Atherton Tablelands

The Atherton Tablelands are inland from Cairns, and offer a completely different landscape to the Daintree rainforest to the north, with endless rolling hills and the odd volcanic crater or lake, reminding me of New Zealand.

The waterfall circuit is a well known loop of three conveniently located waterfalls. Ellinjaa Falls was quite lovely when the sun hit it.

Zillie Falls you can’t really see properly unfortunately.

Millaa Millaa Falls was the most popular thanks to it being a good spot to swim.

Up the road Malanda Falls was far less busy despite having effectively a swimming pool attached, though the Tutamonlin walk from it was pleasant, and there was a great visitor information centre.

Continuing up the road the Curtain Fig Tree was quite jaw dropping if very difficult to photograph. It developed by growing over a tree which fell onto another tree, accounting for it’s unusual shape.

The Afghanistan Avenue of Honour in Yungaburra is dedicated to soldiers who have served in Afghanistan. It’s in a quite out of the way if suitably reflective location by Lake Tinaroo.

Lake Eacham was a highlight, with wonderfully blue / green waters and good 3km circuit walk around the lake, including more amazing trees.

Lake Barrine was less spectacular but did have a pair of huge and impressive Kauri trees. Both lakes were volcanic crater lakes, with no rivers feeding into or out of them.

Cathedral Fig Tree was the final and possibly most impressive tree of a day filled with impressive trees.

To finish with a couple of lookouts from the start and end of my time in the Atherton Tablelands. Crawfords Lookout down into the North Johnstone River gorge.

And Heales Lookout over the hillside behind Cairns, quite a view on one of the most winding roads I’ve even driven on, barely a straight or flat stretch in nearly 20km.

Author: jontycrane

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