Hallorans Hill on the Atherton Tablelands is a favourite with both locals and visitors alike. This hilltop is actually an extinct volcanic cone that now has rare mabi forest growing on it along with eucalyptus trees.
Wildlife is abundant on Hallorans Hill, making it a favourite spot for photographers and families. The usual scrub turkey and various Australian species of birds can be easily spotted. In addition, there are often small rock wallabies and the rare Lumholtz's tree kangaroo which the Aborigines call Mabi. Bunnies also abound on Hallorans Hill, making their homes in the long grasses surrounding the park. While considered a pest, nevertheless the locals often bring their kids up to Hallorans for bunny spotting as the bunnies often come out to frolic on the lawn.
Standing at the top of the Hill, at the Conservatory, it is easy to see far into the distance all around Atherton, making for photogenic scenery. Of special interest is being able to clearly see the Seven Sisters, a series of volcanic mounts made from air vents exploding rocks and gases to pile up in cones around the vents.
It is an unusual playground in that there are sensory experiences to be had. Small grassy mounds around the playground provide a challenging, slightly steep climb for little ones, sand around the playground allows for sand play, and small logs and rocks landscaped around allow for fun climbing and balancing. It was interesting to see while the typical playground construct was enjoyed by the kids, they also took time out to play on the natural sensory features.
One of the best features of Hallorans Hill is the design. It is possible to have some privacy to enjoy the scenery without having to run into people or be too close to others. There are BBQ areas around the hill, forested corridors, a walking trail, lots of gardens, rock landscapes, seats and even shade for hot sunny days. Mind yourself if you take the walking trail though, as there are some stinging trees along the trail. Avoid touching any heart-shaped leaves with serrated edges.
I would be amiss if I didn't mention the cache. There is a hidden geocache on Hallorans Hill for those who like GPS treasure hunting! If you find it, sign the log book and put it back exactly as you found it. Don't let anyone see you! To narrow down the search area, the cache is named "Definitely Mabi".
Make sure you take the time to visit Hallorans Hill if you're in the area. It is a great starting point for a Tablelands adventure! You can find the park on Centenary Drive. Travelling on Robert Street/Kennedy Highway through Atherton, you can turn off on to Twelfth Avenue. From there turn onto Baxter Avenue, then onto Wadley Close and then again onto Centenary Drive which loops back on itself. There is parking on Centenary Drive at the Conservatory on top of Hallorans Hill.