Top 10 ‘Must Do’s on the Atherton Tablelands

Here are the top 10 things to do on the Atherton Tablelands. Some are action packed; others are like a walk in the park – but they are all unforgettable

*Start your day with a spectacular sunrise hot air balloon flight – float over a country collage of forest, fields and small towns. It could be the ride of your life  

Image: @hotairballooncairns

*Walk in the path of an extinct volcano at Undara Lava Tubes and be mesmerised by the geological story behind these incredible phenomena. Come back at night to see a million bats leaving to feed

*Catch a taste of the local culture at the Yungaburra Markets. These are beautiful markets set in a gorgeous village where you can buy homegrown produce, food, good coffee, arts and handcrafts.

*Grab a coffee at Skybury Coffee Plantation. It’s grown right there! Try a range of coffees, enjoy a meal, learn a bit about coffee production and look out over one of the most breath-taking views on the Northern Atherton Tablelands.

Image: @jamaiya.feather1

*Self-drive the spectacular waterfall circuit. Each one of these cascades is beautiful and who doesn’t love the sound of water crashing over rocks. Take a dip, walk the tracks or just sit and be seduced by these forces of nature.

*Relish the rolling hills with a Devonshire tea at the Mungalli Falls Teahouse. The Atherton Tablelands are prime dairy country – lush, verdant paddocks that when you add cows make sublime cream and therefore cream teas. Treat yourself here.

*Surround yourself in the towering roots of the Curtain Fig Tree near Yungaburra. You cannot help but say “wow” at the first sight of this mammoth fichus virens or strangler fig that is estimated to be 500 years old. It may be the most amazing tree you will ever see – it’s that good.

Image: @akmillerofficial

*Marvel at the shy Platypus that live in Peterson Creek at Yungaburra. You may need patience and it may also pay to walk around the creek banks in search of our weird friend (anatomically speaking of course). Try around dawn or dusk but the “last sighting” blackboard in the Information Office records many viewings at midday so you never know…

*Stay in wilderness accommodations – try a night in a tree house or a cottage for bird watching. There are loads of accommodation options to choose from that offer better chances of seeing wildlife. The proprietors often also have fantastic knowledge on the local animal activity both diurnal and nocturnal

*Stop by Lake Barrine and Lake Eacham. Bring a hamper and a blanket for a picnic on the shore or take tea at Lake Barrine Teahouse with a boat cruise round its forest fringed perimeter. Lake Eacham is great for swimming and has a pontoon and you can stand up paddle board or kayak over its pristine waters. Both lakes in Crater Lakes National Park are utterly enchanting.