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Atherton Tablelands

The Atherton Tableland is a blend of the best attractions of the tropics; a combination of nature and lifestyle at its finest. Among the World Heritage listed rainforests, national parks, mountains, rivers, lakes and waterfalls are some of Australia's richest agricultural lands and charming small townships. Biologists have described the spectacular rainforests of the Wet Tropics as the "greatest celebration of life on earth".

The farm and grazing lands are "the food bowl" of the northern tropics - yielding a constant supply of fruit, vegetables and grains to local and export markets. Here settlers from all over the world share their arts, crafts, music and festivals.

For visitors, the Tablelands present opportunities for bush walking, bird watching, a wildlife cruise, marsupial spotting, hot air ballooning and water sports as diverse as fishing and white water rafting. Winding roads lead to spectacular lookouts and waterfalls, and highlights include Australia's widest waterfall - Millstream Falls - and many others flowing all year round, the deep blue waters of extinct volcano crater lakes, Lake Barrine and Lake Eacham, the ancient Bromfield Swamp near Malanda and the Hypipamee National Park and crater near Herberton.

Atherton, Tablelands Area
Queensland
Australia

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Mapleton Forest Reserve

Mapleton, Sunshine Coast Area
Free Entry
In Mapleton Forest Reserve, Mapleton Forest Drive winds through deep forest, past Cooloolabin Dam, to Point Glorious lookout where great coastal and hinterland views await. Picnic at the Mapleton day-use area near Cedar Creek’s headwaters or camp at Gheerulla Creek. (Bring a fuel stove or firewood). From the day-use area, enjoy an easy walk through blackbutt forest. Go on the forest drive and stop to enjoy the Bonyee walk through piccabeen palm groves to a large bunya pine. Registered and licence motor bike riders can enjoy the 26 kilometre special purpose Gheerulla motor bike track. At Point Glorious, enjoy the view or practise abseiling. From Delicia Road Conservation Park, enjoy a two to four day Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great! Walk circuit.

Cathedral Fig Tree

Yungaburra, Tablelands Area
Free Entry
The Cathedral Fig Tree, like the Curtain Fig Tree, is a gigantic 500 year old strangler tree. Located in the Danbulla State Forest, the Cathedral Fig has the reputation of being the best place to hear an early morning bird 'singing' in the Atherton Tablelands. Circumnavigate the base of the tree and giant buttress roots on the easily accessible boardwalk.

Mount Scoria Conservation Park

Thangool, Banana Area
Free Entry
Rising 150 metres above cultivated plains, Mount Scoria is a striking landmark near Biloela in the Banana Shire. Formed by volcanic activity 20 to 26 million years ago, this volcanic plug features many-sided basalt columns. Known as the 'Musical Mountain', Mount Scoria is one of only three prehistoric rock formations in the world which were originally the core of a volcano. When the basalt columns are struck (carefully) by another rock, musical notes ring out over the plain. Hence the term, Musical Mountain. Take the short cultural track to view the mountain and learn about its significance to the Gangulu people. Have a picnic, go birdwatching or barbecue at the picnic area.

Nanango Fauna Reserve

Nanango, South Burnett Area
Free Entry
The Nanango Fauna Reserve offers many different environments of seasonal waterholes, eucalypt woodland, acacia scrub, and dry vine scrub. It is a birdwatcher's delight with a variety of birds to be found including the Yellow-Faced Honeyeater, Australian Darter, Varied Sittella, Nankeen Night Heron, and Little Black and Little Pied Cormorant.

Minerva Hills National Park

Springsure, Central Highlands Area
Free Entry
A relatively small National Park near Springsure in Central Queensland, Minerva Hills is dominated by Mount Boorambool, rising 600 metres above sea level, and the larger cliff fringed Mount Zamia (560 metres), which offer panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. Named after the Minerva Hills Volcanics, these mountains are some of the oldest in a line of volcanoes across the eastern Australian continent - dating back some 20 million years. The rich variety of plants provide habitat for much wildlife. Look for eastern grey kangaroos, wallaroos and several different wallabies throughout the park. Spotlighting at night may reward with a sighting of the elusive sugar-glider or the larger greater-glider. The park is also home to the locally rare fawn-footed melomies and the little known pebble-mound mouse. Fred Gorge picnic area has wood barbecues, toilets, limited drinking water and shelter sheds. Picnic tables are provided at the Springsure and Eclipse lookouts. Camping is not permitted.
Free Entry
Currimundi Lake (Kathleen McArthur) Conservation Park is a natural gem which has survived despite its proximity to Sunshine Coast developments. A pocket of the wallum heath which once covered much of coastal southern Queensland thrives on Lake Currimundi’s northern shore. This type of coastal heathland is rich in plant species, many of which attract birds and insects seeking food and shelter. Wander down the track from Coongarra Esplanade through the park to the beach. After the first 130 metres of wheelchair-accessible track, pause at the lake lookout. Spot the spectacular yellow-spiked flower or knobbly seed pods of the wallum banksia. Walk quietly, looking and listening for wrens, finches and honeyeaters such as the noisy friarbird.

Magnetic Island Walking Tracks

Magnetic Island, Townsville Area
Free Entry
For an opportunity to see Magnetic Island’s wildlife and enjoy spectacular views, why not take the time and traverse through the Island’s six main walking tracks. Choose walks that range from 30 minutes to two and a half hours to complete. There are wonderful sights to be seen no matter which track you choose!

Hallorans Hill Conservation Park

Atherton, Tablelands Area
Free Entry
This park, in the middle of the township of Atherton, protects eucalypt forest and a remnant of the endangered mabi forest on an extinct volcanic cone. The cone is part of the legacy of the Atherton Tableland's fiery geological past. Enjoy the 1.4 kilometres walk to the top of Hallorans Hill or drive through the residential area of Atherton to the car park at the top of the hill. Enjoy the expansive views from the summit that showcase the tableland's mosaic of different land uses and geological formations. A council park adjoins the conservation park and provides barbecues, toilets, tables, play equipment, walking track and interpretive signs.

Curtain Fig Tree

Yungaburra, Tablelands Area
Free Entry
The Curtain Fig National Park contains the renowned Curtain Fig Tree, an enormous strangler fig tree. Located a short drive out of Yungaburra, a small town in the Atherton Tableland, the giant tree has several aerial roots hanging down from its branches that look like curtains. It's over 500 years old and definitely worth a look! There's a short boardwalk around the base of the tree that is wheelchair accessible.

Nuga Nuga National Park and Lake Nuga Nuga

Rolleston, Central Highlands Area
Free Entry
Lake Nuga Nuga (adjacent to Nuga Nuga National Park) is the largest natural water body within the Central Queensland Sandstone Belt. It provides a valuable habitat for waterbirds, and in the right season flowering waterlilies are a sight to behold. The lake can dry up in times of drought. Bird watchers will find the lake a haven for pelicans, swans and numerous water birds. Lake Nuga Nuga National Park contains Mount Warinilla (offering views over the lake and park) and protects remnants of dry rainforest scrub in a area that has been extensively cleared. A bush camping site, with no facilities, is located in the park on the banks of Lake Nuga Nuga. As this park is remote, be sure to bring adequate supplies of food, water and fuel.
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