The Atherton Tablelands are a brilliant place to holiday with kids with a big choice of both indoor and outdoor activities and some true “wow” moments.
Here are a couple of ideas:
Rainforestation is great for kids because it is three attractions in one. On the outskirts of Kuranda, the park has a mini zoo, a cultural experience and a jungle ride on an amphibious army duck.
The zoo has a – well, menagerie – of animals including koala, kangaroos, dingos, snakes, a big croc, a Tassie devil and a wombat. It’s nice to be so close to wildlife and there are opportunities to pat some of the species – not the croc – and learn more but their lives.
Take some time to enjoy the Pamagirri experience which includes music and dance, a guided rainforest walk and have a go at throwing a boomerang. Don’t miss the jungle ride on a WW2 amphibious vehicle up and down some bush tracks and splashing into a billabong.
Kuranda animal attractions
Both the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary and Birdworld Kuranda are wonderful attractions for kids. They are close together in Kuranda and at both you are assured of being surrounded by brightly coloured amazing animals.
The Australian Butterfly Sanctuary has thousands of these delicate creatures, which will fly all around and if you wear something bright like orange or yellow, alight on you. The butterfly aviary – the largest in the Southern hemisphere, has been planted and designed to make a gorgeous home for these ethereal animals. There is also a butterfly breeding program which is fascinating.
Birdworld is a blast with all sorts of our feathered friends from natives such as cassowaries, rainbow lorikeets and cockatoos to imports such as the brightly coloured Amazonia macaws. Walk in and there are birds everywhere, a raucous sight and sound. The more than 60 species of birds roam freely and happily in this spacious landscaped setting, which will make the whole family smile.
The Crystal Caves
Head underground with the clan for a chance to explore the geology and history of what is under our feet. The Crystal Caves in Atherton are a mecca for kids. There is a surprise at every turn of this 300 square metre man-made cave and tunnel system from giant amethysts to dinosaur fossils. And your kids can touch stuff! It’s almost essential as you duck and weave your way through this incredible labyrinth.
Historic Village Herberton
The whole family – including the dog – can jump on a time machine and go back to this impeccable replica 1880 village. Walk round the more than 60 original buildings, see how things were done in pioneer days and admire the thousands of authentic items in the hundreds of collections. There is everything from a blacksmith forge to a coach house to a miner’s hut to a bootmaker. There is an astonishing toy shop for the kids but they will love all the antique machinery, ‘old school’ school and the acres of land to run around on. Plus, there is a tempting tea shop.
Want some free fun on the Atherton Tablelands – do the waterfall circuit. The kids will love swimming in the pools at the bottom of some of the cascades as well as the sheer awesomeness of the drops. There are plenty to choose, from the power of the Barron Falls to the beauty of Millaa Millaa to the size of Millstream. Most are in national parks with bush walks of all shapes and sizes where there’s a good chance of spotting wildlife.