Rising above a turquoise backdrop of the Coral Sea and Barrier Reef, less than an hour's drive from Cairns and Port Douglas, you'll find another world.
Discover for yourself a region so special and so diverse it's like a whole lot countries in one - stretching from lush rainforest to the true-blue character and characters of the outback ... with a fresh view around every bend.
Where else can you walk through Heritage-listed rainforest, or swim in a crystal clear crater lake; marvel at blazing outback sunsets; curl up by a crackling fire in the misty mountains; stand in awe at towering 1100 year old trees; explore limestone caves; see platypus, cassowaries, kangaroos and rare tree kangaroos in the wild ... all in the one outstandingly beautiful holiday destination!
Kuranda is known as the village in the Rainforest. Located 28 kilometres northwest of Cairns, it is surrounded by World Heritage listed rainforest. Kuranda was once an alternative lifestyle village, but now boasts a myriad markets, shops and nature based activities to suit everyone. Kuranda is the gateway to the Northern Tablelands.
Jum Rum Creek Jungle Walk - Starting at the Visitors Centre this is a 3km (approx one hour) circuit walk through the rainforest in Kuranda Village. It winds through rainforest, crosses Jum Rum Creek, and then climbs to Barron Falls Road, connecting to the Jungle Walk and then the River Walk beside Barron River. The River Walk follows the riverbank to the railway station where a staircase links the walk back up to Coondoo Street.
Markets - There are 3 markets to choose from. The Heritage Markets have 90 stalls with a range of handmade local crafts, Australian opals, gemstones, leather goods, food and more. They are located on the Corner of Rob Veivers Drive and Therwine Street and are open 7 days a week from 9.30am to 3.30pm. The Original Markets have a variety of market stalls and shops selling local craft, produce and other goodies, are located just around the bend on the corner of Therwine and Thoree Streets. These are open from 9am to 3pm. The New Kuranda Markets are located at the bottom end of Coondoo Street with a café, gift stalls, and a cellar door for local wine, open 9am to 3pm.
There is a wide selection of eateries in Kuranda but please keep in mind that most of them are open only from 8am to 4pm. Choose from a bakery, many cafes, Garden Bars, German food, hotels and other restaurants.
Kuranda is located at the top of the Kuranda Range, 350 metres above sea level. It can be your first stop on your tour of the Tablelands if you are coming from the North of Cairns, and is 15 mins from Smithfield.
History of Kuranda - It first became attractive due to the huge amounts of good quality timber, like red cedar, hickory, maple and kauri pine. It was also a very convenient stopover area for access to mining sites west of the range. In 1882, miners were in desperate need of a supply route back to civilization, and thus started a commission on the three stages of the Kuranda Railway. The sheer drops of up to 330 metres and slopes as steep as 45% were death traps for workers. After 9 years of difficulties and lack of modern equipment, the workers had moved 2.3 million cubic metres of earthworks, built 15 tunnels, 93 curves, dozens of bridges and 75 kilometres of track. 30 years later, the first car managed to drive up the range. Kuranda was first surveyed by Thomas Behan in 1888. Originally, the land was used for growing coffee, but was short lived with a severe frost occurring in 1901, wiping out the entire crop. Timber then became the main source of income, followed by some dairying. Kuranda then became increasingly popular for day tours and as a travelers rest point. People flocked to enjoy the beauty of the new magical forest town. Tourism had its foundation in the early 1920s and reached its peak in the 1930s due to the commencement of the Second World War. In the 60s, hippies were lured by the tropical sunshine and cheap land. During the 70s, the hippies were followed by alternative lifestyle people who had imagination and artistic talents. Kuranda soon gained the reputation of being an area in which people could live with ease, and one where the people could survive easily. They built simple and unusual homes from local brick and timber, and practiced their arts and crafts. The village community grew again. Then in the 70s, a new kind of Kuranda resident arrived, the Cairns commuter. These were people who were tired of the noisy suburbs and were willing to make the daily trips, just for the pleasure of living away from it all in the peace and quiet of the rainforest village.
The first market commenced in Kuranda in 1978 when a dozen or so traders opened stores. This proved so popular that in a very short time, the number of traders grew to 160. The volume of visitors coming up to see the markets has lead to the village now offering a wide range of accommodation, restaurants, specialty shops and attractions.
The Mareeba area is known as the big land of outback plains, endless blue skies and orange sunsets and is considered "The Gateway to the Cape of Carpenteria ", with many travelers stocking their supplies before their journey. Mareeba enjoys 300 sunny days a year.
Mareeba is an Aboriginal word meaning "Meeting of the Waters". This refers to the confluence of three streams in the area. It is the largest town on the Atherton Tablelands, situated on the banks of the Barron River near its junction, with Granite and Emerald Creek.
Mareeba Heritage Museum and Tourist Information Centre - At the entrance to the town, the Mareeba Information Centre is well worth a visit. The adjoining Museum features displays of Aboriginal Culture, Pioneer and Early Settler history, Historical Mount Mulligan, Mareeba Rail Ambulance, mining, a purpose built Blacksmith shop and lots of historical memorabilia. The Centre has a small shop catering for all of those sought after souvenirs, historical books and local produce. The information centre staff will provide you with all of the accurate and up to date information you will need to explore Mareeba Shires many fascinating attractions.
