Atherton Tablelands, Waterfalls and crater lakes

  • Location: 18.0903°S, 145.3143°E
  • Population: 25541 (2018)
  • Elevation:752 m
  • Area: 11,293 klm2.
  • Postcode: 4883

The Atherton Tablelands are a beautiful region in Queensland, and they are a must-visit destination for anyone exploring Australia.

Getting There

To reach the Atherton Tablelands, you can fly into Cairns, the nearest major city. From there, you can rent a car or take a guided tour to explore the Tablelands. It’s about a 90-minute drive from Cairns to Atherton.

Natural Beauty

The Atherton Tablelands are renowned for their wonderful natural beauty. You’ll find lush rainforests, cascading waterfalls, and serene lakes. One of the most famous spots is Millaa Millaa Falls, known for its picturesque beauty. Don’t forget to visit the Curtain Fig Tree, a massive strangler fig that’s a wonder of nature.

Wildlife Encounters

Nature lovers will be thrilled with the wildlife encounters on the Tablelands. Watch for unique Australian animals like tree kangaroos, platypuses, and bird species. The area is also home to some of the world’s oldest rainforests.

Food and Farm Experiences

The Atherton Tablelands are a food lover’s paradise. You can explore local markets and taste fresh tropical fruits, cheeses, and coffee. Make sure to visit a dairy farm and try some delicious cheeses.


For adventure seekers, there are plenty of activities to enjoy. You can go hiking in the lush rainforests, swim in the crystal-clear waters of Lake Eacham, or even go hot-air ballooning for a unique perspective of the region.

Exploring the Waterfalls of Atherton Tablelands, Australia

When you visit the Atherton Tablelands in Australia, you’re in for a treat, especially if you’re a fan of waterfalls. This region is known for its wonderful cascades, surrounded by lush rainforests and natural beauty. Let’s embark on a journey to discover some of the most beautiful waterfalls in the area.

1. Millaa Millaa Falls

Millaa Millaa Falls

Millaa Millaa Falls is an iconic and picturesque waterfall that graces many postcards and travel brochures. The crystal-clear waters cascade gracefully into a pristine pool, inviting visitors for a refreshing swim. The verdant rainforest backdrop adds to its allure, making it a must-see on your Tablelands adventure.

2. Zillie Falls

Zillie Falls

Zillie Falls, located nearby, is another gem in the Tablelands. It’s a powerful waterfall with water thundering over the edge, creating a dramatic sight. A viewing platform provides a safe vantage point to admire its beauty and capture beautiful photographs.

3. Ellinjaa Falls

Ellinjaa Falls

Ellinjaa Falls is a short drive from Millaa Millaa Falls, making both visits convenient in a single day. This waterfall tumbles down a series of smooth rock faces, forming multiple cascades. It’s a tranquil place to relax and enjoy the sounds of nature.

4. Nandroya Falls

Nandroya Falls

Nandroya Falls is a captivating natural wonder nestled in the lush rainforests of Queensland. These falls are part of the Wooroonooran National Park, renowned for its pristine beauty and abundant biodiversity.

5. Malanda Falls

Malanda Falls

Malanda Falls is unique because you can swim in the natural pool at its base. It’s a popular spot for locals and visitors, especially on hot days. The nearby Malanda Falls Conservation Park offers opportunities for wildlife spotting.

6. Dinner Falls

Dinner Falls

Dinner Falls is tucked away in the Wooroonooran National Park. It’s a less-visited gem, so you can often enjoy its beauty in relative solitude. The falls flow gently over rock terraces, creating a serene and peaceful atmosphere.

Support Local Tourism

As you explore these magnificent waterfalls, consider partnering with local tour operators or guides. They can provide valuable insights, ensure safety, and enhance your overall experience.

The Atherton Tablelands offer a remarkable opportunity to witness some of Australia’s most captivating waterfalls. Each waterfall has its unique charm, and together, they showcase the natural beauty of this region. So, pack your swimmers, grab your camera, and get ready to be amazed by the waterfalls of Atherton Tablelands.

Discover the Best Things to Do in the Atherton Tablelands, Australia

When visiting the Atherton Tablelands in Australia, you’ll find a treasure trove of activities and experiences that showcase the region’s natural beauty and cultural richness. Here are some of the best things to do in this stunning part of Australia:

1. Explore Waterfalls

Nandroya Falls

As mentioned before, exploring the many waterfalls in the region is a must. Aside from the famous ones, hidden gems are waiting to be discovered. Spend your days chasing waterfalls, swimming in pristine pools, and capturing the beauty of these cascades.

2. Wildlife Encounters

Curtain Figtree

The Atherton Tablelands offer unique opportunities for wildlife enthusiasts. Visit the Atherton Tableland Maize Maze for birdwatching or the Curtain Fig Tree to spot tree kangaroos. You can also take guided tours to see platypuses in their natural habitat.

