villages and a deep cultural history. Artists, potters, photographers, sculptors and wood workers create artworks that capture the true heart of the southern Tablelands. The Tablelands Regional Council (TRC) operate three galleries, The Tableland Regional gallery, the Old Post Office Gallery, and the Foyer Gallery. They constantly change their exhibitions to include works from local artists, travelling presentations and school

Kuranda Arts Co-Operative Gallery

Atherton Antiques & Australiana

and community groups. Atherton also hosts a regular Arts and Crafts Fair. The beautiful and historic town of Yungaburra is famous for its charming boutiques and galleries and the best of these is Artistree on Kehoe Place. Artistree sells a surprising array of beautiful, handcrafted items, from local artists. Purchase something that lasts a lifetime, including homewares, wearable art, jewellery, sculpture, woodwork and furniture.


Atherton Antiques has been welcoming collectors, curious visitors, and regular international and interstate clients from the same wonderful Art Deco building since 1993. Open 9.30am-5pm Mon-Sat 9.30am-1.30pm Sun. Closed Mon 2 Tolga Rd, Atherton T 07 4091 4455.


Antique collectors and inquisitive travellers should come and browse at Atherton Antiques & Australiana, two storeys packed with authentic antiques and collectables, all sourced from North Queensland. They stock anything old, and unusual, including Australiana, furniture, china, silver, tools, toys, homewares, jewellery, books and bottles and so much more!

Matron Dean giving Physical Training Drill to a squad of Aust Women’s Land Army Personnel. AWM – 058896

WWII SITES In 1942 Australia was preparing for the imminent threat of the advancing Japanese Imperial Army and Field Marshall Sir Thomas Blamey (2nd Australian Imperial Force) selected the Atherton Tablelands as a staging and training post. The area was ideal for recuperation and jungle warfare training and was close to resupplies and battlefronts. By December 1942, the Australian Army headquarters had transferred from Townsville to Atherton and Tolga. By January 1943 work had begun on the 13th Advancement Ordnance Deport in Tolga-the largest in North Queensland’s history.

Rocky Creek Memorial Park

The entire Tablelands regions would soon have new infrastructure, amenities, and hundreds of buildings. The Tolga Museum, located at the old Tolga Railway Station on the Kennedy Highway, has a fascinating collection of military artefacts from the region, including a section on Women at War. Returning units from the 6th and 7th Divisions arrived after their Papuan campaign and established encampments around Ravenshoe, Wondecla and Wongabel. The 9th Division returned from North Africa and set up camps in the Kairi, Danbulla and Tinaroo arears. By the end of

Rocky Creek Memorial Park


Rocky Creek Igloo

September 1944, 689 units were spread across the Tablelands. The Atherton Tablelands’ population boomed with the additional 100,000 military personnel, and the nearby Rocky Creek area became the site for the largest field hospital in the Southern Hemisphere. During World War II Rocky Creek was the site of two hospitals, a convalescent depot, a malaria research laboratory, ambulance services, kitchen, laundries, workshops, and its own railway station.

support at the height of World War II in the pacific (1943-45). This region was ideal because it was close to the action in both South-East Asia and the South-West Pacific. The Tablelands also provided a safe tropical environment for jungle warfare training and was free of malaria.

quick facts • 43 trains and railmotors were recorded in one day at Tolga Railway Station

The Atherton Tablelands was the focus for troops in training, transit and for medical

• The daily bed average at Rocky Creek peaked at 1,760 in September 1944 More than 13,000 7th Division • personnel attended sports days • The Army produced their own newspaper “Table Tops” with two prints runs a day, seven days a week • For guided tours and history trail information contact a local Visitor Information Centre

Rocky Creek Tivoli Concert. AWM 058887


The Red Sheds

YUNGABURRA to go, maps and specific information on the area.

Step back in time in Yungaburra and enjoy the village’s pleasures. Yungaburra is largely unchanged since its settlement in the early 1900s, with many of the original buildings remaining. Eighteen of them are heritage-listed, the highest proportion outside of regional centres in Queensland. Today this quaint village, home to a permanent population of approximately 1500 residents, is a charming mix of old-world history and alternative lifestyle culture.

The Yungaburra Heritage Walk is a self-guided trail, approximately three kilometres long. The knowledgeable Visitor Information Centre staff can provide a rundown of all the heritagelisted buildings and sites in Yungaburra.

Take a stroll and browse the quaint village shops. Grab a bite at one of the many cafes, in a fine restaurant, or in a classic pub more than 100 years old. Yungaburra is also a great base to explore all the Atherton Tablelands has to offer, either on foot, by car, or in a boat. Call in to the Visitor Information Centre, located in Yungaburra Village, where friendly volunteers will be happy to help you with general tourist information, what’s on, where

For a more modern take on village life, check out the quirky shops or art and craft galleries and pick up a gift or souvenir while you’re there. As great place to start, and finish, is Artistree Gallery. Artistree’s aim is to share their passion for high quality, beautiful, handcrafted items that last a lifetime, at an achievable price. They showcase creative talents, both wellknown and emerging, who work in an incredible array of media, to create functional homewares, wearable art, and strongly built furniture, to inspire fun and pleasure. For nature lovers, bushwalking near Yungaburra is the ideal way


Historic Yungaburra

to encounter the wildlife of the surrounding area. A network of easy and moderate walking tracks leads through wetlands, rainforest, scrub and lakeside paths. The two-kilometre Peterson Creek Walk follows a creek that runs at the edge of town. This is a great walk for bird-watchers and is also where you can spot the elusive tree kangaroo or platypus. The Peterson Creek platypus viewing platform is a pleasant walk or short drive from town and a great place to see these shy creatures in their natural habitat. The best viewing times are morning and dusk.

One of the unique natural attractions of Yungaburra is the Curtain Fig Tree, just a five-minute drive from the village. This massive tree has, by an accident of nature, created a vast curtain of roots which drop 15 metres to the ground. Starting from a seed dropped high in the canopy, this strangler fig grew vertical roots, which over time have become thicker and interwoven, creating a giant “curtain” beneath the branches of this 50 metre high, 500--year-old tree.

Or jump in the car and take a scenic drive to the many natural attractions of the beautiful countryside surrounding Yungaburra. The rolling green hills, crater lakes, waterfalls, and lush rainforests are all a short distance from town. The landscape around Yungaburra has been shaped over millennia by volcanic activity, the most recent eruptions were only approximately 10,000 years ago.

DON’T MISS Lake Eacham Peterson Creek – Wildlife and Botanical Walking track Tinaroo Creek Road Hill Climb Curtain Fig Tree and Platypus viewing


Avenue of Honour

Nearby Tinaburra is a jump-off point for Lake Tinaroo, popular for water sports, offering a boat ramp and areas for water skiing, jet skiing and stand up paddle boarding. It’s also where, in 1999, the world’s largest barramundi was caught!

