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Yungaburra

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. There's good interpretation of the local streetscape, so take the time to stroll around, pick up the local history and check out the locally made arts and crafts.

The town itself is surrounded by the remnants of volcanic activity. Ask someone to point out the extinct volcanic mounds, the Seven Sisters, and then take a drive to the Crater Lakes of Barrine and Eacham. While they're often talked about in the same breath, the lakes have quite different characters. Barrine is smaller, with a quiet, almost Scandinavian feel (assisted by a delightful cruise boat and tea house), while Eacham offers large scale picnic facilities and is often very busy on a sunny day. Both however offer well interpreted walks which are worth taking the time to complete. The Barrine track at 6.5 kilometres is too long for many day trippers, so the fit nature lover has a good chance of a quiet time spotting the local wildlife.

On the way to Lake Eacham, take the Gadgarra turn-off to the Giant Red Cedar tree. Although the tree fell in cyclone Larry and is now lying on the ground, the size of it is still a spectacular site. Imagine the scale of the forests that once would have covered the rich dairy country of the Tablelands. Similar thoughts will no doubt come to mind when viewing another of the great Tablelands trees - the Cathedral Fig. It's well signposted off the Gillies Highway and has never yet failed to impress.

Yungaburra is also well placed as a base for exploring the considerable expanse of Lake Tinaroo. Boating, swimming, camping, bushwalking and fishing are all available on the dam. Try the 28 kilometres Danbulla Forest Drive around the lake and follow the signs to find the many lookouts, swimming holes and refreshment stops along the way.

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Barnard Island Group National Park

Kurrimine Beach, Cassowary Coast Area
Free Entry
The islands feature outstanding rock formations and diverse landforms including shallow reefs, sand spits, beaches and dense rainforest-clad slopes. The rainforested slopes of the Barnard Islands rise steeply from the sea, part of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

Ravenshoe

Ravenshoe, Tablelands Area
Ravenshoe, the highest town in Queensland at 920 metres, is a lush region of mountain pastures and un-spoiled World Heritage rainforest. Situated five kilometres from Ravenshoe you will find windmills that are 45 metres freestanding and twenty of them together is a spectacular sight to behold and feed enough power to into the national grid to power 3,500 homes.
Free Entry
Within the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, nestled below the rugged Bellenden Ker Range, Goldsborough Valley features lush lowland rainforest and the clear flowing waters and deep pools of the picturesque Mulgrave River.

Russell River National Park

Bramston Beach, Cairns Area
Free Entry
Paperbarks and mangrove forests line the many creeks and rivers in tranquil, unspoiled Russell River National Park. In this area the meandering Russell River joins forces with the Mulgrave River before entering the sea in a shared estuary.

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.

Mission Beach

Mission Beach, Cassowary Coast Area
Nature takes centre stage at Mission Beach with its long unspoilt beaches, deserted islands and white-water rivers fringed by rainforest. There are no crowds at this seductive and easy going destination which is perfect for relaxation or discovering adrenalin pumping outdoor activities.

Millaa Millaa Falls

Millaa Millaa, Tablelands Area
Free Entry
Millaa Millaa Falls are magnificent waterfalls surrounded by lush rainforest located on the Waterfalls Circuit, along with Zillie and Ellinjaa Falls. The falls cascade perfectly to a pristine waterhole below where you can enjoy a refreshing swim in the cool water.

Pepina Falls

Millaa Millaa, Tablelands Area
Free Entry
Pepina Falls are best viewed in the time just after the "Green Season". The "Green Season" sometimes known as the wet season runs from January to the end of April most years. Located in a little seen area off the Old Palmerston Highway (the scenic route between Millaa Millaa and Ravenshoe) on Maalan Road they certainly provide a photographic opportunity.

Mamu Tropical Skywalk

Innisfail, Cassowary Coast Area
From AU$20 - 24
The Mamu Rainforest Canopy Walkway is a spectacular walk through the canopy of World Heritage rainforest. It is an iconic tourist attraction in the heart of the Wet Tropics. With a 350 metre long elevated walkway through the canopy, a cantilever, a 37 metre observation tower and more than 1200 metres of walking tracks, this attraction is a must do for anyone visiting the region.

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.
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