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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.

Cairns: Paronella, Lake Barrine & Millaa Millaa Falls Tour

2. 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.

Port Douglas: Breakfast with the Birds

3. 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!

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

4. 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.

Cairns: Rainforest and Waterfalls Tour Atherton Tablelands

5. Cairns: Rainforest and Waterfalls Tour Atherton Tablelands

Venture into the wilderness of Queensland's far north on a tour that makes nature and the outdoors fun and accessible. See waterfalls, lookouts, lakes, and craters on this day-trip of the Atherton Tablelands from Cairns. Experience the unique endemic wildlife and natural beauty of the Atherton Tablelands. Visit places like Josephine Falls, Babinda Boulders, Millaa Millaa Falls, and Lake Eacham. Choose what destinations suit you best with a flexible itinerary that caters to your group's interests. Make a stop for a swim in a freshwater waterfall or natural water slide and take a break for some coffee or tea. Be sure to also check out the ancient fig tree that's hundreds of years old. Your knowledgeable guide will help you to learn more about the region as you explore the terrain.

From Cairns: Atherton Tablelands Food and Wine Tasting Tour

6. From Cairns: Atherton Tablelands Food and Wine Tasting Tour

STOP 1 Journey to the Atherton Tablelands which is located 1 hour’s drive from the city via the scenic Gillies Highway. Discover a cool highlands where you will sample a delicious breakfast of local produce and enjoy a special coffee or local tea at an 80-year old lakeside tea house over looking Lake Barrine crater lake surrounded by lush rainforest. STOP 2 Next, visit Nerada Tea Plantation situated on the scenic outskirts of Malanda. Here, you will be tasting several of the Plantation grown, single-origin teas, such as Plantation Fresh Black and Royal Devonshire, black tea with a hint of natural vanilla. The teas will be paired with a selection of local cheeses. Whilst enjoying your tastings, overlook the lush fields of Australia’s largest Tea Plantation. Keep your eyes peeled as you might just spot one of the resident Tree Kangaroos, too! STOP 3Enjoy lunch. The Australian Platypus Park is home to a thriving platypus population. Take a wander down to see them in their magnificent setting then sit down to enjoy flavored handcrafted smoked products, combined with a unique blend of local Australian native herbs and spices. These tasty treats are all produced in-house using only the freshest quality ingredients and include Crocodile, Red Claw (Yabby), and Kangaroo with fresh local salads topped off with a boutique beer, Dragon Fruit cider, Lemon Myrtle tea, and finish with a wine tasting of the Murdering Point tropical fruit wine range. STOP 4Arrive at Gallo Dairyland, a working dairy farm where we sample their hand-crafted chocolates and an opportunity to buy their cheeses. STOP 5The Humpy is the best place to go for freshly harvested produce straight from the growers. Marvel at the array of vegetables, tropical fruits, and hundreds of varieties of nuts, dried fruits, and locally produced jams and sauces. Enjoy some seasonal fruits and different hot peanuts and macadamia nuts, and get some time to browse to make any purchases. STOP 6 Continue to the Mount Uncle distillery to taste some of their award-winning liqueurs and spirits. Wander around the stunning property nestled in coffee and banana plantations and meet the friendly animals. STOP 7 Move on to the Jacques Family coffee plantation and get an insight into the finer details of coffee, from the tree to the cup, Stroll through the coffee bushes and gardens, and end with a cup of Jacques coffee made just as you like it and served with homemade scones with jam and cream and sample some coffee liqueurs. Alternate stop: Rainforestation for local coffee and tea with fresh damper, Davidson plum jam, and cream.

