Atherton Tableland Food Tours

On the Atherton Tableland, agriculture continues to be the region’s main industry but with a downturn in some prices many farmers and primary producers have turned to tourism and production to add value to their products. If you enjoy wine and spirits, it is worth visiting some of the great wineries, particularly the exotic Golden Drop Winery that produces wines and spirits from mangos.

For coffee lovers, there are a number of coffee plantations around the Mareeba area that offer fantastic products and tours of their facilities.

And further south on the Atherton Tableland is the award-winning Mungali Dairy where fabulous organic dairy products are produced.

Cairns city food tours

Even if you don’t travel any further than the city centre of Cairns,  visitors can indulge in award-wining tastes at the large number of quality restaurants sprinkled throughout the city.

Especially interesting is the Red Ochre Grill that features Australian native foods like crocodile, kangaroo, emu and bush flavours from traditional Aboriginal culture.

Don’t miss barramundi, one of the region’s best fish. You can even go on a Cairns fishing tour and catch your own.

Tropical fruits are abundant including mangos, papayas, lychees and Asian fruit like rambutans and mangosteens; they can all be found at Rusty’s Market in Grafton St, the city.

Cairns is also home to cuisines from around the world including Japanese, Greek, Italian, Chinese, Thai and Indian. Most Cairns restaurants open from 5.30pm and take last orders around 9pm.

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The Atherton Tablelands Accommodation

The Atherton Tablelands is filled with the most beautiful accommodation from private luxury self contained, cottages, cabins, chalets, lodges, tree houses, bed and breakfast (B&B or BNB), retreats, farm stays, to holiday houses in Tropical Far North Queensland Australia. There are atherton tablelands accommodation Tariffs and Packages to suit every visitor to the Atherton Tableland.

Accommodation that also caters for everyone, from family friendly with children, pet friendly, romantic couples escapes, wedding honeymoon getaways to farm experiences. The Atherton Tablelands also known as the Cairns Highlands is located high up above the Mountains from Cairns just over an hours drive from the Cairns Airport. Also known for it’s beautiful countryside, cooler climate, Native Wildlife, beautiful Australian Birds, and Country Markets with the largest being located in the historic village of Yungaburra.

Now also attracting tourists for their holidays with so many fantastic Things to do, Atherton Tablelands Attractions, and Atherton Tablelands Tours and such as Wineries, Coffee Farms, a Cheese and Chocolate Factory, Dairy Centres, a Tea Plantation, an Ice-Creamery, Atherton Chinatown, Go-Karts, ATV’s, Horseriding, Helicopter flights, Lake Tinaroo Cruises, Lake Barrine Cruises, Hot-air Balloon flights, Golf, Ten Pin Bowling, Galleries, Museums, Adventure Guides, Waterfalls, Crater Lakes, dairy farms with rolling green hills, and much more.

The Atherton Tablelands is also renowned for their delicious local produce. Visitors from Cairns and Townsville also enjoy getting away from the citylife of the coast to retreat from the heat in summer or cozy up to a warm fireplace in winter.

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A beautiful, scenic and unspoilt, undulating tableland between 500 and 1000 metres above the “The Great Barrier Reef” perfect for self driving tours.

See our Self Drive Itineraries for the Northern, Central & Southern Sections of The Atherton Tablelands, allow a full day in each section.

Ancient Rainforest, Volcanic lakes , Waterfall Circuit (including Millaa Millaa Falls), Mareeba Wetlands, National Parks, “World Heritage Listed – Wet Tropics” and Mabi Rainforest areas and an abundance and diversity of flora and fauna. (including Lumholtz tree kangaroos, possums, platypus, echidna, brolga, cassowaries, rock wallabies, wallabies, pademelon, kangaroo, bandicoot, quolls, bird life, etc- guided night spotting tours can be arranged.)

Adventure Activities include: Hot Air Ballooning, Free Flying, Horse Riding, Barramundi fishing, Bungy Jumping, Pioneer walking trails with Donkeys, Go-Kart Racing and Adventure helicopter experiences.

Jose Paronella’s dream continues at Paronella Park, “…The surprise of your Travels”.

A great place to spend half a day, is “Platypus Bend”, especially if you like walking without the tourist “masses”.
Be assured of a “catch” at the Tablelands best fishing park, “Tarzali Lakes”, or just feed and watch.