Coffee Plantations and Tours - This rich agricultural region supports 90 % of Australias Coffee Produce. There are numerous Coffee Tours and Plantations to visit. Find out about the growing, harvesting and processing of the coffee bean. Enjoy a delicious cup of freshly brewed coffee, and purchase the unique products to take home. For more information on the tours available, see our tour page.
Visit a Boutique Winery or Distillery to experience the unique flavours of tropical fruit wines, ports and liqueurs. A variety of tropical fruit are used to produce these exotic flavoured wines such as Lychee, Mulberry and Bush Cherry. Sample and purchase one of the unusual and beautifully packaged products. For more information on the tours available, see our attractions page.
Mareeba Tropical Savannah and Wetlands Reserve - The Mareeba Tropical Savannah and Wetlands Reserve is at the foot of the Hann Tablelands, to the northwest of the town. The Wetlands covers 120ha of open water and attracts a rich, diverse bird life and aquatic wildlife. More than 3,300 species of birds have been noted in the Mareeba Shire, making it a leading bird watching area. Interpretive tours are available as well as canoe hire, picnic grounds and light refreshments.Mareeba Drive In -
While in Mareeba you can take a journey back in time at the Mareeba Drive In and experience the 50s style café whilst watching a movie under the stars.
Granite Gorge - Some of Mareebas natural attractions include feeding rock wallabies at Granite Gorge. The gigantic granite rock formations with deep pools will amaze you, and you can feed the wallabies any time of day. The gorge is on privately owned land and a nominal charge is made for entry.
Davies Creek National Park - Davies Creek National Park is situated on the Kennedy highway, 21klms south west of Kuranda, or 15klm east of Mareeba. There is 7klm of gravel road with corrugations and is unsuitable for caravans. An unmarked 2km walk upstream from the camping area leads to the base of Davies Creek Falls . This is also the home of the northern Bettong. You can also go swimming in the crystal clear water at Emerald Creek Falls , just 15lm from the township.
Tolga is situated just north of Atherton. Tolga began life as a staging post on the track, then welcomed the railway which stretched all the way to Millaa Millaa and played an important role in establishing the local dairy industry.
The township has also served as a center for the timber industry, as a rail head for teamsters carrying to the mineral fields, as an Army Ordinance Depot, and as the centre of the maize and peanut industries. In its heyday the township supported nine licensed premises.
The Tolga Railway Station Museum - The museum is located on the Kennedy Highway 7km north of Atherton, opposite the Tolga Woodworks. It was opened in May 1997 and houses the memorabilia of the local timber and agricultural industries, local identities and Tolgas involvement in World War 2. Opening times are Monday to Sunday from 1pm to 4.30pm. Gold coin donation.
Tolga Markets - This is the second most popular market held on the Tablelands and is located at the race course. Turn left at the Tolga Woodworks and then right and continue into the race grounds. A large range of local produce, hand crafted items, clothing, tools for the handyman, hot and cold food and drinks available plus much more. From 7am to 12pm every first Sunday of each month.
Tolga Hotel - Land selected at Matintown (now Tolga) in 1885 to build the Commercial Hotel continues to support the present day pub. The original building was destroyed by fire in 1929 and replaced by the contemporary hotel removed from Kureen. This pub became known as ‘The Commercial in 1973.
Hand Carved "Heritage in Timber" Poles - Tableland Woodcarvers Guild, aboriginal artist Gus Gosam and artist blacksmith Hans Pehl joined forces in this project, celebrating local artistic skills with the theme of "Heritage in Timber". Gus created one of the poles and a group of enthusiastic volunteers worked on the other six. The two main actors were Buddy Smith who is still involved in the Tableland Woodcarvers Guild and another fantastic man by the name of Geoff Reddington (over 80 years of age). Lindy Blake was also involved in the project as well as a Russian woman by the name of Tatiana who lives in Tolga. Seven carved poles showing aspects of Atherton Tablelands rich heritage feature themes of animals and plants, community, agriculture, aboriginal culture, rainforest threats, danger, birds and plants. The poles are located in the Main Street of Tolga, next to the picnic tables. (opposite the Newsagent)
Tolga Scrub - Just outside of Tolga on the Atherton side, you will come across Tolga Scrub. The rainforest forms a living green archway across the Kennedy Highway. Take a walk in this remnant of Mabi Rainforest, you can see the Spectacled flying foxes in resident. Entrance to the walking path is near the playground area, opposite the "Humpy" fruit and vege shop, and just after the "green archway" if you are coming from Atherton.
The bustling town of Atherton has many facilities including accommodation, eateries and shopping. Stop by at the Visitor Information Centre at the end of Main Street to get some information on what to do in the area.
From its beginnings as a timber-getter's camp and a staging post between the tin mines and the coast, Atherton has blossomed like it's trademark Jacaranda trees.
Platypus Park -Visitors and locals can take time out and enjoy a barbecue lunch at the popular " Platypus Park " which has been built on the surrounds of a local freshwater stream. This park can be found on the Herberton Road , heading towards Herberton and is only 5 minutes out of Atherton. Barbecues are supplied for your convenience. And of course dont forget to see the main attraction at this park – the local platypus.