Lake Tinaroo

3km from Yungaburra Village

On the calm and pristine shores of Lake Tinaroo, stands an avenue of Illawarra Flame trees, the Avenue of Honour. This living memorial commemorates the courage and commitment of those who served and gave the ultimate sacrifice in the war in Afghanistan. This national memorial stretches 250 metres almost to the waters’ edge. The show of flamered blossoms happens each year from October to December, encompassing Remembrance Day. An Honour Board stands proudly, displaying name plaques of the fallen in memory of their sacrifice. It serves as a reminder to future generations of the enormous debt our nation owes to their bravery. To donate avenueofhonour.com.au/ donate.

Curtain Fig Tree

From Yungaburra


Lakes Edge Retreat Check in at 22 Gillies Hwy, Yungaburra • The perfect accommodation for a romantic getaway • Fully self-contained one-bedroom studio on lake frontage • Four minute’s drive from Yungaburra village •S it, relax, and listen to the abundant bird life, or see if you can spot our resident platypus! • Netflix and Stan

Ph: (07) 4095 2218 E: stay@yungaburraaccommodation.com.au For more info “book now” direct on website. www.yungaburraaccommodation.com.au/lakes-edge

Blue Summit Hideaway Villas Check in at 22 Gillies Hwy, Yungaburra • Luxury, boutique escapes • Cosy studio, 2 & 3 bedroom spa, king spa and king twin spa villas • In the heart of the village • Netflix and Stan • Walking distance to eateries, boutiques & platypus viewing

Ph: (07) 4095 2218 E: stay@yungaburraaccommodation.com.au For more info “book now “direct on website. www.bluesummithideaway.com.au

Birds ‘n’ Bloom Cottages Check in at 22 Gillies Hwy, Yungaburra • Luxury escape, home away from home • Fully self-contained 2 & 3 bedroom cottages • Great holiday retreat with all facilities • Designed to relax & revive • Live Foxtel and Netflix

Ph: (07) 4095 2218

E: relax@bnbcottages.com

For more info “book now“ direct on website. www.bnbcottages.com.au


DON’T MISS Lake Tinaroo Jungaljungal Walk Lake Tinaroo Wildlife

Lake Tinaroo

LAKE TINAROO Lake Tinaroo, created in 1952 as a result of the Tinaroo Falls Dam, was built solely for irrigation. However today this beautiful stretch of water is best known for water sports and fishing, and is a favourite spot for tourists and day-trippers. The holiday village of Tinaroo is located on the shore of the lake, a man-made reservoir built on the Barron River. Accommodation ranges from resorts to holiday houses, and caravan parks to camping. With over 200 kilometres of shoreline, Lake Tinaroo offers many bays with calm water protected from the wind. Every kind of recreational water activity is offered, from fishing for world-recordsize barramundi, to sailing, water skiing, jet skiing, swimming and stand-up paddle boarding. If you’re looking to stay high and dry or do something less active, take a relaxing 34

stroll along the jetty to see the dam spillway or just chill at one of the many picnic spots. And the lake is naturally a great place for bird watchers. Lake Tinaroo is famous amongst anglers for its monster barramundi catches and has served up at least 19 world records. The Tinaroo Barra Bash is an annual family fishing tournament held every October and has become a major Tablelands event. All profits go to the not-for-profit Tableland Fish Stocking Society, enabling it to undertake research and stock monitoring programs. The Society has been restocking the lake with a variety of species since 1992. The Barra Bash has been held for more than 25 years and since 2016 it has become a catch and release tournament. Run by volunteers, the Barra Bash promotes an active outdoor lifestyle and highlights the joyful pursuit of barramundi fishing to the world.

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Mungalli Creek Bio-Dynamic Dairy

PADDOCK TO PLATE Foodies, prepare your tastebuds for a sensory assault! The Atherton Tablelands is Queensland’s food bowl and the source of a dizzying variety of delectable local produce. The rich volcanic soil, moderate climate and regular rainfall combine to serve up the finest and freshest of food and drink.

fruit wines and craft beers, sourcing the Tablelands’ amazing produce. A great way to sample and enjoy the food and drink of the area is on a tasting tour, either on an organised tour or self-driving. Try a “farm gate” tour and enjoy a coffee at one of Australia’s oldest coffee plantations, watch cheese makers and chocolatiers handcraft their wares at a dairy farm, then enjoy some in an onsite cafe. Or stop by a fruit farm and try their quality produce as fresh as it gets, in a sweet sorbet, preserved in jam, or prepared right there in a tasty restaurant dish.

The Tablelands’ food trail is worldclass. There’s nothing quite like enjoying an assortment of tropical fruits, a coffee, or a cheese platter grown, made, and prepared only metres from where you’re dining. A patchwork of farms across the region are world-renowned for their quality fruits, prize-winning vegetables, gourmet cheeses and dairy products, hand-crafted chocolate, and supreme quality pork and beef. And now a cluster of local distillers, wine makers and brewers are serving up award-winning spirits,

The Tablelands has markets nearly every day of the week for you to sample and enjoy local food produce. The region also has a host of traditional food and harvest festivals for foodies to experience the finest of fare with locals, farmers, and fellow travellers. 36

Coffee Works

TABLELANDS COFFEE Australia is known internationally for its coffee culture, but its coffee farms? Well, the Atherton Tabelands is changing that. Although the region has Australia’s oldest coffee plantations, it wasn’t until around the turn of this century that tobacco farmers in the region needed to find alternative crops and turned to Australia’s favourite morning cuppa - in a big way. They now produce 70% of Australia’s coffee and the beans are of exceptional quality. Coffee farms have sprung all over the Tablelands, as well as roasteries and cafes serving premium local blends. One such place, and one of the major tourist drawcards to the region, is Coffee Works in Mareeba. This boutique roastery and chocolatier cloaks visitors in an extraordinary world of gourmet bliss. Started in 1988, the family business has been crafting deliciousness in an oasis of wicked treats. Indulge and enjoy the world’s finest flavours of 37

coffee, tea, liqueur and chocolate, all in the one place. Their Espresso Bar serves freshly made and locally sourced coffee every day. Roasted instore, choose from 50 shades of beans and blends, including greens, blacks, whites, chais, fancy and infusions. The Chocolate Shop offers a selection of edible art, hand-crafted before your eyes. Free samples of unique liqueurs are also available. And deciding what to buy from the gift shop, packed to the rafters with gourmet items and gorgeous keepsakes, is never easy. Or, if you’d rather a cup of tea, choose from a range of rare leaves, fresh from nearby plantations, starting from full flavour Swagman’s Tea to fine and elegant Misty Mountains Tea. Coffee Works also operates gourmet outlets in Atherton, Port Douglas, Cairns and Townsville.

BANANAS The Tablelands is one of Australia’s major banana producing

regions and the industry is worth almost $100 million to the local economy. Bananas are the country’s largest horticultural industry and its highest selling supermarket product.


Blueberries have recently sprouted on the Tablelands, joining strawberries in the local berry industry. Costa Farms, marketed under the Driscoll’s brand, has opened blueberry farms in the region for their April to June harvest, which isn’t possible on their farms in the southern states.

SUGARCANE The Sugarcane industry is a relatively recent introduction to the

Tablelands’ horticulture economy but is now one of the region’s largest crops, generating approximately $39 million into the local economy. The warm tropical climate makes the region an ideal growing environment.


