Atherton Tablelands have World Heritage rainforests, mountains, rivers, lakes in extinct volcano craters and magnificent waterfalls - even a touch of the Outback!
That's just part of the beauty of this benign and fertile plateau 600-1000 metres above sea level where the temperatures are cooler and everything thrives on the rich, red soil.
Atherton's primitive ferns and giant kauri pines grow much as they did hundreds of millions of years ago. A huge strangler fig has aerial roots hanging 15 metres to the ground.
climbing kangaroos, cassowaries, possums and bower birds live in
the upland rainforests and platypus in the
rivers and meandering
Among the rolling hills dairy cattle and deer graze on green pastures and farms grow tea, coffee, nuts, corn, vegetables and flowers for local and export markets.
Tablelands, towns, are among the tidiest in Australia,
the gardens a brilliant mix of tropical and cool climate trees
There's even a vineyard in the high country and many homes have fireplaces for winter nights.
Stay in a classic old hotel, Atherton Motel, Atherton Rainforest Motor Inn, guest house, bed and breakfast or caravan park and take time to visit the excellent restaurants, weekend markets, galleries and art and craft shops.
Swim in the crater lakes of Eacham and Barrine, bush walk Euramo, Mt. Hypipamee and Wongabel State Forest, birdwatch Bromfield Swamp, see around Lake Tinaroo from Danbulla Forest Drive. The lake is a great place to swim, sail, ski, windsurf, fish, camp and explore by houseboat.
Go ballooning at dawn, horse riding, cruising on a rainforest lake, or take one of the food and wine tasting tours. Join an expert guide on a walk into World Heritage rainforest.
Each town has its special attractions: Mareeba's annual rodeo; Tolga's homestead park and woodcraft gallery; Atherton's crystal caves, art gallery, Chinese joss house and steam train; Yungaburra's village square, heritage walk and clock museum; Millaa Millaa's waterfall circuit; Malanda's natural history museum; Herberton's historic village; Ravenshoe's timber crafts and wide waterfall.
west of Mareeba to Chillagoe's superb limestone caves.
Scenic roads lead to the tablelands from the coast and outback and tours leave from the coast daily.