Hou Wang Temple - Next door is the Hou Wang Temple and the Chinese Interpretive Centre. The site and temple was bought by a number of Chinese families who donated it to the National Trust in 1979. It is the only temple outside China known to be dedicated to Hou Wang and is the only surviving timber and iron temple in Queensland . The Temple contains a substantial number of original artifacts. The Chinese were pioneers of agriculture in North Queensland and as such played an important role in opening up the Atherton area for settlement.
Hallorans Hill - Atherton is actually built on the side of an extinct volcano – Hallorans Hill. Take the walking track (1.5km) youll see a curtain fig tree, miniature waterfalls rock pools and rainforest. Once you reach the lookout, youll experience sweeping views across some of the richest farming land in North Queensland, "The Seven Sisters" and Lake Tinaroo . Both Hallorans Hill and The Seven Sisters are the cinder cones of extinct volcanoes.
Bird Watching - If you are a keen bird watcher, Atherton has both Hasties Swamp and Wongabel Botanical Walk where various bird species frequent throughout the year. This is an absolute birdwatchers delight. Victoria s Riflebirds, Tooth-billed Bowerbirds can be seen on the Wongabel Botanical Walk which is only 9 kilometres from Atherton. Hasties Swamp is located in Koci Road , Atherton and sightings of Jacanas, large flocks of Whistling-Ducks, Magpie Geese, Sarus Cranes and Brolgas can be expected. Hasties Swamp now offers a bird hide which will guarantee uninterrupted views over the water area...so pick up your camera and binoculars and spend a relaxing half hour just watching the birds.
Lake Tinaroo is 15 mins from Atherton via the township of Kairi and also via Tolga. Tinaroo township is a small settlement of accommodation and private residences, that sits on the edge of Lake Tinaroo.
Lake Tinaroo itself is an extremely popular tourist destination for people from all over the world. Activities include sailing, water skiing, jet skiing, canoeing, swimming, fishing, red claw potting, camping, walking and more.
On the foreshore of Lake Tinaroo, and adjacent to the township, a concreted walking track, pontoon onto the Lake, sandy beach, play areas, and BBQs shelters have been built recently. Lots of grassy areas to enjoy a game with your children.
Fishing on Lake Tinaroo - Lake Tinaroo is open all year for the taking of Barramundi. Lake Tinaroo is part of a fish stocking scheme, and permits are required to fish within them (which is a contribution to the scheme). Permits cost $7 per week for a couple, children under 18 free, and can be obtained from the caravan park shop at Lake Tinaroo township (also bait). The famous Barra Bash is held on the lake each year, and Tinaroo holds the record for the largest freshwater barra caught. You can hire a boat or take a fishing tour. See our tour page for more information.
Danbulla Forest Drive - Take the 28km unsealed forest drive through plantations of pine and eucalypt trees, rainforest of the State Forest and Wet Tropics, with lovely views of the lake. Start at the Tinaroo Dam Spillway at the northern end of Tinaroo Township. Allow at least an hour for the drive itself. (You can also do the drive in reverse from Boar Pocket Road on the Gillies Highway.)
Tinaroo Dam spillway - Picnic tables, barbecues and toilets are provided below the dam wall.
Platypus Rock Lookout - Drive along the shores of Lake Tinaroo, stopping at Platypus Rocks Lookout for a view over the lake and tableland.
Kauri Creek - From the Kauri Creek picnic area, you can walk the Kauri Creek circuit, 5km, 2–2·5 hours return.
Lake Euramoo - Walk through the rainforest to a viewing platform over Lake Euramoo, a crater lake. Circuit 600m, (30 min)
The Chimneys - Have a picnic at The Chimneys, the remains of an early 20th century settlement. A shelter shed, gas barbecues and toilets are provided.
Mobo Creek Crater - Continue along the forest drive to the mysterious Mobo Creek Crater. The Crater has a circuit track of 600m (30 minutes)
Cathedral Fig Tree - a boardwalk of 150m (10 minutes) to the magnificent Cathedral Fig Tree
History - Tinaroo dam was approved in 1952 to supply irrigation water to farming areas of the Tablelands. The site of the dam is on the Barron River where the river passes the Tinaroo Gorge about 63 miles or 102km from the mouth (near Cairns), and about 3.0km above the series of rapids known as Tinaroo Falls. 545 km2 of land was flooded to store the water for irrigation. This required the purchase of 20 farms, mainly in the township of Kulara (which is now under water), and partly in the Danbulla district.
The picturesque village of Yungaburra is nestled amongst rolling green hills, with many outstanding beautiful natural attractions such as crater lakes, waterfalls and World Heritage Rainforests within easy reach of this lovely village. A stroll around Yungaburra offers a glimpse of a fascinating past, where wide verandahs and heritage shop fronts line the tranquil streets. A classic country pub, quaint coffee shops and award winning restaurants will tempt your tastebuds, or browse the craft and antique shops. Heritage cottages, romantic B&Bs, friendly motels and boutique resorts are some of the varied options available when you choose to stay in and around Yungaburra.
Yungaburra is just over an hours drive from Cairns if you drive up the the Gillies Highway. Yungaburra is within a 10 min drive of Atherton and Malanda. There is no bus service to the town.