The number of avocado farms on the Tablelands has at least tripled in the past decade and is now the most valuable fruit crop on the Tablelands, which is Australia’s largest avocado growing region. Local avocados are highly sought-after and gross value is estimated to be about $173 million.


The Atherton Tablelands mango industry, representing the largest area of tree crops in the region, produces half of Queensland’s crop of the popular fruit, sending about 2.5 million trays to market every year.

BEEF CATTLE The beef cattle industry is the most widespread on the

Tablelands and the primary land user in the central and western areas. Strong prices for beef cattle have ensured local industry production remains at approximately $35 million per annum.

coffee The Mareeba district is home to Australia’s oldest coffee plantations,

however it wasn’t until tobacco farming was phased out at the end of the 20th century that coffee growing really took off. Today the region yields 70% of the national crop and the Tablelands’ roasteries have become a popular tourist attraction.


Atherton Tableland dairy farmers produce the finest milk-based products in the country. The region’s farmers churn out about 52.5 million litres of milk a year, resulting in more than 60 top-quality dairy products marketed under the Mungalli Creek, Misty Mountain Milk and Dairy Farmers brands.


The Atherton Tablelands has recently seen a rapid rise in citrus production. Now more than 250 farms are producing top quality limes, lemons, grapefruit, pummelos and mandarins, for a gross revenue of more than $55 million. 38

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CORAL SEA Prawns Scallops Reef fish Crabs Crayfish

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KURANDA Honey Lychees Mangoes Coconut Herbs

Paw Paw Nuts


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Ice Cream Coffee 38 km

Mangos Avocados


Pork Beef cattle Dairy cattle Blueberries Zucchini Potatoes Raspberries Passionfruit Berries

29 km

Cabbage Onions Broccoli Potatoes Pumpkin Sweet potatoes Davidson plum Cauliflower Eggs

Potatoes Avocados Leafy greens Beef cattle Dairy cattle


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Ice cream Berries Flowers

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Corn Beef cattle Raspberries Grapes Nuts Distillery



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Gallo Dairyland

DAIRY, CHOCOLATE & CHEESE Gallo Dairyland produces a range of award winning gourmet “Gallo” Cheese and “Gallo” hand-crafted chocolates produced on site.

Gallo Dairyland chocolates are absolutely amazing and taste sensational. Gallo uses the finest ingredients with Swiss couverture to produce a range of hand-crafted chocolates to suit even the most fastidious chocolate connoisseur. The art of tempering the couverture used by Gallo chocolatiers is what distinguishes fine chocolate. Once tempered the chocolate is then ready for use in an array of wonderful products. Visitors can choose from handmade truffles, bars, a variety of chocolate-coated treats and specialty chocolates.

Situated on the beautiful Atherton Tablelands, one and half hours from Cairns, Gallo Dairyland is set amidst lush green farmlands, just a short 10-minute drive from the towns of Yungaburra, Atherton and Malanda. Gallo Dairyland was established in 2007 offering visitors the unique opportunity to experience a dairy farm, indulge in their gourmet cheese and hand-crafted chocolates. The cafe provides the perfect place to enjoy a few relaxed hours.

Gallo Dairyland has a licensed, air-conditioned cafe offering good wholesome food prepared daily from a range of fresh local produce. The kitchen serves meals between 10am and 2pm. The cafe offers tea, coffee and cake throughout the day. Cheese platters are also a popular choice. (Take-away options are also available). Ask their friendly staff if special dietary requirements are required. Bookings are highly

Traditional European cheese-making techniques are applied to the Gallo cheese range resulting in an array of award-winning products. Gallo is renowned all over the Tablelands, Cairns, and Tropical North Queensland and used in many local restaurants by discerning chefs. The Gallo brand has become a real taste sensation. The style range is extensive with 16 flavours currently available, including a selection of lactose-free gourmet cheeses. 40

recommended during lunch service. Gallo Dairyland received Certificates of Excellence over five consecutive years and, as a result, was inducted

into Trip Advisor’s Hall of Fame. (Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice 2023). OPEN: Wednesday – Sunday 10.00 am to 4.00 pm.


Pickle and Smoke, Malanda Lodge, Malanda

SMOKING HOT BBQ MEATS Pickle and Smoke at Malanda Lodge offers a point of dining difference on the Atherton Tablelands as the region’s first and only American-style BBQ restaurant. Diners can enjoy the smoky, tender and juicy tastes of locally sourced meats cooked according to grand old American traditions. The meat is house-rubbed and cooked slowly at low temperature over burning charcoal and smoking woods such as hickory and pecan. From its beefy barbeque to pork

cuts or a vegan feasting board, Pickle and Smoke supports local farmers and suppliers by using their meats and paddock-fresh ingredients. The smoking starts at 3am in readiness for that perfect bark, melt-inyour-mouth texture and smoky taste that is loved by locals and visitors. The grand copper fireplace sits proudly in the centre of the room and crackles away while diners feast on a sensational journey.

AWARD-WINNING CHEESES Enjoy award-winning cheeses at two local outlets, Gallo Dairyland and Mungalli Creek Biodynamic Dairy. Immerse yourself in a chocolate and cheese experience at Gallo’s cafe, serving gourmet cheese platters

and expertly hand-crafted chocolate. Mungalli’s Farmhouse Cafe serves decadent meals made from their biodynamic dairy products, overlooking the Johnston River Gorge and Mt Bartle Frere. 42

Brett’s Outback Tasting Adventures Tour

TASTING ADVENTURES Brett’s Outback Tasting Adventures provide fantastic gourmet food and wine tasting tours, showcasing the delicious quality produce of the spectacular Atherton Tablelands. Foodies can join this boutique food and wine experience from Cairns or Port Douglas.

passion for this region with you. Sample tropical wines, award-winning spirits, local gourmet cheeses, premium coffee and liqueurs, rainforest condiments, handcrafted chocolates, tropical fruits, exotic meats such as crocodile and kangaroo and much more.

The rich volcanic soil and microclimates of the Tablelands allows farmers to grow an amazingly diverse range of crops, from tropical to temperate. Enjoy learning about these local delights as you taste your way around the “food bowl of the north”. Visit seven unique sites (some exclusive to Brett’s tours), meet the local characters and let them share their

Brett’s Outback Tasting Adventures is more than a food tour. The Tablelands is abundant with unique and amazing wildlife, often spotted along the way. And the landscapes of the region are incredibly diverse. So, sit back and relax, take in the beautiful views and let them take you on a gastronomic adventure you will thoroughly enjoy and always remember.


