Historic Village Herberton
There’s acres and acres of space at Historic Village Herberton for kids to let off steam and have a ball these holidays. This is not your typical museum – it’s an outdoor adventure playground combined with live learning exploration that will have all the family entertained for hours.
The “Village” town setting is as beautiful as the 60 historic buildings dotted around. Roaming the streets you will find lots of things to do including blacksmithing, wood turning, a printing press and working saw mill in action. Plus, there’s a wonderful coffee shop and the grounds are pet friendly so the whole family can come.
This is a day out like no other. The kids will return home having time travelled and be tuckered out – mission accomplished.
*Historic Village Herberton is at 6 Broadway Herberton, about 15 mins from Atherton on State Route 52.
Atherton-Herberton Historic Railway
While in Herberton also make time to take a ride on the newly opened heritage steam train. Experience a journey back in time on the fully restored 1905 Peckett Steam Locomotive, and experience the history and charm of a bygone era.
Explore their collection of vintage steam locomotives and rail cars. Bring the whole family and enjoy a scenic ride through the rainforest and countryside. Don’t forget to snap some photos of the stunning landscapes along the way and stop by their quaint Station Cafe.
The Atherton-Herberton Historic Railway runs every Sunday between 9am and 3pm .
This April, their Tablelander Express (Section Car) will be running from Atherton’s Station Café to Hastie Road and return. Times to be confirmed. Their Tinlander Express (Section Car) will be running from Herberton Station to the Historic Village Herberton and return. Times to be confirmed.
For more information, please visit https://www.athrail.com.
Go underground with your kids this holiday to The Crystal Caves, Atherton. Don a headlamp and descend underground to experience this man-made subterranean masterpiece. On your self-guided tour you can see and touch more than 600 crystals and fossils, lovingly worked into a labyrinth of cracks and crevices, tunnels and caverns. It’s accessible for all ages and the whole family will have lots of fun exploring and finding all the treasures. Up in to the light, there’s a beautiful gift shop and the chance to crack a geode – a volcanic bubble formed 44 million years ago. You (or your kids) will be the first to see what the world’s best designer brand – mother nature – has created.
*The Crystal Caves are at 69 Main Street Atherton which is about 1.5 hours drive from Cairns.
Explore the Lakes
The Atherton Tablelands has twin gems in Lake Barrine and Lake Eacham, which are both sublime destinations with their own special attributes. Both are blue-hued crater lakes surrounded by rainforest. Ringed by trees Lake Barrine is a serene spot for a family outing. Go search for the twin Kauri pines, enjoy tea with scones in the beautiful Lake Barrine Teahouse overlooking the water or do the 5km nature walk circuit. There is also boat, which will do the same lap – though obviously at a different pace and different vantage from the water.
Lake Eacham is a cool space to swim on a warm day or take a SUP or kayak to explore its furthest reaches. There is gorgeous woodland all around and plenty of shady trees to stretch out under and relax. Take a picnic and take in the lakescape while the kids splash about or look for turtles.
*The lakes are in Crater Lakes National Park at the top of the Gillies Range and about one hour from Cairns.
Cheese, Cows and Chocolate at Gallo Dairy
The Atherton Tablelands is famous in Australia for being the best dairy country and the proof can be found at Gallo Dairyland. This working dairy farm has opened the front paddock gate to visitors to get a taste of a gourmet cheese factory plus a mouth-watering working chocolatery.
You and the kids can choose from a fabulous range of cheeses and chocolates at Dairyland, and say hi to your new bovine bestie, Bessie or Buttercup. Milking’s are at 3pm and there is a café as well. This spot is famous for its great service and hospitality along with tempting treats.
*Gallo Dairyland is at 9 East Barron Road, just off the Atherton-Malanda Road (State Route 25)
Milkshakes and Easter Chocolate at Coffee Works
If you want to make a pitstop this Easter holidays what is better than a milkshake, coffee and handmade chocolates. Coffee Works in Mareeba has everything the family needs for a holiday break. It roasts its own coffee, whips up a slew of delicious milkshakes and hand makes its chocolate.
It is a café as well (it does scones and chocolate crackles) set up in a unique industrial shed with gift shop. This place is authentically local but don’t be surprised if you head home with some chocolate and coffee loot.
*Coffee Works is at 136 Mason St, Mareeba