Two new self-drive adventures – the ANZAC Trail and the Artisan Trail – will be rolled out by Tropical Tablelands Tourism (TTT) this month as part of an international campaign coinciding with the Australian Tourism Exchange.
The trails join the six self-drive trails launched last year to encourage locals and tourists to hit the road in search of adventure and new experiences.
TTT chair Michael Trout said the trails would respectively highlight the importance of the role played by the Atherton Tablelands in the “Allied” win of the war in the Pacific during World War II and the value of markets, galleries and craftsmanship in the region.
“Many people are not aware of the important roll the Atherton Tablelands region played during World War II,” Mr Trout said. “Thousands of Australian and American troops were sent here for R&R and for jungle training in the rainforest.
“Many people know there were army camps throughout the region but that’s about it. Many don’t know Australian and American airforce squadrons were based at the Mareeba airfield, which played a major role in the Battle of the Coral Sea 75 years ago,” he added.
The ANZAC Trail takes in Kuranda where troops enjoyed leave, Mareeba airfield memorials, the historic site of the huge field hospital at Rocky Creek, the various camp locations throughout the region, the art deco Barron Valley Hotel in Atherton, which was taken over for the officers’ club and the Historic Village Herberton, which has trench art and memorabilia left behind in the troop camps in the Ravenshoe area.
“People love visiting the markets to pick up a bargain or to try something new, whether fresh fruit or delicious foods and drinks prepared from our fantastic local produce.
“I am always amazed by the clever and beautiful artistry people engage in to express themselves and to create something different or new,” he said.
The Artisan Trail covers the markets in the towns and villages of the region, from world-renowned Kuranda to the regional favourite at Yungaburra, as well as galleries that include locally made world-class furniture and jewellery through to quirky spots that show some of the fun and cheekiness of the locals.
Mr Trout said the self-drive series targeted the interests of travellers to the Atherton Tablelands rather than town-to-town tourism attractions.
They included The Great Aussie Pub Trail, Geological Wonders, Unique Wildlife and Stunning Landscapes, Off Road Pedal Power (Cycling Adventures), Food Delights and A Step Back in Time.
Written by Tanya Snelling. Originally published May 17, 2017.