Visit working Coffee & Tea Plantations, Wineries, Gourmet Dairy food tasting, cheese & chocolate dairies and other agricultural pursuits.

Self Drive the Tropical Food Trails or let Atherton Blue Gum do the driving for you.

The Mareeba Wetlands, a bird watchers haven & conservation success story. Circum-navigate the lake with the Rangers expert commentary and view the beautiful Gouldian Finches – brought back from extinction.

“Rainforestation Nature Park” – Pamagirri Aboriginal Experience, Koala’s and amphibious army ducks, restaurants and gift shops.

Historical towns of Yungaburra, Atherton, Herberton & Irvinebank – the regions heart from 1880 – 1920.
Gemstone fossicking and Gold panning, off the normal tourist track.

The Hou Wang Miau Chinese Temple, the last surviving structure of what was Cedar Camp, the Atherton Chinatown, established in the mid 1880’s.

Historic Steam Train journeys, up the steepest grades in Queensland.

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Atherton Tableland

The Atherton Tableland is a fertile plateau which is part of the Great Dividing Range in Queensland, Australia. It is located west to south-south-west inland from Cairns,  well into the tropics, but its elevated position provides a climate suitable for dairy farming. It has an area of around 32,000 km² with an altitude ranging between 500 and 1,280 m (1,600 and 4,200 ft).[1] The fertility of the soils in the region can be attributed to the volcanic origins of the land.

The principal river flowing across the plateau is the Barron River, which was dammed to form an irrigation reservoir named Lake Tinaroo, also Tinaroo Hydro, a small 1.6MW Hydroelectric power station is located near the spillway.


1 Physiography
2 History
2.1 Industry
2.2 Tourism
3 Towns
4 Environment
4.1 Places of interest
5 See also
6 References
7 External links


This area is a distinct physiographic section of the larger North Queensland Highlands province, which in turn is part of the larger East Australian Cordillera physiographic division. South of the Tablelands is the Bellenden Ker Range.

Atherton was first explored by JV Mulligan in 1875, but it was John Atherton who settled near the town which now bears his name in 1877. The area was originally explored for its mining potential where deposits of tin and a little gold were found.

Originally a pioneering pastoralist, John Atherton was the first to find tin deposits in Northern Queensland. Local legend has it that Tinaroo Creek received its name from Atherton who shouted, “Tin! Hurroo!” when he first made his discovery. Atherton and his friends, William Jack and John Newell, discovered the famous lode, which became the Great Northern Tin Mine. A rush of miners from the Hodgkinson’s Goldfields followed. The construction of a dray road through the Tableland brought a secondary rush, this time timber cutters to mine the red gold (redcedar) of the rainforest. Redcedar cutters camps were at Rocky Creek, Prior Pocket, Oonda Swamp (Carrington) & Ziggenbein’s Pocket. Although tin was a major part in the Tablelands, timber is what Atherton owes its existence to with large areas of redcedar, kauri, maple, black bean, walnut, white beech and red tulip oak being milled for buildings.

Courtesy: Wikipedia

Atherton Tablelands / Cairns Highlands and Gulf Savannah

The mountain retreat of the Atherton Tablelands is only a one hour drive from Cairns, but remains unspoilt, friendly and natural. Look at what we have to offer:

Natures Wonderland – Atherton Tablelands has  World Heritage Rainforests, Waterfalls, National Parks, Crater Lakes and Volcanic formations with a backdrop of rolling green hills.

Wildlife Paradise – abundant birds, rare and endangered mammals such as the platypus, tree kangaroo and the cassowary can be found on the Atherton Tablelands.

Historic Villages – quaint villages dot the countryside, providing services such as accommodation, dining and shopping facilities. Book your Atherton Tablelands Accommodation online now.

Assessible Outback – within an hour, you can reach the magnificent outback landscapes and Savannah Grasslands that provide the diversity of experiences on the Atherton Tablelands.

Taste our local produce – our volcanic soils are the base for a rich agricultural region, supporting coffee, tropical fruits and nuts and a dairy industry.

Friendly People – country people are just friendlier, come up and visit the Atherton Tablelands and say gday.

Mountain Fresh Climate – at approx 750m, the Atherton Tablelands climate is cooler and fresher than the coast.

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