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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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.

Normanby Reef

Cairns, Cairns Area
Free Entry
Normanby Reef is located in the Frankland Islands on the Great barrier Reef, a group of relatively untouched national parks about 12 km off the coast near Cairns. They are a group of continental islands with good beaches and some fine snorkelling.

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.

Tully Falls and Tully Gorge

Ravenshoe, Tablelands Area
Free Entry
Follow the scenic Tully Falls Road to the spectacular Tully Gorge Lookout. The falls only run in a big wet season, but the walls of raw rock and rainforest which plunge 300 metres (984 feet) down to the Tully River are still an awe-inspiring sight.

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.

Millaa Millaa

Millaa Millaa, Tablelands Area
Millaa Millaa is an Aboriginal word meaning plenty of water or waterfall and this is as true as ever as some of the most beautiful waterfalls are within a few minutes drive of the town. The main one of course is Millaa Millaa but further along Tourist Drive number nine stop in and photograph Zillie Falls and Ellinjaa Falls to name a few.

Tully Gorge National Park

Tully, Cassowary Coast Area
Free Entry
In this park, the Tully River plunges down the Cardwell Range, through the densely forested Tully Gorge, in Australia's wettest area, part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. Heavy rainfall encourages lush tropical vegetation and ensures plenty of white-water on the Tully River.

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.

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.
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Note: Information on listed products and services are provided by the operator and were correct at the time of publishing. Rates are indicative based on the minimum and maximum available prices of products and services. Please visit the operator’s website for further information. All prices quoted are in Australian dollars (AUD).