Mungalli Creek Bio-Dynamic Dairy

FARMHOUSE CAFE The passionate farming owners of Mungalli Creek Bio-Dynamic Dairy are nationally recognised for their commitment to regenerative farming and the production of artisanal dairy products. It’s a family-run, third generation dairy farm operated by the Watsons who use biodynamic methods to produce dairy products that are nutritious and wholesome for the consumer and healthy for the environment. They treat the farm as something much greater than meandering cows and organic green pastures. It is respected by them as a living organism, as much a part of and integral to the natural environment as the World Heritage rainforest on its boundaries. An underlying ethic of the company is to support other small family farms on the Atherton Tablelands many of which were negatively affected by deregulation through a growing range of niche products. Their current products include milk, cream, yoghurt, cheese and ice-cream made from milk sourced from their family farms near Millaa Millaa. Their products are sold in North Queensland supermarkets and gourmet and health food outlets around Australia. 44

The quality of their products is recognised as being among the nation’s pre-eminent food producers “who care for the produce that lands on our plates.” At the 2019 Delicious Produce Awards, the family was commended for its commitment “to regenerating the land and leaving it in a better state for future generations and ensuring the cows that live on it are as happy as possible.” The acclaim was included in judge’s comments in awarding the dairy a gold medal for its natural-set yoghurt made from full cream biodynamic milk. As with their milk, the cream in this yoghurt rises to the top to create a decadent layer to enjoy … “it was really beautiful and creamy and had great acidity,” judge Matt Moran said. In Millaa Millaa, the dairy’s boutique Farmhouse Cafe (originally the family homestead) offers free cheese and icecream tastings and a delicious menu of light lunches, gourmet platters and cakes. All items are made on site from their own farm produce and locally sourced ingredients and include dairy and gluten-free items. The ice-cream making area adjoins the cafe and a viewing window gives visitors a glimpse into the creative heart.

Mungalli Creek Bio-Dynamic Dairy

Famous for their farmhouse cheese and delicious Ice-cream which features fruits of the region, the cafe is a ‘must stop’ for lovers of fine, food. With a BYO license guests can bring their favourite drop with them as they settle in for lunch and savour the stunning rural mountain views from a


verandah looking out to Mt. Bartle Frere, Queensland’s highest peak. After lunch browse for a gift from the many local artisan products. The nearby Millaa Millaa waterfall circuit (is 10-minutes’ drive) or the Mamu Skywalk (20 minutes) beckon for postprandial activity.






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Eventide Hills Distillery

CRAFT BREWERIES, DISTILLERIES & The Australian craft brewing and distillery scene has exploded in recent years and now Atherton Tablelands’ producers have jumped on board. Thanks to the passion and expertise of a handful of local brewers, distillers and winemakers, the region is now a tourist drawcard for those seeking hand-crafted drinks, to complement the thriving food trail. The Tablelands is serving up superb quality native botanicals, grains and fruits for local beverage makers in their


quest to reinvent what is possible with small batch spirits, beer, and fruit wines and liqueurs. Exemplifying that passion is Eventide Hills Distillery, whose love of a good spirit has led them to create 100% authentically crafted and aged spirits on the pristine Atherton Tablelands from their homebase in Tolga. Head Distiller Kelli Smith alongside her husband Andrew use locally grown citrus, raspberries, coffee beans,

Visit our Distillery Door and sample our unique hand crafted spirits made here on the pristine Atherton Tablelands

Visit us at Lot 2-10 Arbouin Road, TOLGA QLD 4882 (look for the big peanut) PH: 0400 786 148 www.eventidehillsdistillery.com.au Open 6 days a week 46

Billycart Brewing Co

WINERIES chocolate and more to craft their awardwinning spirits that produce the unique flavour profile distinctive to the region. Visit Eventide Hills at their distillery door on the Kennedy Highway, 7kms north of Atherton, to enjoy their hospitality, and a quality aged spirit, for a unique taste of the Tablelands. Billycart Brewing Co. in Atherton is the only independent craft brewery on the Tablelands, backed by two decades of brewing experience from owner Matt

Bradford. Matt and his wife Margaret Barker are beer enthusiasts and have travelled the world in search of the best brew and they’re now putting what they’ve learnt into practice. Billycart’s philosophy is to cater to both the adventurous craft beer drinker and those who just love a cold knock-off brew. Drop by and see what the buzz is about and enjoy a fresh craft beer in a relaxing space. The Billycart experience includes local live music and onsite food trucks.








Mt Uncle Distillery

from the Mt Uncle farm, Mt Uncle has become a renowned producer of premium spirit and liqueur brands. Blending traditional techniques with modern innovation, Mt Uncle Distillery continues to push the boundaries of what is possible in the world of spirits and liqueurs.

The pioneering producer of handcrafted spirits on the now thriving Tablelands’ scene was Mt Uncle Distillery. Head distiller Mark Watkins returned to his hometown of Walkamin to establish Mt Uncle in 2001 and has since built an unrivalled reputation and won several international awards. With an emphasis on local flavours and ingredients, many sourced directly

Down the hill at Silkwood, about halfway between Cairns and Townsville is Murdering Point Winery.



Murdering Point Winery

This family owned and operated boutique winery doesn’t just have an exceptional name, it boasts an exceptional range of exotic tropical wines in an extraordinary location, making it a must stop spot on your North Queensland road trip.

vision was to produce quality wines from local produce and to create a unique tourism experience. In Murdering Point Winery, they have succeeded. The winery is open 7 days and visitors are invited to enjoy tastings, and to learn the history of the region in the beautiful surroundings of the cellar door’s tropical landscaped gardens.

Murdering Point has been specialising in the production of tropical fruit wines, ports, creams and aperitifs since 2003. The Berryman family’s

Murdering Point Winery has developed into one of Australia's most 4 innovative and exciting wineries. Utilising native and exotic tropical ingredients, their distinctive wines and the family's production techniques have been recognised nationally and internationally. 161 Murdering Point Rd Silkwood East T 07 4065 2327 info@murderingpointwinery.com.au www.murderingpointwinery.com.au

lemon aspen • davidson plum • black sapote • lychee • mango • passionfruit


Golden Drop Winery

THE WINE TRAIL The Atherton Tablelands region produces quality boutique wines and distilled spirits from exotic fruits by talented local winemakers. There are several wineries in Tropical North Queensland that produce national and internationally acclaimed wines, lemoncellos and spirits. Jump on the wine trail and check them all out. Murdering Point Winery is set amongst fertile cane fields and lush tropical rainforest at Silkwood. It produces a range of high-quality red and white fruit wines, ports and liqueurs that are uniquely Australian and deliver an exciting and stimulating tropical taste experience. The winery has rapidly gained a reputation for the quality of its products and innovative use of a wide range of exotic tropical fruits, particularly the Davidson Plum.

Golden Drop Wines are award-winning and lovingly crafted from fresh, ripe and juicy exotic fruits on their family-owned and operated plantation near Mareeba. Tourists and locals are welcome to visit the winery, open daily, for the unique experience of a seasonal working mango plantation. Over the past 48 years, the plantation has expanded to more than 17,500 trees, making it one of the largest mango production areas in Australia. The Nastasi family’s niche wines are 100 per cent locallyproduced and are a value-add using their own Kensington Red mangoes. Visit the winery for a unique experience and see a working mango plantation. Sample the refreshing tropical Mango Wine, together with Citrus Cello, Mango Port, and Golden Mango liqueur-style wines. Give your friends and family a gift of the crisp, intense and refreshingly fruity flavours with a bottle of Golden Drop Wine, also available at Cellar Door outlets at Kuranda Market, Paronella Park and selected bottle shops in Atherton, Cairns and Mareeba. Shannonvale Tropical Fruit Winery uses the pure essence of fruit in its range of wines from very dry to ports. All the


Golden Drop Winery

• Golden Drop Winery 227 Bilwon Road, Mareeba

fruits used have big flavours and are grown organically in their own Mossman orchard. All but one of the wines are single-fruit products, the exception being Sunset Tawny Port.

