Things to do in
Atherton Tablelands

Our most recommended things to do in Atherton Tablelands

From Cairns: Atherton Tableland Wilderness Tour with Lunch

1. From Cairns: Atherton Tableland Wilderness Tour with Lunch

Embark on a full-day trip to Atherton Tableland from Cairns and admire the lush beauty of tropical North Queensland. Visit Wooroonooran National Park, swim in Lake Eacham, and enjoy lunch in Malanda. Your 11-hour excursion begins with a drive to the Wooroonooran National Park. Stop for a swim at Josephine Falls, which features a huge natural rock slide. Travel across the volcanic landscape of the Atherton Tablelands. Marvel at the 18-meter-high Millaa Millaa Falls, framed by lush rainforest and tree ferns. Enjoy lunch at The Top Rail in Malanda before heading to see a giant curtain fig tree. Try your luck at platypus spotting in Yungaburra and enjoy a last swim at Lake Eacham before the trip back to Cairns.

Barron Gorge: Half-Day Barron River White-Water Rafting

2. Barron Gorge: Half-Day Barron River White-Water Rafting

Experience white-water rafting in Barron Gorge National Park, known for its rugged rainforest mountains, steep ravines, and the falls carved out over thousands of years by the Barron River. Enjoy optional pickup from Cairns or Port Douglas before heading to the national park. Meet your guide at Lake Placid, and get ready for your river rafting tour on the river. Enjoy the area’s scenic beauty and a combination of calm water and a series of white-water rapids as well. Spend two hours navigating rapids up to grade three. No experience is necessary, making this a good choice for beginning rafters. There is also plenty of excitement for the more experienced.

From Cairns and Northern Beaches: Rainforest River Tubing

3. From Cairns and Northern Beaches: Rainforest River Tubing

Get an adrenaline rush on a fantastic river tubing activity in a beautiful rainforest close to Cairns. Escape the usual tourist path and join the locals in the Behana Gorge, where a canopy of trees arch over gently tumbling waters, or experience the small rapids of the Mulgrave River in safety. Navigate the river fully supervised by a minimum of two guides on the water at all times. Suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels, the activity requires no previous experience and includes all safety equipment. Spend a couple of hours floating down a pristine stream in the rainforest and soak up the sights, sounds, and smells of the natural surroundings.

Cairns: Waterfalls Rainforest Experience

4. Cairns: Waterfalls Rainforest Experience

This experience is a canyoning tour run out of Cairns by passionate locals who want to share this natural waterfall spectacle with people from all over the world. Your guides pride themselves on being 100% eco-friendly, a passion that is reflected throughout this tour. After meeting your guides at the meeting point, you'll depart for the gorge to soak in the beautiful sights. Your guides will provide instruction on rappelling techniques from the safety of flat ground before you begin the adventure near the top of the gorge and abseil into the freshwater. From there you'll go swimming, walk over rocky gorges and through the tropical rain forest, leap off rocks into the deep pools below, and canyon through Behana Gorge. Enjoy some free time to chill out and enjoy this beautiful natural area. Take the option to go to Crystal Canyons instead, one of the most popular Waterfalls in the Cairns Region. It boasts beautiful Crystal Cascades, surrounded by tropical rainforest, with a 2km track passing through of many water pools. Enjoy a 30 meter zipline into the refreshing pool, an abseil down & through one of the waterfalls itself, jumps, slides, abseils, a chance to appreciate nature in a different style of adventure. At the conclusion of your experience you will return to Cairns where you will be dropped off back at your accommodation before 5:00 PM.

