The Atherton Tablelands is a highland region of northern Australia near Cairns, Queensland. It rises from the coast to a high of 700 meters, while dropping several degrees in temperature and a lot of the ocean humidity. It then opens to a plateau which is the most northern end of the Great Dividing Range, which consists of a rolling tableland combined with sharp, broken ranges.
Rainforest dominates the eastern end, where trees struggle for available sunlight, while creating a lush ecosystem inhbited by tropical birds and animals that can only be found in Queensland. Rich red volcanic soil & craters in the Lakes District are evidence of past volanic activity of the area. Waterfalls adhorn the landscape with inspiring falls being found at Barron, Tully and Millaa Millaa.
Basalt rich soils have created rich agricultural areas where rice, maize, peanuts,, tea and other crops prosper. Mareeba is the largest town and Australia's biggest tobacco district, producing 6300 tonnes each year, about 40% of the national production. Look further afield and you find towns of by-gone era's when tin, gold and copper finds brought hundreds of miners to the area. Now they lay ghost-like and almost forgotten.
The Atherton Tableland enjoys a tropical climate and is green throughout most of the year
Temperatures rarely exceed 30°C. - usually experiencing pleasant temperatures ranging between 17°C and 25°C, September to June and between 5°C and 14°C from July to August, cool summer nights and mild, sunny winter days without the high humidity experienced in coastal areas.
Things To Do in Atherton Tablelands
The Atherton Tableland presents opportunities for bush walking, bird watching, limestone cave tours, a wildlife cruise, marsupial spotting, hot air ballooning and water sports as diverse as fishing, water skiing and white water rafting.