• Shannonvale Tropical Fruit Winery 417 Shannonvale Road, Mossman • Murdering Point Winery 161 Murdering Point Road, Silkwood


DON’T MISS Lake Eacham Lake circuit track Lake Eacham Wildlife

Lake Eacham

LAKE EACHAM you might be lucky enough to spot some local wildlife. Musky rat kangaroos, Amethystine pythons, Boyd’s forest dragons and Saw-shelled turtles all inhabit the Lake Eacham forest.

Discover the ancient crater lakes of Barrine and Eacham on the Atherton Tablelands. Formed many thousands years ago by violent volcanic eruptions, it took several hundred years for water to fill these giant craters and for the trees to grow back. Lake Eacham in geological terms is a maar - a volcanic crater formed by massive explosions from the superheating of groundwater. The crater then filled with water, forming a lake 65 metres deep.

There is a children’s activity path branching off the start of the 3km perimeter walking path. Keep your children entertained with this educational track winding through the rainforest and across small bridges with regular activity stations along the way. Lake Eacham is a bird-watchers’ paradise with over 180 bird species recorded, including Wet Tropics endemic species like the spotted Catbird, Atherton scrubwren, Bower’s shrike-thrush and the Toothbilled bowerbird.

Lake Eacham is now a beautiful place to relax and regenerate during your holiday. Enjoy the pristine blue water surrounded by tropical rainforest. There are shady picnic areas with barbeque facilities and a huge grassy area ideal for catching the sun’s rays.

Chambers Wildlife Rainforest Lodges is hidden in 1,200 acres of the Lake Eacham forest. As pioneers in ecotourism their lodges specifically cater for birdwatchers, wildlife enthusiasts, naturalists, photographers, film crews and all those who want to have a true rainforest experience. Accommodation includes 10 fully self-contained 52sqm one-bedroom lodges and a 108sqm five

If you are seeking a bit more adventure, go for a hike along the three-kilometre track. This is an easily accessible, wheel-chair friendly path around the perimeter of the lake. It is perfect for bushwalkers, birdwatchers, families or anyone looking to get an insight into the local ecosystem and 52

Wildlife Viewing at Chambers Wildlife Rainforest Lodges

bedroom lodge. The resort includes a 1.3km rainforest walking path to platypus ponds, Brush turkey mounds, and Tooth billed bowerbird stages. A wildlife

viewing platform is illuminated until 11pm for guests to view sugar gliders, striped possums, uromys, bandicoots, melomys and antechinus.


DON’T MISS Malanda Falls Malanda Falls Rainforest Walk Malanda Falls Mount Hipipamee Crater

Malanda Falls

MALANDA Malanda is a small country town known synonymously throughout Tropical North Queensland for its milk and cheese production. As well as being the centre of a highly successful dairying industry this small country town is home to Malanda Falls and is great for bird watching and bushwalking. Start by visiting the Malanda Falls Visitor Centre, nestled beneath the canopy of the towering rainforests. It’s a great place to stop on your travels and discover more about this unique region. The Visitor Centre has wide, cool verandahs overlooking the rainforest and many informative and interactive displays that will entertain all ages. Next stop is to explore the adjacent Malanda Falls Conservation Park. Take a walk with one of the local guides, so they can explain the seasonal changes in the Park. There are two short walks through the surrounding remnant rainforest. The Tulip Oak Walk features information signs written and designed by local Aboriginal people. They describe the Aboriginal and European history of the area and of Ngadjon-Jii culture and lifestyle. The Rainforest Circuit Walk follows the river before winding back through the forest. Look for platypus, fish and turtles from the viewing deck over the river and learn about some of the many tree species that make up the forest. 54

If you’re on the Atherton Tablelands for pleasure or work, Malanda Lodge is the ideal base. Every major tourist attraction and all six of the Atherton Tablelands towns are within a 20 km radius. From Australia’s most photographed waterfall at Millaa Millaa to Queensland’s highest town Ravenshoe or the heritage village at Herberton. From fishing, sailing or water skiing on the magnificent Lake Tinaroo, five times larger than Sydney Harbour. From the famous crater lakes of Lake Eacham and Lake Barrine or the unique bird watching craters around Atherton, tree kangaroos, platypus and giant fig trees, all are within easy reach. Malanda Lodge offers modern comfortable accommodation. All rooms have a ground level balcony and views over the lush green Atherton Tablelands. A large resort style pool and barbeque area plus 11 acres of manicured tropical gardens will ensure you have a relaxing and enjoyable stay with them. Why not wonder down to the creek and enjoy the tranquility while you look for our resident platypus family? They offer free WiFi, air conditioned / heated rooms, microwave, toaster, tea and coffee making facilities and ample parking, including for trucks. They also provide a complimentary continental

breakfast at the restaurant. Malanda Lodge has a fully licensed restaurant and a large, relaxing bar area. If you are considering a venue for your upcoming wedding, function, meeting or business conference, they can offer a number of interesting options. Located in the heart of town is Malanda Hotel, the largest wooden hotel in Australia when it was built in 1911. Take note of the extensive use of local timbers, including the magnificent silky oak staircase. Check out the Country Pubs section in this guide for more information about the Malanda Hotel and others like it across the Atherton Tablelands. Pack your swimmers and a picnic and stop in at Malanda Falls, on the North Johnstone River. The Falls tumble over basalt rock formed by an ancient lava flow that spread from the Mount Hypipamee area 15 kilometres away. Sandy beaches at the lower end of the pool make it a good place for children to enjoy a paddle. Not far from Malanda on the Upper Barron Road is the extinct volcanic crater known as Bromfield Swamp. A roost to hundreds of cranes each winter, this is a must for birders hoping to see the enchanting dancing displays of the Sarus cranes early in the morning, or at dusk. 55

DON’T MISS Ellinjaa Falls Harold West Walk/ Tulip Oak Walk Millaa Millaa Falls Millaa Millaa Lookout

Millaa Millaa Lookout

MILLAA MILLAA These are also popular swimming spots with picnic facilities, change rooms and toilets. Look out for the Ulysses butterfly and platypus late in the afternoon.

Nestled in emerald hills surrounded by dairy farms and a circuit of waterfalls, beautiful Millaa Millaa is gateway to the Southern Tablelands. Its lookout presents the most expansive views in the area and the image of Millaa Millaa Falls has become an icon of the region.

Millaa Millaa is also gateway to the Misty Mountain Trails, a network of long distance walking trails in high altitude rainforest. Over 130 kilometres of tracks have been constructed under a unique partnership between the region’s shires and Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service. One of the most superb vistas in the region unfolds from the Millaa Millaa Lookout.

Just south of Millaa Millaa township is the start of the Waterfall Circuit beginning with Theresa Creek Road, encompassing Millaa Millaa Falls, Zillie and Elinjaa Falls.

