Ways to do summer in the Atherton Tablelands
With the excitement of the Queensland borders reopening on December 13, what better way to spend your summer than in the tropics of North Queensland.
Summer in Tropical North Queensland is a full sensory experience. See the landscape transform from the warm tones of spring to fresh green tones of summer as the first rains begin. The Atherton Tablelands is a vibrant green land of dramatic mountains, untouched rainforest, delicious produce, and jaw-dropping waterfalls, perfect for exploring during the summer season.
Below are some of the many ways you can explore the region this coming season that will suit any type of traveller.
There are many ways to cool down in Tropical North Queensland, but for sheer exhilaration, nothing beats basking in the spray of a thundering wall of water. Towering mountain ranges, remnants of former volcanoes and cascading mountain streams make for a waterfall wonderland, so much so that the Atherton Tablelands even has its own 17km waterfall circuit.
Millaa Millaa Falls is an incredibly photogenic, 18-metre waterfall and a favourite on the circuit. Close by you’ll find Zillie Falls, a magical, misty scene created by the roaring water hitting the surrounding rocks. At the bottom, you’ll find rock pools made for wallowing in.
MAKE A SPLASH IN A CRATER LAKE
In the Tablelands, you will find Lake Eacham; a gorgeous crater lake set within a beautiful tropical rainforest, and is the perfect spot for a picnic or a BBQ. Bring a floaty and dive right in. If swimming doesn’t tickle your fancy, take a stroll through the forest walking trail and keep an eye out for the incredible wildlife in the area.
TASTING THE TABLELANDS
If you’re the type of traveller that tours with their taste buds top of mind, the Atherton Tablelands is the destination equivalent of an all you can eat buffet.
To get your day started visit Skybury, or Coffee Works. For tea lovers, visit the plantation of one of Australia’s best-loved tea brands, Nerada Tea. Pop in for a factory tour before lingering over Devonshire tea and keep an eye out for the resident Lumholtz’s tree kangaroos.
Purchase your morning snack from a roadside fruit stall selling tropical delicacies like mangosteens, and prepare your tastebuds for a tropical sensation. With tropical fruit in peak season, summer is the ideal time to indulge in local produce including the summer favourite, mango.
You’ll also find hand whipped ricotta cheesecake, handmade chocolates and yoghurts. Visit Gallo Dairyland, or Mungalli Creek Biodynamic Dairy and Farmhouse Cafe where summer brings their award-winning ricotta and feta.
Take the pressure out of navigating the Atherton Tableland’s food trails yourself and be guided by the pros, letting Brett’s Outback Tasting Adventures take the reins for the day. The gastronomic safari of the Atherton Tablelands takes you from breakfast to happy hour drinks.
PERUSE FRESH PRODUCE AT THE MARKETS
For fresh produce all in one place, put Yungaburra Farmers’ Markets on your itinerary, held every fourth Sunday of the month. Expect up to 250 growers, producers and artisans showcasing their wares. The market has embraced the food truck trend, so you can snack on crispy potato skewers, fresh ham and cheese croissants or flaky cannoli as you wander between the stalls.
FOR THE WILDLIFE LOVERS
If you’re a keen wildlife enthusiast, summer is the time of year to spot many of the local inhabitants that usually like to stay hidden. The Atherton Tablelands is not only one of the best locations to spot Lumholtz’s tree kangaroos in the wild, you can also spot many other famous Australian native faces.
Be led by FNQ Nature Tours on their Tablelands Exclusive Tour for the best wildlife spotting opportunities. The itinerary includes stopping by Cathedral Fig Tree, an 800-year-old relic of the flora kingdom, a cruise along Lake Barrine, and a visit to Malanda Conversation Park.
If making a difference to the plight of endangered local wildlife is important for your holiday, pay a visit to the Tolga Bat Hospital to see their tiny, winged patients.
REST AND RETREAT IN THE RAINFOREST
Spend a cosy night rugged up in a timber treehouse while listening to rain patter down on the canopy at Rose Gums Wilderness Retreat or Canopy Treehouses. Check into a treehouse overlooking an ancient volcanic rim at Mt Quincan Crater Retreat and be treated to a double spa, wood fire place and full kitchen complete with breakfast provisions at your fingertips.
LAP UP LUXURY AT MT MULLIGAN LODGE
Venture beyond the Tablelands to the Outback and check into the all-inclusive Mt Mulligan Lodge where rugged outback meets luxury and be transported to 28,000 hectares of private, working cattle station paradise. Corrugated iron outdoor baths, spotted gum timber cladding, natural textures and earth-toned furnishings pay homage to the surrounding landscape and pastoral heritage of the property.