Atherton, Atherton Tablelands
Atherton is a small but bustling town in the Tablelands region of Far North Queensland. In and around the town centre, a number of tourist and historical attractions are easily accessible by foot. If you have a day to spend, these are some places I can recommend:
ATHERTON TABLELANDS VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRE
, Corner Main Street and Silo Road
Visitor centres are always a great place to start your exploring. Grab a map and seek local advice about things to see and do, as well as recommendations on places to eat.
TABLELAND REGIONAL GALLERY
, 16 Robert Street
The octagonal-shaped gallery is a spacious venue in which local artists, photographers, sculptors, and potters can showcase their works in style. Each month, the gallery features a new exhibition so there is always fresh art to enjoy.
OLD POST OFFICE GALLERY
, 86 Atherton Herberton Road
Housed in the Hou Wang Chinese Temple and Museum complex, this one-room gallery features a small but colourful collection of artworks.
HOU WANG CHINESE TEMPLE AND MUSEUM
, 86 Herberton Road
The Hou Wang Taoist temple was built in 1903 following an influx of migrant Chinese workers who eked a living as market gardeners or laboured with European timber loggers. Over the years, the temple went through rough patches of disrepair, cyclone damage, and vandalism. However, the land on which Atherton's Chinatown stands was finally bought outright by a local Chinese family and transferred to the National Trust in 1980.
The museum has displays of information and operates a guided tour of the temple, giving an insight into the early Chinese community.
, Corner Weaver Street and Atherton Herberton Road
Although I didn't get a chance to go platypus spotting, I would definitely recommend it if you can get to the pond very early in the morning or at dusk. This is when you are most likely to spot platypus activity.
ATHERTON RAIL TRAIL
, Platypus Park
Starting from Platypus Park, the hiking, cycling and horse riding trail follows the old rail track that once connected the port of Cairns to the Herberton tin mines. Currently, the trail covers 20.5km but there are plans to extend this. I walked the short distance from Platypus Park to the end of Atherton town and found the path to be well maintained and wide enough for users to share comfortably.
THE CRYSTAL CAVES
, 69 Main Street
This is the "must see" attraction for most tourists who come to Atherton. The Crystal Caves offers a self-guided tour in which you can explore 300 square metres of tunnels, crawlspaces, chambers, and grottos in which creator René Boissevain has displayed a huge collection of over 600 crystals, rocks, and fossils. The collection features a 525kg rose quartz boulder and marine fossils as old as 385 million years.
BARRON VALLEY HOTEL
, 53 Main Street
The BV — as it is known locally — is an iconic hotel and pub built in the 1880s. In 1938, it was rebuilt with brick in the art deco style and today the property is listed with the Australian Heritage Commission. Its colourful history includes being turned into an Australian military headquarters during World War Two.
You can expect to be served hearty meals and chilled beers by award-winning staff. The premises has art deco features and interesting memorabilia for those who enjoy a bit of history.
**SECONDHAND AND THRIFT SHOPS
Atherton Secondhand Shop**, 1 Herberton Road
Almost everything including the kitchen sink can be found in this store. There are antiques, vintage wares, furniture, quirky bric-a-brac, books, and homewares.
Animal Welfare Shop
, 7C Robert Street
Stocked with clothing, books, games, and kitchenware.
, Reddan Lane
The store has a wide range of clothing, kitchenware, books, home decor, and accessories.
Red Cross Op Shop
, Corner Jack and Main Streets
It sells clothing, accessories, books, and bric-a-brac.
81812 - 2023-06-11 06:16:08