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The Must-Do Scenic Atherton Tablelands Drive

Home > Queensland > Day Trips | Escape the City | Lookouts | Places of Interest | Travel
by Gypsy Rose (subscribe)
I am a travel writer and photographer with a passion for the great outdoors and food! I love travelling and discovering hidden gems... experience the journey on Instragram! @gypsy_compass
Published April 16th 2019
Jump in the car and tick off one of the most scenic drives in North Qld
The breathtaking Atherton Tablelands in North Queensland is an absolute do bucket-list attraction, filled with a beautiful temperate climate, a massive diverse landscape with attractions, and covering an area of 64,768 square kilometres.



The drive through the Atherton Tablelands features World Heritage Listed sites, ancient rainforest, volcanic lakes, ranges, waterfalls, mountains, National Parks, coffee plantations, coastal areas, swamps, wildlife and birds galore, an abundance of flora and fauna, and quaint towns filled with antique and art and craft shops. There is something to please all interests on this must-do scenic drive and it will certainly not disappoint!



Top attractions include:

Paronella Park (Heritage gardens and ruins located on 13 acres)

Gallo Dairyland

Rainforestation Nature Park

Hou Wang Miau Chinese Temple
Tableland Express (Historic steam train journeys)

Granite Gorge Nature Park



Warbird Adventures Aviation Museum

Mareeba Wetlands

Coffee Works

Mt Mulligan Escarpment

Tyrconnell Historic Goldmine



Hidden towns including Irvinebank, Herberton, Eacham,

Atherton, Malanda & Yungaburra

Lake Tinaroo

Bromfield & Hasties Swamp

Curtain Fig Tree, Cathedral Strangler Fig Tree & Giant Red



Cedar Tree

Mt Bartle Frere & Mt Bellenden Ker

Tichum Creek Coffee Farm

Millstream Falls National Park



Tully Gorge National Park

Ravenshoe

Millaa Millaa Waterfall Circuit



Below is a list of the drives that can be enjoyed throughout the Atherton Tablelands. It covers Northern, Central, and Southern Tablelands and features something for all interests:



Great Outdoors Trail:
This Drive offers clean, fresh mountain air, picturesque surroundings, and uncrowded wide open spaces and features the perfect setting for bushwalks, hikes, and cycling opportunities.



The Great Outdoors Trail also includes mountain bike parks with an international reputation, making this trail perfect for those with a passion for extreme sports. The bike parks are suitable for beginners through to extreme sports experts.



The trail begins at Kuranda and highlights include:

Barron Gorge National Park

Davies Creek Mountain Bike Park

Emerald Creek Falls

Tolga Kairi Cycle Loop

Lake Tinaroo



Mount Baldy Walking Track

Atherton Rail Trail

Atherton Forest Mountain Bike Park

BIG 4 NRMA Atherton Tablelands Holiday Park

Mount Bartle Frere



Geological Wonders Trail:
Spectacular and interesting insights into the formation of the Atherton Tablelands over millions of years can be discovered on this trail.



It starts at Lake Barrine, Yungaburra and highlights include:

Lake Barrine

Lake Eacham

Hallorans Hill Conservation Park

Seven Sisters (series of seven volcanic mounts- best viewed from Halloran's Hill Lookout)

Crystal Caves



Mt Hypipamee Crater

Malanda Falls Visitor Centre

Chillagoe Caves

Innot Hot Springs

Undara Experience (Lava Tubes- walk the path of a volcano)

Unearth Etheridge



Museums & Galleries Trail:
This idyllic and easy drive will showcase the regions cultural and natural history through small villages and towns.

The trail starts from Mareeba or Ravenshoe and highlights include:

Rainforest Gems

Crystal Caves

Tablelands Regional Gallery

Old Post Office Gallery

Atherton Chinatown



Artistree Gallery

Herberton Mining Museum

Herberton Camera & Spy Museum

Historic Village Herberton

Ravenshoe Visitor Centre



Waterfalls & Waterways Trail:
Atherton Tablelands is a natural wonderland that is filled with an array of spectacular and breathtaking waterfalls, swimming holes, crater lakes and pristine flowing streams.



The trail starts at the northern end of Kuranda or southern end of Innisfail/Millaa Millaa with highlights including:

Barron Falls

Davis Creek Falls

Emerald Creek Falls

Chillagoe Weir

Lake Tinaroo



Lake Barrine

Lake Eacham

Mount Hypipamee Crater

Malanda Falls

Millaa Millaa Falls

Zillie Falls



Elinjaa Falls

Mungalli Creek Dairy

Nandroya Falls

Millstream Falls

Mena Creek Falls

Tchupalla Falls



Heritage Trail:
Immerse yourself with the Heritage Trail drive amid the natural beauty. There is so much to explore and discover on this trail that will delight the senses, including discovering interesting and engaging facts about the region's rich mining heritage, forestry and farming traditions along with newer agricultural industries, and the cultural practices of the local Indigenous people.



You will pass through heritage-listed country towns, quaint architecture, and friendly, old-fashioned service.

The trail starts at Mareeba and highlights include:

Mareeba Heritage Museum & Visitor Information

Mount Mullingan

Chillagoe Smelters

Rocky Creek War Memorial Park



Yungaburra Heritage Village

Atherton Antiques

Atherton-Herberton Historic Railway

Irvinebank Historic Town

Village Herberton

Millstream Falls WWII Track



Landscapes & Wildlife Trail:
If you are a nature lover or photographer buff, then this trail is a must! You will explore and discover World Heritage-listed forests, wildlife and birdlife.



The trail starts at Daintree-Cairns-Kuranda and highlights include:

Daintree Discovery Centre

Hartleys Crocodile Adventures

Barron Falls National Park

Kuranda Birdworld



Kuranda Koala Gardens

Abattoir Swamp

Jumrum Creek Conservation Park

Skybury Cafe & Roastery



Cathedral Fig

Tolga Bat Hospital

Hasties Swamp

Curtain Fig



Peterson's Creek Platypus Walk

Wilderness Expeditions

Mungalli Creek Dairy

Millaa Millaa Lookout



Taste Paradise Food Trail:
Foodie lovers will not be disappointed on this trail! This trail will feature glorious food, fresh and abundant, grown and prepared locally. You will pass farmers and processors.

The trail starts from Mossman-Mareeba and highlights include:

Sweet Farm Tours

Jaques Coffee

Coffee Works

Skybury Cafe & Roastery



Mount Uncle Distillery

Gallo Dairyland

Rainforest Heart

Mungalli Creek Dairy



Anzac Trail:
Atherton Tablelands is filled with a rich history from WWI, WWII to recent times honouring the fallen in Afghanistan. This journey will window into the past and present.

The trail starts from Cairns and highlights include:

Cenotaph in most towns in the Atherton Tablelands which represent "Tablelanders" that did not return home.
Signs depicting the relevant Division that was camped at that location.



Barron Valley Hotel in Atherton- this became the Officers Club
Rocky Creek- the 19th Field Ambulance prepared a camp area in readiness for the 5 Australian Camp Hospital. Today, Rocky Creek lists every Division that was based on the Atherton Tablelands.

Avenue of Honour- located on the Tinaburra Peninsula

For all Accommodation information click here.
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Why? The ultimate scenic road trip
When: All year round
Where: Atherton Tablelands, North Queensland
Cost: Free
Your Comment
It is a really beautiful part of Queensland.
by May Cross (score: 3|5009) 126 days ago
It truly is! Thank you, May Cross :)
by Gypsy Rose (score: 2|476) 126 days ago
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