Yungaburra was originally called Allumbah Pocket. The district was developed in the early 1880s as an overnight stop for miners and settlers who came from the coast on their way to the tin and gold fields farther west. In 1886 the land around Allumbah Pocket and Lake Eacham was surveyed for settlement. In 1891 the settlers moved in. A small commercial area was developing in Allumbah to serve the new settlers. 1910 was a very significant year for our town. The railway line linking Cairns with the Tablelands reached Allumbah, which was then renamed Yungaburra to avoid confusion with another town.
A period of rapid development then began with the construction of a sawmill, a hotel and a number of shops and houses near the railway station. Three churches and the Bank of NSW were built, the school was moved to the present site and a Police Station was established. Yungaburra remains largely unchanged since those early days.
Platypus Viewing Platform - Wander down to the viewing platform at Peterson Creek at the edge of Yungaburra, or the Allumbah Pocket at the bottom end of Penda Street. The best viewing times for platypus are early morning or late afternoon although you can sometimes see them on cloudy, overcast days. For more information on the Platypus, visit our Wildlife Page.
Peterson Creek - Allumbah Pocket - Frawleys Pool. Take a wildlife walk on the edge of the Yungaburra Village. Pick up the Peterson Creek Wildlife Walk map from the Information Centre on Cedar Street. Start at the Platypus viewing platform and walk along Peterson creek to Allumbah Pocket. You can stop there, or you can continue on to do the whole walk, pausing to take in the pretty Frawleys Pool. Watch carefully for platypus anywhere along the creek, and in the forests here and around Yungaburra you may also spot the rare tree kangaroo.
Old Town Loop Heritage Walk - With 18 buildings listed by the National Trust of Queensland, Yungaburra has the highest proportion of heritage listed buildings outside of regional centres in Queensland. Pick up a "Old town Loop" map from the Visitors Centre in Cedar Street or a local business, and take a stroll back in time, around the historic heart of Yungaburra Village.
Yungaburra Markets - Experience a true country market. The Tablelands largest and most popular with arts and craft, local produce, food and even livestock. It is a great morning out, hunting for the perfect gift, and catching up with old friends. The 4th Saturday morning of each month (except December when the day is changed), 7.30am to 12.30pm. These markets are run by the P&C of the Yungaburra State School, and profits from the stalls benefit the local children.
Curtain Fig Tree Walk - If you would like to do the 20 min walk from Yungaburra to the Curtin Fig Tree, Start at the Platypus viewing platform. Follow the path across the bridge, and then follow the markers to the Curtain Fig Forest Reserve. It is a 50m rainforest walk in to see Tablelands most famous tree, the Curtain Fig. This tree has been formed when seeds were deposited high in a host tree by birds. The fig tree has sent down aerial roots to the ground, and in time the host tree has died, leaving a huge curtain of aerial roots. You can also take a short drive to the Forest Reserve if you prefer. The walk into the tree is wheelchair accessible.
From Yungaburra drive 15 mins down the Gillies Highway towards the coast. Lake Barrine National Park is on the left and well signposted. The larger of the twin crater lakes, Lake Barrine has been operating as a tourist destination since the 1920s. Enjoy a lake cruise and a devonshire tea at the Tea House on the waters edge. Spot the sunbathing pythons, eels, turtles, ducks and other water birds. Experience remnant Tableland Rainforest on the 6.5km walk around the lake. There is a short walk to the 1,100 year old Twin Kauri Pines.
From Yungaburra, drive 5 mins down the Gillies Highway towards the coast, turn right at the Malanda Road, and then 300m along, turn left into the Crater Lakes National Park - Lake Eacham Section. It is a short but beautiful drive through the rainforest to a superb volcanic crater lake with deep emerald waters. Perfect for swimming and a picnic on the grassy bank. The lake is surrounded by World Heritage Rainforest, with a 4.5km walking track around its perimeter. You may spot a musky rat kangaroo dart in front of you, or see the Boyds forest dragon sitting motionless on a tree limb, perfectly camouflaged. The brush turkeys stalk the picnic areas, and turtles and fish are seen in the lake. BBQ and Toilet facilities.
The friendly township of Malanda is set against a backdrop of rolling green hills, at the heart of the waterfalls and Lakes District. Malanda is 10 Minutes from Atherton and Yungaburra.Malanda was considered to be the administrative centre of the Eacham Shire and was originally known as Tutamoulin. It was later changed to Malanda because of the likelihood of confusion with the town of Tumoulin, near Ravenshoe. The Malanda area was settled by families that came from the Northern Rivers in New South Wales, and these families walked their dairy herds over 2000 kilometres to this area. These same dairies supplied the Malanda Butter Factory which was successful in producing its first supply of butter in 1921. The factory still operates to this day but goes under the name of Malanda Dairy Farmers. Malanda Dairy Farmers boasts the longest milk run in the world with supplies of milk going from Malanda down the coast to Mackay, across to Mt Isa and up to Cape York.Malanda Falls - Malanda Falls on the south-western outskirts of the town, was created as the original town swimming pool and is a popular swimming spot all year round. BBQ and toilet facilities are provided. Across the road is a rainforest walk that meanders next to the river, you may spot turtles or platypus.