Drop in to the Millaa Millaa Historical Museum and Visitor Information Centre to learn about the town’s rich heritage as a diary and timber centre. Friendly volunteers are on hand to help with any information you might need during your stay. Take a walk in the clouds at Mamu Tropical Skywalk, just 25 minutes out of Millaa Millaa. The Skywalk allows visitors to enjoy close-up views of rainforest plants, insects and birds, and take in sweeping vistas.

Mamu Tropical Skywalk


DON’T MISS Millstream Falls Bally Knob Trailhead Millstream Falls Millstream Falls

Innot Hot Springs

RAVENSHOE At 930 metres above sea level, Ravenshoe is the highest town in Queensland. Visitors are attracted by the many spectacular outlying areas that offer unique scenery, rainforest and rolling mountain pastures. Ravenshoe is one of Queensland’s most charming rural towns due to its isolation and rainforest surroundings. One of the featured attractions in the region is the ultra-modern wind turbine system whose tower blades twirl slowly in nearby pastures. Located five kilometres from Ravenshoe, 20 wind turbines standing 45 metres high are a spectacular sight to behold. They feed enough power into the national grid to charge 3,500 homes. The cost of this project was $20 million. Learn the history of the upper Tablelands area at Ravenshoe Visitors Centre. It features displays on the rainforest, timber milling, dairy farming and the World War II military presence in the area. The newest addition is Ravenshoe Heritage Gallery which illustrates the area’s history in photographs. The adjoining Nganyaji Interpretive Centre uncovers the rich culture of the Jirrbal rainforest people. Ravenshoe offers a variety of accommodation, with well-appointed 57

bed and breakfast facilities and farm stays as well as hotel, motel, guesthouse, camping and caravan park options. Ravenshoe is the access point for both the Little Millstream Falls (2 kilometres south on the Tully Gorge Road) and the Tully Falls (24 kilometres south on the same route). The Millstream Falls are said to be the widest in Australia. The Tully Falls are regarded as one of the most dramatic and beautiful in Tropical North Queensland. The most spectacular time to visit the area is just after some rain. About half an hour from Ravenshoe is Innot Hot Springs where natural underground water bubbles at up to 75 degrees Celsius. The hot springs of Nettle Creek have long been established as rejuvenating and healing. Plunging over the edge of a columnar basalt lava flow, Big Millstream Falls is surrounded by dry, open woodland, thanks to the rain shadow of the Great Dividing Range. Follow the sealed walking track (680m, 15mins return) through forests of pink-trunked lemon-scented gums to a view over Big Millstream Falls. Take a moment to enjoy the serenity.

DON’T MISS Watsonville Mill Trail Herberton Walking Trails from Info Centre Halls Falls Historic Village

Herberton Michael Petersen Photography

HERBERTON an enviable display of collected mining and mine-worker paraphernalia.

The origins of European settlement across the Atherton Tablelands can be sourced to the quaint, undulating town of Herberton, a lively centre whose pretty streets are replete with historic buildings, proudly kept weatherboard homes, and majestic Jacaranda trees.

The importance of tin to the town and region is acknowledged by a nationally significant archive of historic records plus a well appointed research area where locals and visitors alike can research their family history and genealogy can be mined. Integral to the museum are its contextual displays social development of Herberton and surrounding areas, including family history archives and high school histories.

The oldest town in the region (located about 90km west of Cairns), it was the thriving heart of the tin mining industry from its establishment in 1880. The tin boom paved the way for eventual settlement of the modern towns of Atherton, Mareeba, Malanda and Ravenshoe and confirmed Cairns as the major port in North Queensland. That heritage is celebrated at Herberton Mining Centre which sits on the heritage listed Great Northern Mine site and is devoted to preserving the history of the Herberton Mineral Field.

The modern town’s main street is full of character, enhanced by the beauty of the Jacarandas when they are in full purple bloom (September-October). The majestic facade of the hundred year old Mt. St Bernard’s College is an education icon sitting high on the hill on the outskirts. Original items displayed in and around town reflect everyday life in North Queensland as it was from the 1880s onward and it is a fine tribute to early pioneering days.

Its extensive exhibits feature an ore processing battery and explains the different stages of tin development through rock and mineral samples. There’s a working model dredge and 58

Malanda Hotel

COUNTRY PUBS There are at least 20 hotels on the Atherton Tablelands where the architecture and style, if not the hospitality, dates back a dozen decades to when they were the heart and soul of communities.

for troops before their deployment to the Pacific during World War II. Barron Valley Hotel is a fabulous pre-war pub in the heart of Atherton. It has undergone extensive renovation and restoration, all in keeping with its original Art Deco style.

Take a walk back in time and marvel at the old-world architecture, historical photos, artefacts and enjoy a cold beer from the tap. Malanda Hotel is regarded as the most outstanding of the historic pubs in the Some have been updated and modernised region and the largest wooden hotel. As but all serve reasonably priced, hearty you enter the restaurant section, notice the traditional and easy light fare. If you get prominence of timber floors and magnificent the chance to chat with a local at the bar, staircase, of local silky oak, leading to the the stories are guaranteed to be tall and second floor. sometimes true, but always engaging. The Hotel Tully Falls is the highest pub The Barron Valley Hotel in Atherton has a in Queensland, located in Ravenshoe, unique art deco style, the Kuranda Hotel’s and is back in original family hands, colourful history dates to the 1880s, the continuing over 70 years of Edwards structure and design of Malanda Hotel and Nasser family history. is worthy of National Trust listing, and Peeramon Pub evokes pioneering days of mining, timber and tobacco.

The Yungaburra Hotel, also known as the Lake Eacham, was built in 1910 and is pride of the Atherton Tablelands, with Federation architecture and displays of historic photographs.

Kuranda Hotel was the favoured watering hole for men working on the Cairns to Kuranda railway and a “must” stopover


Pms376 Emerald Creek, Dinden West Forest Reserve



For something more strenuous, tackle the Turtle Rock circuit or Kahlpahlim Rock trail to vantage points on the Lamb Range for spectacular views. Get your adrenalin pumping at Davies Creek Mountain Bike Park as you explore rainforest clad slopes on gently-flowing single trails. Discover Aboriginal rock art galleries and sense the ancient connection between Djabugay people and this landscape at Bunda Bibandji (Bare Hill).



With rugged landscapes, lush rainforest and spectacular views, this is a park not to be missed. Near Kuranda, the impressive Barron River tumbles 250 metres down a series of ledges and spills into the gorge below. Take an easy stroll along the elevated walkway (suitable for strollers and wheelchairs) to Din Din Barron Falls Lookout. Along the way, discover the history of the Djabugandji Aboriginal people. If you have the time, try one of long-distance tracks (half and full day walks) that traverse this large park.












Near Mareeba, discover the picturesque Emerald Creek Falls, a series of cascades falling over smooth granite boulders, contrasting starkly with the surrounding dry, rocky landscape of the forest. Climb to the lookout and soak up views of the falls, the valley below and across the northern tableland. Admire bottlebrush trees sprouting from between the rocks, their red flowers adding a splash of seasonal colour to the scene. Look for dragonflies and damselflies around sunlit sections of the creek then relax over a picnic or barbecue among tall gum trees beside Emerald Creek.







