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Malanda

Nestled high in the Atherton Tablelands of Tropical North Queensland and surrounded by lush rainforest, the picturesque village of Malanda seems an unlikely place to find a dairy. But find one you will. In fact you'll find dozens around this small community known as the dairy capital of northern Australia.

Located 10 minutes from the town of Atherton and just under an hour from Cairns, there are many reasons to include Malanda on your holiday itinerary.

Right on the edge of town are the Malanda Falls where you may be lucky enough to spy a platypus, tree-kangaroo, birds, butterflies or dancing Brolga in the surrounding forest. Enjoy a picnic on the bank or go for a refreshing dip in this crocodile-free section of the Johnson River.

In town, be sure to follow the Malanda Art Trail, a series of painstakingly crafted mosaics that takes followers on a journey through the rich history of the area. Pay attention to the intricate detail in the designs and see if you can find the blue butterfly hidden in each mosaic!

Pay a visit to the Dairy Centre and learn more about the industry that put Malanda on the map. Take a stroll through the quaint country town past its many historic buildings, including a huge hotel complete with grand staircase and ballroom. It's said to be the largest wooden structure in Queensland.

Just 10 minutes from Malanda you'll find the Mt Hypipamee National Park, home of the beautiful rainforest-shrouded Dinner Falls and a huge water-filled crater created many thousands of years ago by a volcanic explosion.

Accommodation in Malanda includes motels, hotels, lodges, guesthouses, bed-and-breakfasts and camping.

Malanda, Tablelands Area
Queensland
Australia

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Free Entry
Josephine Falls, a scenic section of Wooroonooran National Park, features a scenic waterfall fed by rains falling on Queensland's highest peak, Bartle Frere, which looms above this popular picnic area. Josephine Creek starts as a trickle high on the south-east side of the summit of Bartle Frere and ends as a substantial creek flowing into the Russell River. Approximately 7.5 kilometres from the summit of Bartle Frere, the waters of Josephine Creek tumble over granite boulders, forming the picturesque Josephine Falls. Wander along the walking track through lush tropical rainforest to viewing decks overlooking Josephine Creek and falls. From here, enjoy excellent views and opportunities for photography. Do not enter the restricted access area around the top of the falls. Serious injuries and deaths have occurred here. Penalties apply. Flash flooding (rapidly rising water) is common during wetter months. Rapid and unpredictable water level rises have isolated people on the far bank requiring their rescue. The rocks are also exceptionally slippery, the water cold and submerged objects may be in the creek. Never jump or dive into the water and take care around steep slopes and rock faces along the track and at the lookout.

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.

Eubenangee Swamp National Park

Babinda, Cairns Area
Free Entry
One of the most important wetlands between Ingham and Cairns, Eubenangee Swamp is a birdwatchers' paradise, with over 190 species of birds recorded. Situated in the lowlands east of the Bellenden Ker Range (the wettest part of Australia), much of this park is flooded during the wet season. As well as being a significant habitat for waterbirds, the park also protects some of the last remnants of various lowland vegetation types. Much of the park is swampland, supporting paperbarks, waterbirds and crocodiles. The rest is rainforest and grassland. Stroll along the 1.5 kilometre return walking track that follows the Alice River, through rainforest to the top of a grassy hill and enjoy views of Bartle Frere and Bellenden Ker, Queensland's two highest peaks, as well as the swamp and its many waterbirds. Birdwatching is rewarding, as the different vegetation types attract many birds. Remember to be croc wise.
Free Entry
Approximately ten kilometres from the Kennedy Highway on Tully Falls Road, Ravenshoe the upper car park is a shaded spot to leave your vehicle. You will need personal insect repellent for the walk to the waterfalls then return to your vehicle - the most rewarding way to complete your walk. Then proceed further south to Tully Gorge Lookout over the 275 metre gorge, your best chance for falling water is just after a storm in the "Green Season".

Palmerston, Wooroonooran National Park

Innisfail, Cassowary Coast Area
Free Entry
Palmerston, within Wooroonooran National Park, is one of the most accessible parts of a large park in the heart of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. The area is renowned for lush rainforest, scenic views, steep gorges and cascading waterfalls. Towering buttressed trees and small rainforest cycads are prominent features. It is a place of very high biodiversity, due to the high rainfall and fertile soils derived from basalt rocks. The Palmerston Highway traverses the park and several day-use areas and camping areas along the road allow access into the park. Stop at Crawfords lookout for the breath-taking views down to the North Johnstone River gorge or climb down the steep winding North Johnstone Lookout track for a closer look. Camp at the secluded Henrietta Creek camping area and go platypus-spotting in the nearby creek at dusk. Take the circuit track to Nandroya and Silver falls or walk to Tchupala and Wallicher falls through lush rainforest. Relax by the creek at Gooligan's picnic area. Visit the Mamu Rainforest Canopy Walkway for a different perspective into this rugged rainforest-clad park.

Djiru National Park

Mission Beach, Cassowary Coast Area
Free Entry
This park protects some of the last remaining lowland rainforest in the wet tropics, including a rare patch of licuala fan palm forest and is one of the few places you're likely to see an unusual and endangered bird, the southern cassowary. The park is within the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. Enjoy a barbecue at Lacey Creek day-use area and learn about cassowaries at the information shelter. Nearby, signs in the cassowary arboretum identify the trees that cassowaries feed on. Stroll along the short circuit walk through the forest and past a viewing platform overlooking the creek. Take a picnic to Licuala day-use area and follow the children's cassowary walk. Amble along the longer circuit walk that leads you under the bright green, patterned canopy of licuala fan palms. Keep a lookout for cassowaries and always 'Be Cass-o-wary!'

Lake Barrine, Crater Lakes National Park

Yungaburra, Tablelands Area
Free Entry
This popular park features a deep crater lake surrounded by cool lush rainforest. Lake Barrine, part of Crater Lakes National Park, is a maar: a crater lake formed by volcanic explosions. In several places, large bull kauri pines, a species that once dominated the tableland forests, emerge through the rainforest canopy. Take the short stroll along the boardwalk to view the two giant bull kauris. Stretch your legs on the longer five kilometre walking track around the lake, pausing to admire the lake views. Look for rainforest animals, such as the colourful but cryptic Boyd's forest dragon, along the way. Take your canoe onto the lake and look for fish, turtles and waterbirds around the shallow reedy lake edges. Enjoy afternoon tea in the privately-operated teahouse. Lake cruises operate from the teahouse.

Misty Mountains Wilderness Walking Tracks

Ravenshoe, Tablelands Area
Free Entry
The Misty Mountains wilderness walking tracks are a 130 kilometre network of short and long wilderness tracks takes visitors through pristine, high altitude rainforest with crystal clear creeks, waterfalls and panoramic views.The tracks cross the Walter Hill Range and the Cardwell Range, extending from the coastal plain to the tablelands. The area forms part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area and is recognised for its diversity of rainforest types, plant species and outstanding landscape features. Four long tracks—the Koolmoon Creek, Cannabullen Creek, Cardwell Range and Gorrell tracks—make up the Misty Mountains wilderness walking tracks. Sections of some of the tracks are accessible for shorter walks. Walkers must be well prepeared, self-sufficient and responsible for their own safety. Tell a responsible person where you are going and when you expect to return. A reliable form of communication is essential and satellite phones and PLBs (personal locator beacons) are the most effective.

Malanda Falls Conservation Park

Malanda, Tablelands Area
Free Entry
Surrounded by dense rainforest, the North Johnstone River tumbles over basalt rock that was formed by an ancient lava flow at Malanda Falls. The much-photographed picturesque falls flow into an artificial swimming pool in this popular park near Malanda. Have a picnic and take a dip in the pool. Follow the easy one kilometre Tulip Oak walk beside the river and through the rainforest. Learn about the Ngadjon-Jii culture from interpretive signs as you walk along the track. Watch for platypus from the viewing platforms. Keep an eye out for secretive tree-kangaroos, sometimes seen here.

Millstream Falls National Park

Ravenshoe, Tablelands Area
Free Entry
Plunging over the edge of a columnar basalt lava flow, Big Millstream Falls is reputedly the widest single-drop waterfall in Australia. Lying in the rain shadow of the eastern dividing ranges, the dry open woodland here is in stark contrast with the rainforest which is only kilometres away. This area is rich in World War II history. Camp sites were constructed for the Battalions of the 7th and 9th Divisions between 1943 and 1945. Picnic in the shady day-use area among the blue gums and ironbarks, or walk down to the viewing area above Millstream Falls. Explore their history as you wander the World War II Heritage track past the camp site remains, where informative signs tell of the conditions at the time and show how the soldiers lived, worked and played. Ride mountain bikes or trail bikes through the park's internal roads and firebreaks. At Little Millstream Falls, view these beautiful falls from just near the car park or enjoy a different perspective by walking the narrow path to the base of the falls.
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