Malanda Environmental and Visitors Centre - The very informative Malanda Environmental Centre is located right beside the Malanda Falls. There is a Volcano Room which presents the geological history of the Tablelands, a touch and learn experience in the Rainforest Room, a cultural display of the Ngadjonji people of the area and a pictorial presentation of the history of the area from the Eacham Historical Society. The centre is open from 9.30am to 4.30pm, 7 days a week, excluding Christmas Day, Boxing Day and Good Friday. Entry into the Visitors Information Centre is free but entry to the display area is by gold coin donation. One of the best ways to learn about the history, rainforest and culture of the local aboriginal tribe is to take part in a guided tours with one of the Ngadjon (pronounced Nudjon) Guides. Bookings are essential and are booked by visiting or calling the Environmental Centre or by calling 07 4096 6957.
Farmer and Horse statues - Located in front of the Eacham Shire Building in the main street of Malanda is one of the famous statue displays which are dotted throughout the Eacham Shire. It is of a farmer, with his horse, dog and slide.
Mosaic Trail - There are 9 large vibrant mosaics scattered throughout the town that are worth the look. They were created to commemorate the history of Malandas community and are: The Original Inhabitants – which tells the story of the regions first people, Hardships & Struggles – shows the battle between man and nature, Transport – dominated by the steam train, Commerce – giving credit to all the arts, Recollections – showing the Malanda Pub, Early Settlers – depicting the first European Settlers, The Dairy Industry, Recreation and Looking Ahead. Theyre located at the Malanda Falls, Malanda Pharmacy, Wait – A – While Studio, 5A Freshmart, Post Office, Majestic Theatre, Eacham Shire Council, Mitre 10 & the Malanda Rural Supplies. One hint:- spot the blue butterfly in each mosaic.
Beautiful Millaa Millaa nestles in emeral hills surrounded by dairy farms and a circuit of waterfalls.
Its lookout presents the most expansive views in the area and Millaa Millaa Falls in an indelible image which has become an emblem of the region.
The Palmerston Highway is named after Christie Palmerston who in 1881 forged through the scrub of the Southern Tablelands with his aboriginal offsider, Pompo. A monument in the township remembers them.
In 1910 early settlers to Millaa Millaa developed the timber and dairy industries. In 1921 the railway line was extended to Millaa Milla, so the local farmers constructed their own Butter Factory, which in turn evolved to a Cheese factory. The cheese factory which dominates the entrance to the town closed in the 1980s.
Millaa Millaa is situated on the Southern end of the Tablelands. Travel up the Palmerston Highway from Innisfail. Millaa Millaa is considered the southern gateway to the Tablelands.
Waterfall Circuit - Millaa Millaa Falls, Zillie Falls, Ellinjaa Falls - Travel 5 mins south of Millaa Millaa on the Palmerston Highway. Turn at Theresa Creek Road, at the Falls Teahouse. This is the start of the Waterfall Circuit, a 15km sealed road that links the three falls. Drive to the first falls, the beautiful and famous Millaa Millaa Falls (seen in many advertisements over the world such as Qantas and the Australia TV commercials). Drive on to see the other two falls, there is a small walk down to the other falls.
The Lookout - A few kms outside of Millaa Millaa towards Malanda follow the signs to the Lookout. On a clear day you can take in breathtaking views all the way to Mt Bartle Frere, Queenslands Highest Mountain.
Eacham Historical Museum - On the main street of Millaa Millaa is a museum run by the Eacham Historical Society. It has many historical items, aboriginal artifacts and stories from the past. It is run by volunteers, so opening times vary, but it is usually open mornings from 9.30am till noon. To find out current opening times, please phone (07) 4097 2147. Free entry.
Farmer, Cow & Blue Heeler - Visit the popular statue of the farmer, his cow and dog, located at the very end of the main street of Millaa Millaa. This has got to be one of the most photographed statues on the entire Tablelands.
At 920m above sea level, Ravenshoe is known as Queensland’s highest town. Previously relying on a rainforest timber industry, Ravenshoe now has a new lease of life with a number of art galleries and craft shops. Enjoy a drink at Queensland’s highest pub.
In 1881 William Mazlin discovered substantial stands of cedar in the area. The first sawmill was built in 1899 but the town was not settled to any significant extent until 1910, when the railway line had reached Millaa Millaa and bullock teams could haul the timber to the railhead. Ravenshoe sawmills produced high quality rainforest timbers for markets in Australia and overseas, and relied on timber for its survival.
In 1987 the Government nominated 900 000 hectares of rainforest around Ravenshoe for World Heritage Listing. 160 000 hectares of this land had previously been set aside for timber production. The locals in Ravenshoe argued that if they were not allowed to log the rainforest, the town would die. The Environment Minister Graham Richardson was jostled by angry crowds of timber workers during a visit to the area and the town became the centre of media attention.
Ravenshoe is a comfortable 2 to 2.5 hrs drive from Cairns. It is 40 minutes drive south of Atherton, but can also be accessed from Millaa Millaa via the East Evelyn Road or the Old Palmerston Highway.
Ravenshoe Visitors centre and Nganyaji Interpretive Centre - Visit the Ravenshoe Koombooloomba Visitor Centre on the northern edge of the town. Features historical and environmental displays of the area. Adjoining the Visitors Centre is this interesting centre showcasing the traditional lifestyle of the local There are displays including their rainforest base-camp villages, hunting and gathering practices, community life and history. Entry is free.