Between Kuranda and Mareeba, discover some of the region’s best kept secrets in national parks straddling the Lamb Range, the mountainous backdrop to Cairns. Reconnect with nature among granite outcrops, towering forests, boulder-strewn creeks and rushing waterfalls. Camp beside gurgling waters of paperbark-fringed Davies Creek and enjoy an easy stroll on the Davies Creek Falls circuit for views over the falls. CRATER LAKES NATIONAL PARK





Pms348 Pms376




sights of the massive gas explosion that formed this crater. Detour to Dinner Falls on your return walk then relax in the picnic area, where you may be lucky to spot the resident cassowaries. At night, spotlight for possums, tree-kangaroos, spiders and insects.




Near Yungaburra on the southern tableland, refresh in the clear blue rainforest-fringed waters of Lake Barrine and Lake Eacham - extinct craters up to 65 metres deep. At Lake Eacham, join with the locals in lazing around the water’s edge with your picnic, watch the kids swim and play, then take an easy stroll around the lake, spotting wildlife. At Lake Barrine, admire the giant bull kauri pine trees and continue the walking track through the cool rainforest around the lake. Finish your day with a boat cruise on the lake followed by tea in the Lake Barrine teahouse.







This large sprawling national park south of Cairns on the wet tropics coast offers something for everyone. Enjoy scenic waterfalls, lush rainforest, panoramic views and peaceful picnic areas in the Palmerston section, near Innisfail. At the delightful Josephine Falls near Mirriwinni, marvel at the clear cold waters as they thunder down from the summit of Bartle Frere. Spend a day tackling the exhilarating heights of Walshs Pyramid near Gordonvale to enjoy outstanding views over the coastal lowlands from the summit. Sit around a campfire cooking your freshlycaught fish at Goldsborough Valley camping area beside the scenic Mulgrave River near Gordonvale.






Near Atherton, discover the awe-inspiring feature of this park - a deep, cylindrical volcanic pipe with a lake at the bottom. Follow the easy Crater track to emerge from high-altitude rainforest onto a viewing platform offering views over the crater, 70 metres across with sheer granite walls plunging 58 metres to the surface of the lake which is 70 metres deep. Try to imagine the sounds and

Camping: qld.gov.au/camping Info: des.qld.gov.au/parks 61

DON’T MISS Chillagoe Weir Mungana Caves Hike Chillagoe Caves Chillagoe Smelters Balancing Rock

Balancing Rock, Chillagoe

CHILLAGOE Discover the astounding beauty and natural wonder of Chillagoe’s limestone caves in ChillagoeMungana Caves National Park. In the cool darkness of this underground world, an informative Park Ranger will guide you around steel walkways to point out exquisite cave features, spectacularly lit by spotlights. Discover the hidden beauty of

stalactites, stalagmites and cave coral and find out how this fascinating subterranean world was formed. If you are feeling adventurous, ask for advice at the Hub about caves you can explore without a guide. Equip yourself with sturdy boots and torches then clamber and scramble underground to discover shadowy tunnels and underground chambers.

Chillagoe Smelters


Chillagoe Caves

Make time to explore Chillagoe’s remarkable above ground landscape, too. Stroll to Royal Arch through open woodland, spotting wallabies and wallaroos. Walk to Balancing Rock to capture a selfie in front of the impressive limestone outcrop or discover Aboriginal rock art shelters at Mungana or Wullumba. Step into the past when you explore

the heritage site of Chillagoe Smelters. Gaze at picturesque relics of the state’s mining and industrial heritage dating back to the 1890s. Learn about the colourful mining history of this region as you explore walking tracks. At the end of the day enjoy a magnificent outback sunset from your vantage point over the surrounding limestone landscape.


11 Ellinjaa Falls

THE WATERFALL CIRCUIT The Waterfall Circuit meanders across the heart of the Atherton Tablelands and is home to Tropical North Queensland’s greatest waterfalls. Walking tracks take you to crystal clear mountain streams and creeks cascading down rocks and crevasses on their journey towards the sea. Start at the Barron Falls in Kuranda, then move on to Davies Creek Falls, Emerald Creek Falls, and Granite Gorge as an introduction to the unique Waterfall Circuit of the Atherton Tablelands. The circuit starts at Millaa Millaa Falls, the region’s most popular and most


Dinner Falls

photographed. Then drive to Zillie and Ellinjaa Falls before visiting Mungalli Falls. On the way to Ravenshoe, visit Souita and Pepina Falls and Australia’s widest waterfall, the Millstream Falls located five kilometres past the township. Continue to Little Millstream Falls and Koombooloomba Dam, an excellent spot for camping and fishing. Dinner Falls is located inside the Mt Hypipamee National Park, also home of the Mt Hypipamee Crater. At Malanda, take a refreshing stop at Malanda Falls where the North Johnstone River runs over a wide lava flow into a year-round swimming pool.



Millstream Falls


Papina Falls




Barron Falls


Davies Creek Falls


Emerald Creek Falls


Carrington Falls


Malanda Falls


Dinner Falls


Millstream Falls


Papina Falls


Millaa Millaa Falls

10 Zillie Falls 11 Ellinjaa Falls


12 Souita Falls 13 Mungalli Falls IGH W A Y SH







14 Nandroya Falls 15 Wallicher Falls 16 Tchupala Falls 17 Josephine Falls 18 Halls Falls



4 5 18 6 9

10 11 13


12 14 15





Millaa Millaa Falls

Zillie Falls


Cobbold Gorge

GULF SAVANNAH To native Australians, the Gulf Savannah’s secrets and riches have been a boon for thousands of years. This a vast untouched region stretching from the east coast to the Gulf of Carpentaria, the Gulf Savannah is dotted with geological wonders, historic mining towns and legendary fishing spots. Indigenous cultural sites dot the plains and gorges, with fascinating legends and ancient artworks accessible to visitors with an interest in the Dreamtime. Cobbold Gorge, 90 kilometres from Georgetown, is a spectacular formation. Deep gorges with permanent spring fed waterholes flanked by sheer cliffs have formed an oasis for wildlife, including fresh water crocodiles. The gorge is situated on family owned, working cattle property and access is only by way of guided tours. Activities include gorge tours, scenic helicopter flights, bush walking, birdwatching, agate fossicking and swimming. A range of accommodation and camping options to suit, with fully licensed bar and restaurant. 66

Established on the Norman River by William Landsborough, Normanton was the port for the Croydon Gold Rush and is a terminus of the Normanton Railway Station - whose Victorian architecture has been preserved. Some 30 kilometres to the south-west of Normanton is camp 119, Burke and Wills’ most northerly camp. The wetlands between Normanton and Karumba are also excellent for birdwatching, particularly just after the wet season. Normanton is 680 kilometres west of Cairns, and 500 kilometres north of Mount Isa. Travelling in the Gulf also has a unique dimension with the superbly restored Gulflander train. Originally built to connect the once bustling river port of Normanton to the gold fields of Croydon, today the Gulflander is a tourism icon. From wetlands and grasslands to the arid Savannah, the 1950 railmotor, also known as the ‘Tin Hare’, ventures through countryside that most people would never see. Four wheel drives, motorhomes, caravans and the family car all travel well on the highways of the Gulf Savannah.

Krys the crocodile, Normanton

NORMANTON Normanton is a beautiful and fascinating town with old-world charm and a rich history. It started life as a port for the Gulf of Carpentaria’s cattle industry and grew in importance with the discovery of gold at Croydon in 1885. The first European explorer of the Normanton area was Ludwig Leichhardt, on his journey from the Darling Downs to Port Essington. The next Europeans through the area were Burke and Wills who made their final dash to the Gulf, 26 kilometres west of the town. The location of Burke and Wills last northern camp is signposted on the main Normanton-Burketown road. It is only a 1.5-kilometre drive into the bush to the spot which is marked by a couple of plaques.

way to discover an area steeped in pioneering history and heritage. The railway line was originally planned to service the beef industry by running from Normanton to Cloncurry but the discovery of gold at Croydon redirected it. Book online www. gulflander.com.au Drop into the Normanton Visitor Information Centre in the historic Burns Philp Building and experience the free exhibition on Indigenous stock workers, rodeo riders and stock women. Pick up a Normanton Town Walk map to discover a total of 30 places of historic interest around town, including the Purple Pub and the Albion Hotel.

The town’s greatest tourist attraction is undoubtedly The Gulflander, one of the last great characters of the rail world. From wetlands and grasslands to arid Savannah territory, the Gulflander travels through countryside that most people will never see. This nostalgic rail journey is the perfect

Muttonhole Wetlands


The Les Wilson Barramundi Discovery Centre and Hatchery

KARUMBA Karumba is truly where the outback meets the sea. Situated on the mouth of the Norman River, Karumba is well known as a recreational fishing mecca and birdwatchers’ paradise.

The rich marine wetlands wind their way inland some 30 kilometres from the Gulf of Carpentaria coastline. During the summer, monsoon rains replenish the waterways and attract a multitude of birds in preparation for the popular winter tourist season. This is when fishing enthusiasts, visit Karumba for some of the best wild caught barramundi.

The Les Wilson Barramundi Discovery Centre and Hatchery – where you can explore the local flora and fauna through interactive displays, get educated on barramundi and their lifecycle and be entertained while hand feeding the well over one metre long barramundi! www.barracentre.com.au

If you want to head out on the water, Karumba offers fishing, sightseeing and cruises in the Gulf and on the Norman River. Charters are also available for fishing and there are experienced river tour operators. For an unforgettable sunset, stop off at Karumba Point to enjoy sea views out over the Gulf of Carpentaria. This is a beautiful place to relax and experience the outback. Call into the Karumba Visitor Information Centre and enjoy the free theatre, interpretive centre, art gallery and enjoy a barrista-made coffee at the cafe. 68

Normanton & Karumba

So many things to see and do

• Heritage walks • Gulflander train • Burke & Wills Camp 119 • Cruises • Fishing • Croc spotting • Muttonhole Wetlands • Bird watching • Indigenous Stock Workers Display • Les Wilson Barramundi Discovery Centre

Sunset Tavern, Karumba

In the 1870s a telegraph station was built on the site of Karumba, known at the time as Norman Mouth. In 1937 Karumba became a refuelling point for Qantas and BOAC flying boats travelling from Australia to London. During World War II the town was an RAAF base for Catalinas flying into New Guinea, Timor and Indonesia. By the 1950s, Karumba was the main access point for people wanting to fish in the Gulf of Carpentaria.

www.carpentaria.qld.gov.au www.barracentre.com.au

In the 1960s and 1970s the town became the centre for the Gulf fishing industry, the first catch of commercial prawns occurring in 1964. In 1974 the biggest flood in living memory caused huge damage to the town.

Normanton Visitor Information Centre & Library Cnr Landsborough & Caroline St, Normanton (located in the Burns Philp building) P (07) 4747 8444 F (07) 4745 1072 E tourism@carpentaria.qld.gov.au Karumba Visitor Information Centre 149 Yappar Street, Karumba P (07) 4745 2211 E barramundi@carpentaria.qld.gov.au

Today Karumba is still home to extensive prawn, mud crab and barramundi fishing fleets that turn over $130 million each year.

Les Wilson Barramundi Discovery Centre 149 Yappar Street, Karumba P (07) 4745 2211 E barramundi@carpentaria.qld.gov.au

Karumba is located approximately 760 kilometres from Cairns and over 70 kilometres from Normanton. 69

The Tip, Cape York Peninsula

EPIC CAPE YORK Experience the rugged beauty of Cape York, Australia’s last great wilderness area and gateway to the exotic Torres Strait Islands. This vast remote region is one of great beauty, with a landscape of contrasts and surprises. It is a nature lover’s paradise with over 3,000 plant species and 321 bird species inhabiting over 14 million hectares, and the rock art galleries of the Cape have been rated amongst the most significant art sites in the world. Aboriginal history on the Cape dates back tens of thousands of years and, at the time of European invasion, the region consisted of 43 tribal nations, each with its own language and traditional practices. Although many of the Indigenous languages have now been lost, an estimated ten languages and possibly hundreds of dialects, continue to be spoken. The experiences of Cape York offer something for everyone. Learn some

of the secrets of this timeless country with fabulous Indigenous experiences, and rock art galleries. Learn the history with guided tours to WW II sites around Bamaga and on Thursday Island, and enjoy incredible bird watching in stunning environments. Savour the remote wilderness at secluded camping sites on deserted beaches and in unspoiled National Parks, and help the turtle conservation project at Mapoon. And of course everyone’s ultimate goal - feel the satisfaction of living your dream and standing at the Tip of Australia. This region is home to ancient Indigenous rock art, now listed by UNESCO as one of the top 10 rock art sites worldwide. Visit one of the indigenous-run art centres at Cooktown, Hopevale, Lockhart River, or Aurukun to gain a greater appreciation of this ancient culture. 70

The Cape region is blessed with many National Parks offering excellent bird watching; from the largest area of lowland tropical rainforest in Australia, located at Iron Range, to the vast wetland systems and lagoons of Rinyirru, Queensland’s second largest National Park. Expect to do some great fishing on the inner reefs of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, the east coast and Northern Peninsula Area, as well as in the estuaries of the numerous large rivers of the west coast. There are some fantastic events taking place on the Cape to entertain the whole family, including the Weipa Fishing Classic, and Laura Dance Festival. Sealed roads allow all-weather access to both Cooktown and Laura.

BE CROC WISE • Always obey crocodile warning signs. • Never swim where crocodiles may be present, even if you don’t see any signs. • Look out for crocodile slide marks on the bank and stay well away from them. • When fishing, always stand a few metres back from the water’s edge and never clean fish or discard scraps near the water’s edge. • Don’t dangle arms or legs out of a boat. If you fall out, get back in as quickly and calmly as possible. • Never provoke or attack crocodiles and do not feed them or leave food out for them. • Camp at least 50m from the edge of the water and 2m above the high-water mark. • Don’t leave any food scraps, prepare food or wash dishes at the water’s edge. 71

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