Chillagoe Caves and Outback from Cairns Full-Day Tour

5. Chillagoe Caves and Outback from Cairns Full-Day Tour

Discover the Chillagoe Caves and the Outback on a tour alongside a licensed local guide. Enjoy striking natural landscapes, lunch at a 100-year-old pub, and learn about Aboriginal culture. Your naturalist guide will meet you at your accommodation in an air-conditioned 4WD vehicle. After being picked up, ascend the McAllister Ranges and head west through Mareeba embarking on a remarkable journey back to prehistoric times, when dinosaurs ruled the Earth. The first stop is for morning tea at Skybury Coffee Plantation for tea, coffee and a light morning tea snack while enjoying the serenity and views. There is also time to stroll and purchase something from the gift shop if you wish. Then, travel through historical towns and rolling hills rich in minerals eventually giving way to towering limestone karsts scattered around Chillagoe. Travel out to Chillagoe while listening to the informative commentary by your guide who will share information about the region's wildlife, history, and Aboriginal culture. Explore the Chillagoe-Mungaga Caves National Park with an expert local guide, visit Balancing Rock for an amazing photo opportunity and see and learn about aboriginal rock art. Visit the remains of the once-mighty smelters to ponder what it was like working there before heading to an iconic 100-year-old Aussie pub for lunch. After lunch and a visit to the local souvenir shop, head back towards the East Coast, stopping at Granite Gorge where you get up close to the wild rock wallabies who inhabit the area. The tour then returns down the range to Cairns.

Cairns: Paronella, Lake Barrine & Millaa Millaa Falls Tour

6. Cairns: Paronella, Lake Barrine & Millaa Millaa Falls Tour

The departure is from Cairns, we head south travelling past Walsh’s Pyramid, one of the largest naturally formed pyramids in the world. Here your guide will stop so you can grab a photo of this unique North Queensland landmark. Now it’s time to travel up the World Heritage-listed Gillies Highway climbing 730 metres above sea level whilst enjoying the breathtaking views over the Goldsborough Valley. Just before the top of the amazing Gillies Range is a short photo opportunity at the Heales Lookout before heading into the gorgeous Atherton Tablelands. The first stop is the beautiful World Heritage Listed Lake Barrine Crater Lake National Park. On arrival, your tour guide will take you on a short walk to visit the 1000-year-old Twin Kauri Pines, true giants of the rainforest. Enjoy a Devonshire morning tea with freshly-baked scones before departing for the historical town of Yungaburra, which has the most Nationally Listed Heritage buildings in Queensland. Go on a driving tour around this quaint town, showcasing the many Nationally Heritage buildings. Next stop is The Curtain Fig Tree located in the Curtain Fig Tree National Park. This amazing feat of nature reaching 45+ metres up into the tropical rainforest canopy. Follow your guide on the boardwalk to learn about the amazing formation of this 600-800-year old epiphyte. Spy endemic wildlife species in the rainforest canopy, like the rare Lumholtz Tree Kangaroo. From here, head through the historical dairy town of Malanda, home to Australia’s oldest continuously running commercial picture theatre. Your guide will drive you around this charming town showcasing the beautiful old pub and theatre. Travelling through extensive beef, dairy, sugar cane, and other diverse types of farming areas, arrive at Millaa Millaa Falls, one of Australia’s most photographed waterfalls. Have an option of swimming under the cool waters or you sit back, relax, enjoy the tranquility of nature. Now it’s time to descend from the mountains down the Palmerstone Highway through sugar cane & banana fields to the coastal town of Innisfail, after leaving Innisfail you will enjoy a delicious lunch. Paronella Park is the next destination with a 45-minute guided tour in English, Chinese or Japanese. Be guided through the extensive National Trust Gardens while learning the rich history of Hose Paronella’s wonderful achievements and the colorful history of how he built his Spanish Castle in the rainforest; you will have amazing photo opportunities of the breathtaking Mena Creek and Theresa falls. Spend approx 2.5 hours here allowing plenty of free time to enjoy the rest of the park at a leisurely pace. Then, return to Cairns.