Waterfalls - Little Millstream Falls - delightful series of falls cascading into a small lagoon. Approx half hour walk each way. From Ravenshoe, go to Tully Falls Road, turn onto Wooroora Road 1.25 kilometres on the right.
Millstream Falls - just to the west of Ravenshoe are the Millstream Falls, renowned as the widest single drop falls in Australia. Leave Ravenshoe on Kennedy Highway and travel three kilometres to the west, turn left at the Millstream Falls sign, park in car park walk 400 metres.
Pepina Falls- Follow signs from Old Palmerston Highway between Ravenshoe and Millaa Millaa
Souita Falls - From Old Palmerston Highway Ravenshoe to Millaa Millaa turn onto Middlebrook Road
Windfarm - 5 km east of Ravenshoe, on the aptly named "Windy Hill", is one of Australia’s largest windfarms. Huge wind turbines stand against a backdrop of rolling green hills, providing a clean energy solution to 3500 homes in the region. Windy Hill has a free public viewing area and car park, open at all times.
Tully River Gorge - South of Ravenshoe, take Tully Falls Road 24 kilometres sealed road and one kilometre well kept gravel drive to the car park. At this point you can take a short walk to overlook the impressive 293 metre Tully Falls at Tully Gorge.
Koombooloomba Dam - Follow on the Tully Falls Road to the Dam. It is a hydro-electric water storage facility which doubles as a recreational area for fishing and water sports. There is year round barramundi fishing on the dam.
Herberton is the oldest town on the Tablelands. Several of the buildings constructed in the 1880s and 1890s still stand to this day, including the top shops at the Heritage Corner, which was previously the Jack and Newell building, the School of Arts building, Police Station, Courthouse building and the churches. There are also 2 hotels which proudly boast being the oldest continuously licensed and operating hotels in Queensland.
In the late 1880s, miners like John Moffat created a boom ion the back of the tin they extracted from the bush clad hills. You can still see his old homestead today at Irvinebank, as well as revisiting the past at excellent museums and vintage villages in Herberton.Exploration of Herberton took place in 1875 by James Venture Mulligan who was prospecting for gold, but instead found tin. The town was established on the 19 th April 1880, following the confirmation of payable quantities of tin ore in the area when Messrs Jack, Newell, Brown and Brandon set out to exploit the tin find. The actual mining commenced on the 8 th of May, and by September the same year, Herberton had a population of 300 men and 27 women. The Great Northern Mine became the backbone of the township. Herberton ceased its tin mining in 1978. At its pinnacle, Herberton was home to 17 pubs, a brewery and 2 local newspapers. The Spy & Camera Museum - You will get to see a very large display of cameras of all shapes and sizes, some extremely rare. You will also get an insight to photography and learn about the varied history of cameras, including the first Russian Spy Camera made.
The present cemetery in Herberton was gazetted in 1885 and replaced an older burial ground on the southern side of the township. Thomas Brandon & John Newell, two of the founding fathers of Herberton, rest in the cemetery. As was common in most early cemeteries, the Herberton site was divided up into sections according to Christian beliefs. To the left of the entrance gate is the Methodist area, followed by the Presbyterian (and other) section further back on the left. The Roman Catholic section is to the right of the gate, followed by the Church of England section. One grave site in particular is visited by many each year – this is gravesite number 20 in row 27 in the Church of England section. This grave bears the brief inscription ‘A Priest. Every Anzac Day many visit this site because the man who is buried here, actually originated the Anzac Day Dawn services. He is Canon Arthur Ernest ‘Padre White and instigated the traditional service at the break of dawn, Anzac Day 1923, overlooking King George Sound at Albany in Western Australia. He died on the 25 th September 1954.
The Copper Mines Walk - is an easy walk that follows a gravel bush track along the sides of a small stream with a rocky bed. The walk leads to the base of a hill where evidence of mining is obvious. Copper was the main mineral mined here, hence the strong discolouration present. For the adventurous, follow the Bridle Trail (horse trail) to the right which ends at Anniversary Falls, which was used as a retreat in the early days. The walk begins Grace & Jane Streets junction. (1.5km – approx 1 hour)
Specimen Hill Lookout Walk – Starting from the top end of Grace Street, near the junction of Jane Street, this walk takes you along a gravel bush track that leads you out along a shoulder of Specimen Hill. The track ends at a tunnel driven into the hillside with other mines visible below. Views of Herberton can be seen throughout the walk but the best view of all is from the top of Specimen Hill. The track is steep in parts. (1.5km - approx 1.5 hours)
The Upper Grace St Lookout - a short walk across the Wild River bridge and up the next hill, brings you to t lookout that gives some great views over Herberton and on down the Wild River Valley. This track also commences from the junction of Grace & Jane Streets. (1km – approx 30 minutes)
The Heritage Walk – this walk can be started from any end of town and loops you around the two main town blocks, (along the main street and back streets) that make up the core commercial area of the town. You will see many of the heritage buildings of which Herberton is justifiably proud. (800 metres – approx 1 to 1.5 hours)
The outback region offers vast landscapes of open savannah plains, exposed granite mountaintops, rugged gorges and escarpments. It is in stark contrast to the rolling green hills and pockets of rainforest to the east.
Chillagoe is140 kms west of Mareeba, Chillagoe is easily accessed by conventional vehicles via the Wheelbarrow Way. A dramatic landscape created by massive marble bluffs and rock formations greets travellers. On April 1st 1902 Chillagoe State School was officially opened and 93 children were recorded in the Attendance Register. Student numbers climbed to 180 in 1909, filling the little school to total capacity. The school attendance records have always reflected the operating level of the Chillagoe Smelter and local industries so when the Smelters finally closed in 1943, numbers at the school were 48 and have slowly shrunken to the average 25 to 35 that we have experienced over the past years. A new school was built directly across the road from the old, on 27th October 1977
Chillagoe Caves (Mungana) - Guided tours of the caves are conducted daily, excluding Christmas Day. The tours take you through Donna, Trezkinn and Royal Arch Caves. Pompeii, Bauhinia and The Archway Caves are self guided. Donna Cave Tours run at 9am for 1 hour, Trezkinn Cave runs at 11am and go for half an hour, and Royal Arch Cave run at 1.30pm and go for 1 and a half hours. If you are going on the tour, please make sure you wear comfortable walking shoes during the tours, take your hat, sunblock and insect repellent for outside walking.
Other things to see - The Balancing Rock, Heritage Museum, Historic Courthouse and Police Station, Historic Post Office, Limestone Outcrops, Marble Quarry, Restored St Nicholas of Tolinteno Catholic Church, Night Observatory, The Weir and the Time Capsule Park.
Mount Mulligan lies 50 km north of the tiny town of Dimbulah in the Northern region of the Tablelands. The road to Mt Mulligan is unsealed.
Mt Mulligan was based entirely on coal mining, but was never profitable, and spent most of its life in the shadow of financial ruin. It is chiefly known for the horrific disaster that occurred there.
One of the first messages received outside Mount Mulligan was: "Explosion throughout the whole of the mine, presumably caused by gas. The mine is wrecked, and there is much debris to clear before any entry can be effected. About 100 men in the mine are entombed, and there is little hope of their recovery alive. One body has been recovered. Two persons are injured seriously, and are unconscious. Relief workers are proceeding from Dimbulah, also railway lengthsmen. The explosion was heard 14 miles away."
For a more in depth look at the events surrounding this incident please look at our History of Mt Mulligan page. Also visit the Mareeba Heritage Museum as they have a display on the Mt Mulligan Mining History.There are no services at Mt Mulligan, however accommodation can be provided at the Mt Mulligan Station, which was the old township hospital.
Irvinebankis 30km west of Herberton. The first 14km of the road is sealed, the rest is unsealed. A good place to start exploring the town is at the Museum. As you come into the town, the 100 year old fig trees line the right hand side of the road (great spot for a picnic) and the old School of Arts Building is in front of you. Follow the signs to the Loudoun Museum tucked into the hill above and behind the School of Arts Building. Tin was discovered here in 1882 by a team of prospectors including Jim Gibbs, Jim McDonald, Billy Eales, Andy Thompson, Dave & Jack Green and Jack Pollard. John Moffat & Company bought the leases and built the dam, Loudoun Mill and Smelters, and Loudoun House in 1883 - 1884. The industry attracted wage earners and independent miners requiring facilities to process their ore. The are originally named Gibbs Camp grew into a township which John Moffat renamed Irvinebank after the River Irvine in his birth place, Newmilns in Scotland. Moffats far sighted, careful and sensible development of the area, his management of his financial resources and commitments and his metallurgical skills enable his enterprises to weather the depression of the 1890s. Moffat would employ men for however long they wanted and should they leave for work elsewhere and it didnt work out, Moffat would assure them they could return. He was so appreciated by people at large that is it said that Irvinebank children were taught to end their evening prayers with "and God bless John Moffat".
For the first 25 years, Irvinebank grew steadily, reaching a peak population of about 3000 people in 1907. That year the tramway from Boonmoo - Stannary Hills, reached Irvinebank and the tramway operated until 1938.
John Moffat retired from Irvinebank in 1912 and for the next six years lived and worked in Sydney promoting agricultural machinery, including the machinery developed in Irvinebank by the Moffat-Virtue Agricultural Machinery Company until his death at the age of 77 in 1918. After liquidation of the Irvinebank Mining Company in 1919, the operations were taken over by the Queensland State Government and ran as the State Treatment Works Irvinebank until 1986.
Most facilities can be found at the newish Irvinebank Tavern, including accommodation (cabins & camping), fuel, eftpos, public toilets, postal services, food and alcohol.
Loudoun House Museum (1884) - Take a guided tour through Loudoun House, the oldest high set timber and corrugated house in the north and former home of John Moffat. The museum provides insight into the towns past. It is open 10am to 4pm, 7 days a week, except major public holidays. There is a small admission fee. Pick up your map of the town. Ph. 4096 4020
School of Arts Town Hall (1900) - Irvinebank once served a hinterland population of about 6000 people. In 1900, the School of Arts Committee built a large hall to serve as a meeting place, theatre and entertainment complex. The building was described as the most grandiose outside of Brisbane when completed only 5 days before Federation Day 01/01/1901. In 1903 the first cinematographs were shown and the area in front of the hall once served as the Town Square.
