The north of the Atherton Tablelands is dominated by magnificent national parks filled with soaring mountain ranges, clear highland creeks, tracts of lush rainforest interspersed with eucalypts and rocky outcrops with gob-smacking views.
It can be both a walk in the park or a grand challenge to get the best of this area.
Take the 20-minute easy track around Davies Creek Falls, which has a spectacular lookout and follows a pretty stream. Or do the Kahlpahlim Rock/Ridge circuit which takes you through rose gum, turpentine and casuarina forests out to massive boulders atop the Lamb Range. It will take reasonably experienced hikers the best part of a whole but oh, the rewards.
There is a lot of camping spots dotted around the parks so stay a while and picnic or overnight. You may be rewarded with the sight of some unusual animals such as the southern brown bandicoot, an outpost colony of the Cape York Peninsula population. That scratching and scurrying around the forest floor could be a bush turkey or could be something more novel.
There is also a mountain bike park to try out and plenty of swimming spots along Davies Creek.
A short stroll off Clohesy River Road will lead visitors to a huge strangler fig tree.
Fun fact – there seems some discussion about the characteristics of these trees – do they destroy the host or help them survive storms?
If you head out to Bunda Bibandji (Bare Hill) stop and admire the two rock art galleries from the Djabuguy people. All these places are just a relaxed drive from the northern Atherton Tablelands’ towns of Kuranda and Mareeba.
*For more information and travel ideas check out the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service Atherton journey guide.