From Port Douglas: Atherton Tablelands Food & Wine Tasting

7. From Port Douglas: Atherton Tablelands Food & Wine Tasting

Enjoy a food and wine tour from Port Douglas and taste some of the best food and wine that the Atherton Tablelands has to offer. Be taken through various contrasting landscapes from lush rainforests to stunning ochre Savannah plains. The rich volcanic soil allows farmers to grow many diverse crops from bananas, coffee, sugar cane, avocados, mangoes, macadamia nuts, citrus, and more which you will learn about once you taste your way around the region's food bowl.' Stop 1: Creamery Make your way to the first stop at a family-owned creamery in Emerald Creek. Enjoy a delicious breakfast of seasonal tropical fruits, pikelets, syrup, and homemade strawberry and blueberry jam. Taste 2 scoops of homemade ice cream and sorbet from the creamery as well. Stop 2: Jaques Family Coffee Plantation Enjoy a visit to a working coffee plantation all run on solar energy. Try a tasting paddle of coffee and tea matched with tasty treats whilst overlooking the coffee bushes. Stop 3: The Humpy The best place to go to for freshly harvested Atherton Tablelands produced straight from the growers. From vegetables to tropical fruits and hundreds of different varieties of nuts, dried fruits, locally made jams, and sauces. Taste some seasonal fruits and many different flavors of hot local peanuts and macadamia nuts. Stop 4: Lunch at The Australian Platypus Park The Australian Platypus Park is home to a thriving platypus population. Take a wander down to see them in their magnificent setting then sit down to enjoy flavored handcrafted smoked products, combined with a unique blend of local Australian native herbs and spices. These tasty treats are all produced in-house using only the freshest quality ingredients and include Crocodile, Red Claw (Yabby), and Kangaroo with fresh local salads topped off with a ‘Tarzali Lakes’ boutique beer, Dragon Fruit cider, or Lemon Myrtle tea. Then enjoy Tropical fruit wine and liqueur tasting. Stop 5: Gallo Dairyland A fully operational dairy farm spread across 1000 acres of rich red volcanic soil with a gourmet cheese factory. Here, taste a selection of their delicious cheeses and homemade chocolates whilst gazing out over the picturesque landscape. Stop 6: Mt. Uncle Distillery Just down the road, arrive at Australian Distiller of the year 2017, Mount Uncle Distillery, North Queensland’s first distillery. Here you can taste some of their award-winning liqueurs and spirits. Stop 7: Platypus Hut - Queensland wines and beers A unique 160-acre private property. Head down to 'the Platypus Hut' where you can sit in this tranquil setting as the sun goes down and watch for dive-bombing kingfishers and the elusive platypus (or dip your toes into the most beautiful mountain stream while tasting some Queensland wines and beer. Then, head down the Julatten range and be dropped back to your accommodation.

From Cairns and Northern Beaches: Rainforest River Tubing

8. 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.

2-Day Atherton Tablelands, Mossman Gorge and Daintree Tour

9. 2-Day Atherton Tablelands, Mossman Gorge and Daintree Tour

Experience the diverse beauty of Daintree Rainforest, Cape Tribulation, and Mossman Gorge on 2 day trips from Cairns. Day 1: Visit Babinda Boulders and learn the about the Aboriginal history of the area. Enjoy a swim in the crystal clear waters of Josephine Falls. Slide down a waterfall on a natural rockslide before visiting Millaa Millaa Falls. Enjoy lunch at a Australia’s largest timber pub before a bush walk and time to swim behind a waterfall. Gaze into a volcanic crater and look for wild cassowary in their natural habitat. See the Curtain Fig Tree before heading to Lake Eacham, a dormant volcanic crater lake full of turtles. Watch the sunset before the drive back to Cairns. Day 2: Take a scenic coastal drive towards the Mossman Gorge and enjoy panoramic views of the Coral Sea along the way. Get a warm welcome from the local Aborigines on arrival, and then cross the Daintree River for lunch at a beach. Explore the ancient rainforest on a guided tour of Marrdja Botanical Boardwalk and learn more about the flora and fauna, from low-lying ferns and shrubs to the massive canopy and mangroves. Taste some locally made ice cream, and enjoy a wildlife cruise to look for crocodiles before the return trip to Cairns via Port Douglas.

Port Douglas: Scenic Hot Air Balloon Ride

10. Port Douglas: Scenic Hot Air Balloon Ride

See the Atherton Tablelands from the sky on a hot air balloon tour. Marvel at the colors of the sunrise, spot birds soaring through the air, and see the balloon inflate.  Meet your experienced ballooning team at Atherton Tablelands first thing in the morning, in time to witness the inflation of the hot air balloons. Times vary seasonally to correspond with the sunrise. Experience the fun and unique sensation of a hot air balloon ride over the Atherton Tablelands, Australia. Enjoy the picturesque landscape at sunrise with a full flight experience.  Soar over the patchwork panorama below. Watch out for the variety of Australian birdlife and take in the peace and serenity that is hot air ballooning. This is a self drive meet at Mareeba option, this tour does not include return transfers from Port Douglas

Top sights in Atherton Tablelands

Other Sightseeing Options in Atherton Tablelands

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What people are saying about Atherton Tablelands

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 669 reviews

Jimbo was an amazing guide. His knowledge about every single thing related to the tour was rich. Morning tea was great, lunch was amazing and the tour itself just couldn’t be better. Hope to see u again

Jess was great tour guide! My family of 7 really enjoyed it. Lunch was delicious and we liked having a bit of time for some local shopping.

Such a wonderful day!! Can't fault it one bit. Definitely recommend this to everyone!

Friendly and organised guide, beautiful scenery, great lunch

Excellent experience all around! Jess was a great guide!