Queensland National Bank Building (1905) - Not open to public - private residence, please keep out and respect the privacy of residents.
Irvinebank State School (1888) - Visitors are welcome. ISS has been operating continuously since 1888 and today is a model bush school with the latest technology and happy smiling kids.
Old Post Office and Telegraph Office (1910) - Not open to the public. Today the post office is at the Irvinebank Tavern. Please respect the privacy of residents.
Old Police Station and Courtroom (1886) - Visitors welcome. Courtroom and Police displays and the stories of justice and injustice, restored lock up and local crafts and products for sale.
Freethinker Cottage - Not open to the public. One of the many workers cottages situated in the township. Please respect the privacy of residents.
Mango Cottage - One of the tiniest houses in the world. Named for the mango trees which flourish beside it.
Graveyard Gully - Some of the personalities from Irvinebanks past have found their final resting place here. Among the headstones you will find such prominent former residents as surgeon, missionary and astronomer Dr MacFarlane and Constable Edward Lannigan: Shot while in execution of his duty.
Loudoun Mill (1884) - Not open to the public, please keep out. The heart of Irvinebanks economy thumped along until the mid 1990s. Good views from the dam wall.
Tramway Station (1907) - Five trains per day left Irvinebank for Stannary Hills carrying passengers and ingots of the purest metal in the world.
Vulcan Mine (1889) - Once known as the Mighty Vulcan, this mine was the deepest tin mine in Australia at 1400 ft (440m)
In 1903, Chillagoe had a population of 723, which swelled to 1,600 in 1907. At its peak in 1917, Chillagoe had a population of about 10,000 with 13 hotels, 2 newspapers, and a hospital. In 1943 the smelters had finally closed. Electricity and sealed roads only came to Chillagoe in 1970. Today the population is approximately 150. This fluctuates with the Red Dome Gold Mine workers throughout the year. The railway from Cairns to Kuranda and Mareeba was opened in 1893, becoming the first stage of a rail network that covered almost an 800 kilometre stretch that once extended beyond Cairns, serving much of the Atherton and Evelyn Tablelands, even as far as the Etheridge region.
Historical Chillagoe Smelter - The Chillagoe smelter operated in the early 1900s at which time, it was the centre of a thriving mining industry that brought wealth and development to the Chillagoe area. Chillagoe was established by William Atherton in the late 1880s, when deposits of copper, lead, silver, mica and gold were found in the surrounding areas. Most ore found around Chillagoe required smelting to extract the minerals, and at first, small blast furnaces were used to process the ore at the mine sites in the surrounding areas of Muldiva, Mungana and Calcifer. By 1901, the large innovative Chillagoe smelters had become operational. The smelter operated until 1943, treating 1.25 million tons of ore, yielding 60,000 tons of copper, 50,000 tons of lead, 181 tons of silver and 5 tons of gold. In 1950, most of the buildings and equipment were auctioned and the smelter and ruins are all that remain. old mining town in the outback was the site of the greatest mining disaster in Queensland. A massive coal dust explosion in 1921 killed at least seventy-five men working underground. Now all that remains is a graveyard and mining remnants that recall the towns past.
Located just south of Innisfail, the Canecutter Way is a 52 kilometre scenic drive that is famous for its combination of history, charm and spectacular North Queensland scenery.
It offers an oasis away from the hustle and bustle of the main highway between Cairns and Townsville and it’s ready to explore every single day of the year.
Cairns, Far North Queensland - the international gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and Wet Tropics Rainforest and is the only place on earth where the two World Heritage listed areas meet. Cairns is a very popular tourist destination. There is never a shortage of things to do and everything is in easy access. To plan and book your Cairns visit, go to http://www.cairnsgreatbarrierreef.org.au/places/cairns/
Cairns Airport is Australia's leading regional airport providing air links to a range of domestic and international destinations. Cairns Airport Flight Schedules.
Cooktown is the northernmost town on the East coast of Australia, located at the mouth of the Endeavour River. Cook shire is remote enough to escape all your cares, but still offers you everything you need. You can snorkel, fish, watch crocs, explore the outback, hide away, and whatever else you want! Natural wonders are rare in most places, but abound around Cooktown. With just a short drive, you can discover the most beautiful, lush natural settings. Among these are the beaches, of course, but you can also find tropical lagoons, waterfalls,hidden gardens, and magical mountain views. Many world famous anglers come to Cooktown for its amazing fishing, as the Great Barrier Reef and pristine local rivers are inhabited by a wide variety of fish. Among these are Barramundi, Queenfish, Mangrove Jack, and Black Marlin. Sportfishing safaris are available up these rivers as well as out to the reef, but if you want to go on your own, read here for some of the fishing spots that the locals recommend.
Cooktown has over two centuries of rich history, starting with Captain James Cook's landing in 1770 and then the gold rush in the 1870's. Explore Cooktown's history and culture, not only by walking through town, but also by visiting the museums and monuments of Cooktown.
Cooktown is where the tropical rainforest meets the reef. The town is surrounded by some of the largest national parks in Cape York. Exotic animals and plants that can be found no where else abound here. Unique natural wonders, such as waterfalls, coral reefs, and lagoons, can often be found with a short trip. Explore these national parks and bask in the beauty of Cooktown's natural surroundings.