FAQs

Holiday Planning

The best time to visit the Atherton Tablelands is – anytime!   The Atherton Tablelands is blessed with a temperate climate making it comfortable all year round, free of the coastal humidity.

The northern part of the region enjoys cool, dry winters and warm, wet summers with minimum daily temperatures in winter rarely falling below 15ºC and maximum daily summer temperatures rarely exceeding 35ºC.   To the south, rainfall is much higher with the area around Topaz recording some of the highest annual rainfall in Australia. Temperatures are also lower with an average range of between 17 and 25ºC from September to June and between 5 and 14ºC from July to August.

Some winter seasons the temperature has been known to drop bellow 5ºC particularly in the southern areas of the Atherton Tablelands. These winter days will be clear and the nights are perfect for stargazing.

Visit our When to Visit page for more information.

Plan to stay at least five days, as there is so much to see and do!  Divide your time between the southern and northern parts of the Atherton Tablelands on what will be an unforgettable self-drive journey, and see for yourself the changing landscape of our diverse region.

The Atherton Tablelands sits at the very heart of Tropical North Queensland and is the ultimate self-drive holiday destination.

You can travel by air to Cairns and hire a car to experience the Atherton Tablelands.

By road, you can travel through any one of the gateways of Cairns, Port Douglas, Cassowary Coast, Cape York and the Savannah Way.

Visit our page Getting Here for more information on the specific routes from each Gateway.

The main population centres on the Atherton Tablelands are Mareeba and Atherton.   Smaller towns include Malanda, Herberton, Kuranda, Ravenshoe, Millaa Millaa, Irvinebank, Chillagoe, Dimbulah, Mount Garnet, Mount Molloy, Tinaroo and Yungaburra.

Visit our Travel Times page for distance and download a copy of the Atherton Tablelands Discover Visitors Guide which includes a regional map.

Yes. A regional map is available within the Atherton Tablelands Visitors Guide available online, download the Discover App available from iTunes and Google Play stores or visit one of our Visitor Information Centres to pick up a copy.

For more resources, visit our Travel Tools page.

 

Visit our events page for upcoming and annual events held across the Atherton Tablelands.

During your stay, visit one of our Visitor Information Centres for more details on local events happening in the area you may be staying.

There are a number of caravan parks and accommodation options that are pet friendly. It is recommended to call ahead to confirm the operators pet policy before travel.

Pets are not permitted within Queensland National Parks.

Weather

The  Atherton Tablelands is less humid than Cairns and generally a few degrees cooler than the coast.  In the northern parts of the region, maximum daily summer temperatures rarely exceed 35ºC. The further west you travel, some areas can experience higher temperatures than this in summer.

For current weather forecasts, visit the Bureau of Meteorology website – Atherton and Mareeba.

 

In northern Australia, the monsoon season generally lasts from December to March.  The tropical rains are the life force of the tropics as it revitalises plants and animals which have been suffering from the stress of a prolonged dry season.

On the Atherton Tablelands, we call this the ‘green season’.  The green season is an excellent time of the year to experience the magic and colour of our tropical rainforests and spectacular waterfalls.

We recommend to always check road conditions before travelling – roadconditions.racq.com.au

Accommodation

The Atherton Tablelands is blessed with a range of types of accommodation to choose from including caravan parks; self-contained units & villa’s; holiday homes; motels; B&B’s and luxury accommodation.

More information – Accommodation Directory

It is always advisable to pre-book accommodation at least one week prior to arrival to ensure availability.  During major events or festivals, accommodation can book out months in advance.

More information: Accommodation Directory

All camping areas in National Parks & State Forests must be booked. Self-registration is no longer available at any of the campgrounds. Campers may occupy their booked site from 2.00 pm and must leave by 11.00 am. Dogs are not permitted in camping areas. The maximum length of stay is 21 nights. Buy firewood before entering the park.

Book online using the Queensland National Parks Booking Service.

Experiences

The Atherton Tablelands is truly blessed with a variety of trail networks across the region. Visit our Hiking & Walking Trails page for a selection of short walks and hiking trails.

For more information on other types of trails visit www.tablelandstrails.com.

The Atherton Tablelands is fast becoming a popular mountain biking destination with two mountain bike parks and various other trails across the region.

Visit our Mountain Biking page for details on these trails.  For information on other types of trails. visit www.tablelandstrails.com.

Lumholtz’s tree-kangaroos are found in the rainforest of tropical Queensland, centred on the Atherton Tablelands, extending north as far as the Mount Carbine tablelands.

There are a number of areas across the region known for tree-kangaroo sightings.   For further information, visit one the Visitor Information Centres.

Freshwater swimming at it’s best!

Lake Tinaroo is popular for water sports activities including skiing, sailing, swimming, canoeing and rowing and Lake Eacham is well known for its cool and refreshing water temperature. Other popular swimming holes include Chillagoe Weir, Millaa Millaa Falls and Malanda Falls.

On trails where horse riding is permitted, equestrians have the right of way over other users on all trails. This is an international standard. Walkers have next priority and then cyclists.

Cyclists should yield to horses by stopping and asking permission of the horse rider to pass.

Cyclists must allow horse riders time to position their horses for safety.

Cyclists should not ring bells as they may startle a horse – voice contact is preferable. A frightened horse is a danger to you, the horse rider and other park users.

It is advisable not to pass within a metre of a horse as they may kick if startled and have considerable reach.

Slow down at intersections where you are likely to meet other users.

Other Information

If you find sick, injured or orphaned wildlife, please contact Tablelands Wildlife Rescue on their 24 hour emergency helpline on 4091 7767.

For more information including response guide and first aid tips, visit www.tablelandswildliferescue.com

For Cassowary sightings call – 0427 838 008

Most towns and the immediate surrounding areas across the Atherton Tablelands are with the Telstra network. Other networks have limited coverage. There are pockets throughout the region with no or limited coverage.

Visitor information centres, the township of Malanda and other commercial businesses across the region provide free Wifi to our visitors.

The busy months for farm work are from September through to April for avocado, banana, passionfruit, citrus, potatoes, mangoes, pumpkins and watermelon picking and packing. Work is also available during the winter months. There are a number of Backpacker hostels throughout the region that work directly with local farmers.

Contact one of our Visitor Information Centres for more information.

Trans North Bus & Coach provide bus services from Cairns to Kuranda, Speewah, Mareeba and Atherton. You can also Hail and Ride at any location enroute, where the bus can safely stop.

Taxi services are also available in Atherton and Mareeba.

Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) provides opportunities to camp with a camp fire in some areas. These areas on the Atherton Tablelands include: