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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.

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Curtain Fig National Park

Yungaburra, Tablelands Area
Free Entry
This park protects a small area of an endangered type of forest, called mabi forest, the local Aborignal (Ngadjon) word for the Lumholtz's tree-kangaroo. The large fig tree found in this park is unique because the extensive aerial roots, that drop 15 metres to the forest floor, have formed a 'curtain'.

Ellinjaa Falls

Millaa Millaa, Tablelands Area
Free Entry
Ellinjaa Falls are picturesque falls that are part of the Waterfalls Circuit along with Millaa Millaa and Zilzie Falls. Enjoy the sound of the water rushing over a series of lava columns as you have a picnic lunch.

Yungaburra

Yungaburra, Tablelands Area
Just over an hour south-west from Cairns, Yungaburra is the first stop for travellers who've completed the spectacular drive up the Gillies Highway from Gordonvale. With its fresh air, great cafes and 28 heritage buildings, it's an enticing introduction to the charm of the Atherton Tablelands.

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.

Lake Eacham, Crater Lakes National Park

Lake Eacham, Tablelands Area
Free Entry
A clear, blue lake surrounded by cool rainforest, Lake Eacham offers swimming, birdwatching, canoeing, picnic areas and shady walking tracks, making it a popular recreation area with locals and visitors alike.

Souita Falls

Millaa Millaa, Tablelands Area
Free Entry
Souita Falls are near to Millaa Millaa on Middlebrook Road off the Old Palmerston Highway which once was the road connecting Millaa Millaa and Ravenshoe - the highest town in Queensland, now a scenic route (not suitable for caravans) between the two towns.

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.

Paronella Park

Mena Creek, Cassowary Coast Area
  • Free WiFi
From AU$45 - 45
Everyone has a dream. José Paronella's dream became a reality. On five hectares beside Mena Creek Falls he built his castle, a picnic area by the falls, tennis courts, bridges, a tunnel, and wrapped it up in an amazing range of 7,500 tropical plants and trees.

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.

Little Millstream Falls

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. A walking track leads to a viewing area over the falls. Here, in the rainshadow of the eastern dividing ranges, the dry, open woodland vegetation is dominated by eucalypts.
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