Cool ideas for hot summer days

No-sweat ways to do summer in the Atherton Tablelands

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COOL DOWN: Millaa Millaa Falls.

COOL DOWN: Millaa Millaa Falls.


Cool your brow and soak up the natural beauty of the Atherton Tablelands.


Summer in Far North Queensland is a full sensory experience and the Atherton Tablelands, with its dramatic mountains, untouched rainforest, delicious produce and jaw-dropping waterfalls, is a great place to get those nerve-endings zapping.

Here are some places to explore as the mercury rises.


There are many ways to cool down in Far North Queensland, but for sheer exhilaration, nothing beats basking in the spray of a thundering wall of water.

Towering mountain ranges, remnants of former volcanoes and cascading mountain streams make for a waterfall wonderland, so much so that the Atherton Tablelands even has its own 17-kilometre waterfall circuit.

Millaa Millaa Falls is an incredibly photogenic, 18-metre waterfall and a favourite on the circuit. Close by you'll find Zillie Falls, a magical, misty scene created by the roaring water hitting the surrounding rocks. At the bottom, you'll find rock pools made for wallowing in.

FLOAT ON BY: Mount Morgan

FLOAT ON BY: Mount Morgan


In the Tablelands, you will find Lake Eacham; a gorgeous crater lake set within a beautiful tropical rainforest, and the perfect spot for a picnic or a BBQ.

Bring a floaty and dive right in. If swimming doesn't tickle your fancy, take a stroll through the forest walking trail and keep an eye out for the incredible wildlife.


If you're the type of traveller who tours with their taste buds top of mind, the tablelands is the destination equivalent of an all-you-can-eat buffet.

ANCIENT RELIC: The Curtain Fig Tree.

ANCIENT RELIC: The Curtain Fig Tree.

To get your day started visit Skybury, or Coffee Works. For tea lovers, visit the plantation of Nerada Tea. Pop in for a factory tour before lingering over Devonshire tea and keep an eye out for the resident Lumholtz's tree kangaroos.

Buy your morning snack from a roadside fruit stall selling tropical delicacies like mangosteens, and prepare your tastebuds for a tropical sensation. With tropical fruit in peak season, summer is the ideal time to indulge in local produce including the summer favourite, mango.

You'll also find hand-whipped ricotta cheesecake, hand-made chocolates and yoghurts. Visit Gallo Dairyland, or Mungalli Creek Biodynamic Dairy and Farmhouse Cafe, where summer brings their award-winning ricotta and feta.

Take the pressure out of navigating the tableland's food trails yourself and be guided by the pros, letting Brett's Outback Tasting Adventures take the reins for the day. The gastronomic safari of the tablelands takes you from breakfast to happy hour drinks.


For fresh produce all in one place, put Yungaburra Farmers' Markets on your itinerary, held every fourth Sunday of the month. Expect up to 250 growers, producers and artisans showcasing their wares.

The market has embraced the food truck trend, so you can snack on crispy potato skewers, fresh ham and cheese croissants or flaky cannoli as you wander between the stalls.


If you're a \wildlife enthusiast, summer is the time of year to spot many of the local inhabitants that usually like to stay hidden. The tablelands is not only one of the best locations to spot Lumholtz's tree kangaroos in the wild, you can also spot many other famous Australian native faces.

Be led by FNQ Nature Tours on their Tablelands Exclusive Tour for the best wildlife spotting opportunities. The itinerary includes stopping by Cathedral Fig Tree, an 800-year-old relic of the flora kingdom, a cruise along Lake Barrine, and a visit to Malanda Conversation Park.

If making a difference to the plight of endangered local wildlife is important for your holiday, pay a visit to the Tolga Bat Hospital to see its tiny winged patients.

YOUR CUP OF TEA?: The Nerada plantation.

YOUR CUP OF TEA?: The Nerada plantation.


Spend a cosy night rugged up in a timber treehouse while listening to rain patter down on the canopy at Rose Gums Wilderness Retreat or Canopy Treehouses. Check into a treehouse overlooking an ancient volcanic rim at Mount Quincan Crater Retreat and be treated to a double spa, wood fireplace and full kitchen complete with breakfast provisions at your fingertips.


Venture beyond the Tablelands to the Outback and check into the all-inclusive Mt Mulligan Lodge where rugged outback meets luxury and be transported to 28,000 hectares of private, working cattle station paradise.

Corrugated iron outdoor baths, spotted gum timber cladding, natural textures and earth-toned furnishings pay homage to the surrounding landscape and pastoral heritage of the property.