3. Atherton Tablelands Tours

Atherton Tablelands

Consider joining a guided tour to explore the region’s best. Knowledgeable guides can lead you to key attractions, provide insights into the area’s history and ecology, and ensure you don’t miss out on hidden treasures.

4. Visit Coffee Plantations

The Tablelands are known for producing coffee. Take a tour of a coffee plantation to learn about the coffee-making process and enjoy a cup of freshly brewed local coffee.

5. Explore Crater Lakes

Lake Eacham

The region boasts several beautiful crater lakes. Lake Eacham and Lake Barrine are popular choices for swimming, picnicking, and rainforest walks. These calm lakes provide a tranquil retreat because of the surrounding lush vegetation.

6. Taste local produce

Don’t miss the opportunity to savour the region’s fresh produce. Visit local markets to sample tropical fruits, cheeses, chocolates, and more. It’s a delightful culinary journey through the flavours of the Tablelands.

7. Hot Air ballooning

Hot Air Ballooning

Experience the Tablelands differently by taking a hot air balloon ride at sunrise. Drift above the treetops and enjoy fantastic views of the landscape below.

8. Historical Sites

Dairy Centre Malanda

Explore the region’s history by visiting sites like the Hou Wang Temple in Atherton or the Malanda Dairy Centre. These places offer insights into the cultural heritage and development of the area.

9. Rainforest Walks

Immerse yourself in the ancient rainforests of the tablelands. There are numerous walking trails suitable for all levels of hikers. These walks allow you to get up close to the diverse flora and fauna of the region.

10. Stargazing

The Atherton Tablelands are known for their clear night skies. Head to a designated stargazing spot on a clear evening to admire the Southern Hemisphere’s celestial wonders.

enhance your experience, ensuring you get the most out of your visit. Whether you’re into nature, adventure, culture, or food, the Atherton Tablelands has something special for every traveller. Enjoy your journey through this captivating region!

FAQ’s Atherton Tablelands

Q. Where are the Atherton Tablelands located?

A. The Atherton Tablelands are located in the tropical region of Far North Queensland, Australia, approximately 90 minutes by car from Cairns.

Q. What is the best time to visit the Atherton Tablelands?

A. The Tablelands can be visited year-round, but the best time is during the dry season, from May to October when the weather is pleasant and waterfalls are at their best.

Q. How can I get to the Atherton Tablelands from Cairns?

A. You can reach the Tablelands by car, taking a scenic drive from Cairns. Alternatively, you can join guided tours that depart from Cairns.

Q. Are there any entrance fees to visit the waterfalls or national parks?

Some national parks and attractions may have nominal entry fees. It’s a good idea to check the official websites or local information centres for the latest fee information.

Q. What are the best waterfalls to visit in the Atherton Tablelands?

Some top waterfalls to visit include Millaa Millaa Falls, Zillie Falls, Ellinjaa Falls, Nandroya Falls, and Malanda Falls.

Q. Can I swim in the waterfalls?

Many waterfalls have designated swimming areas to cool off and enjoy the refreshing waters. Just be cautious of safety signs and follow local guidelines.

Q. Are there accommodations available in the Atherton Tablelands?

Various accommodation options include hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, and campgrounds. You can choose accommodations that suit your preferences and budget.

Q. What other activities are there besides visiting waterfalls?

The Atherton Tablelands offers a range of activities, including wildlife spotting, coffee plantation tours, historical site visits, rainforest walks, hot air ballooning, and stargazing.

Q. Can I go on guided tours in the Atherton Tablelands?

Guided tours can enhance your experience by providing insights into the region’s history, ecology, and culture. Local operators offer various tour options.

Q. Are there dining options in the Atherton Tablelands?

Yes, you’ll find restaurants, cafes, and local eateries where you can enjoy delicious local cuisine. Don’t miss the chance to taste fresh tropical fruits and locally produced goods.

Q. What should I pack for a visit to the Atherton Tablelands?

A. Be sure to pack comfortable clothing, swimwear, sunscreen, insect repellent, and sturdy walking shoes to explore the rainforest trails.

These FAQs should help you plan your visit to the Atherton Tablelands and make the most of your experience in this beautiful region of Australia.

Helpful information

Local Partnerships

When planning your trip, consider partnering with local operators who can provide you with the best experiences. They can arrange guided tours of wildlife encounters and provide valuable insights into the region’s history and culture.

Visiting the Atherton Tablelands is a fantastic way to experience the natural beauty of Australia. It’s a place to immerse yourself in wonderful landscapes, encounter unique wildlife, and savour delicious local produce. Enjoy your journey through this remarkable part of Australia!The Atherton Tablelands have something for everyone.  

Next, explore our beautiful region.

During your stay, there are great local markets to explore every weekend.