From Cairns: Splash & Slide Waterfall Tour with Picnic Lunch

7. From Cairns: Splash & Slide Waterfall Tour with Picnic Lunch

Travel South for a taste of the Far North's best waterfalls in this exhilarating half day tour. Start your day with a leisurely 9.30am-10am Cairns pick up, the perfect antidote to those early mornings, before travelling through the stunning panoramas of Queensland's highest peak, verdant cane fields and pristine rainforest on your way to Josephine Falls. Bring out your inner child on the world famous natural rock slide slipping into the crystal clear waters, perfect for the young and the young at heart, or spot some of the Far North's native wildlife in the lush rainforest. Next stop, Babinda Boulders! A picnic lunch will be served alongside the fascinating Aboriginal history of this culturally significant site, the legend of trapped spirits and a tragic love story that will chill you to the bone. Enjoy a quiet afternoon swim, rest or explore the many walks before we return to Cairns, to be back at your hotel around 15.30pm.

Port Douglas: Breakfast with the Birds

8. Port Douglas: Breakfast with the Birds

Escape to a wondrous free-flight aviary and have a dining experience like no other. Breakfast among birds and other wildlife at the picturesque new Koala Habitat in Curlew Café, located at the heart of the Wetlands Habitat.  Enjoy comfortable banquet-style seating with up to 10 people on each table and interact with and feed koalas, kangaroos, colorful birds, and more in a relaxed spacious setting. Dine family-style in an exclusive seated area on fresh local produce from the surrounding area and food-rich Atherton Tablelands. Learn more about the diverse wildlife from the passionate gamekeepers and enjoy all the wildlife presentations!

Cairns: Hot Air Balloon Flight with Transfers

9. Cairns: Hot Air Balloon Flight with Transfers

Our professional tour guides will deliver you to the launch site pre-dawn for you to witness the impressive scene of balloons being inflated - once inflated they stand taller than a ten storey building. When the balloon is ready, step into the basket with your experienced pilot; feel the peace and serenity of floating above the rainforest covered hills and mountains, set against the stunning backdrop of the rising sun. There is nothing in the world like the feeling of floating gently above the earth. Breathe in the fresh air, enjoy sweeping views of the Atherton Tablelands on one side then look towards the coast and Great Barrier Reef - it's the best of both worlds! Our very experienced pilots will slowly guide the balloon down to the landing point, where the fun continues, we all pitch in and fold up the balloon itself, have a laugh and take some more photos. Finally we came together with the pilot and ground crew for a light breakfast snack, chat and to toast the sensational flight experience with a glass of sparkling wine.

From Cairns: Rainforest & Nocturnal Wildlife Tour

10. From Cairns: Rainforest & Nocturnal Wildlife Tour

Departing from your Cairns or Northern Beaches accommodation, head south to view the agile wallabies that live within the city limits. Make a second stop at the Cathedral Fig Tree, an 8,000-year-old Strangler fig with a giant root system. Enjoy an afternoon tea at the world-renowned Lake Barrine before walking through the rainforest. Keep your eyes out for musky rat-kangaroo, Boyd's forest dragon, rainforest birds, butterflies and flying foxes. After a quick stop at Lake Eacham, visit a platypus viewing area in Yungaburra for a 90% chance of seeing the unique mammal. Enjoy a delicious dinner at a restaurant in the township of Yungburra. Then, your nighttime spotlighting adventure begins! Walk under the night stars and into the rainforest. Look out for Lumholtz's tree-kangaroo, northern leaf-tailed gecko, ringtail possums, gliders, frogs, owls and more. Return to Cairns at around 10:00 PM and Northern Beaches at around 10:30 PM.

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What people are saying about Atherton Tablelands

Overall rating

4.8
(739 reviews)

That was great to spent some time in the river, just relaxing and enjoying. I was with families from every ages, this activity is for everyone. Our guide Jake and 2 others guide were there to supervise us and help us if needed. A really good activity I recommend for good time

Guide’s were fantastic looked after me I was not strong in my legs they managed to hoist me up in canoe & River bank I am 65 All the Girls were professional give them a pay rise they do a great job

Loved the caves, but just as important were all the other stops and activities! Gavin was a great guide and I would recommend this activity. The day flew by.

We were so happy with the tour especially our tour guide Damian! Thank you so much for a lovely day we will always remember our team.

It was the best set up, so much to look at and so well presented. What a great experience