The sweltering heat of Cairns in northern Queensland is a sweating contradiction to the lush, fertile landscape of the Atherton Tablelands. An easy hour and a half drive inland, the towns of Mareeba and Atherton are an oasis from the heat and bustle of one of Australia’s larger tropical cities.
The Atherton Tablelands cover an area of 32,000 square kilometres and their altitude ranges from 500 to 1280 metres above sea level. The distinctive climatic conditions lend themselves to a diverse and arrestingly photogenic range of natural phenomena. No less than 12 species of birdlife are unique to the tablelands, which encompasses pockets of the forest that once covered it, now protected as National Park.
With a high yearly rainfall, waterfalls in the area are abundant and active. Local attractions include platypus watching, boat cruises and hot air ballooning, and the region is famous for its produce markets and wineries. Bird watchers and bushwalkers will find an immense selection of nature trails that are well-maintained and cater to all fitness levels.
The Atherton Tablelands is a place to be savoured and enjoyed, explored via adventurous day trips, and immersing oneself in the rich and vibrant lifestyle the area has to offer.