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Atherton, QLD

Atherton is the ‘capital’ of the lovely Tropical Tablelands, a land of beautiful lakes, waterfalls, rich red soil and tropical rainforest. Here the temperature is cooler, the pace is slower and there is a feeling of relaxation in the air.

Atherton Tablelands

The rich Tableland area is famous for producing peanuts, maize and potatoes. The area also has a number of natural attractions such as the Curtain Fig Tree, Millaa Millaa Falls, crater lakes and amazing rock formations.

Atherton is ideally situated as a base to explore most places of interest in the Tablelands area. Accommodation varies from old Queensland style hotels to bed and breakfast’s (B&B’s), rainforest retreats, caravan parks and backpacker hostels.

Distance from Brisbane (State Capital): 1,869 kilometres.

Tableland parks

Just a scenic hour’s drive from Cairns, you can discover the unspoilt beauty and natural wonders of the Tropical Tablelands.

The World Heritage rainforests and national parks thrive on this cool tropical plateau about 600 to 1000 metres above sea level. An enticing mix of mountains and rivers, lakes and waterfalls offer visitors a cool change as temperatures and humidity are lower than the coastal plain.

Biologists have described the spectacular rainforests of the Wet Tropics as ‘the greatest celebrations of life on earth’.

The Tablelands present opportunities for bushwalking, birdwatching and enjoying a wildlife river cruise with perhaps the chance to see tree-climbing kangaroos and platypuses. Try horse riding, ballooning, watersports, fishing, and miles of scenic drives.


Winding roads lead to spectacular lookouts and a popular route to take is the scenic waterfall circuit. Highlights include Australia’s widest waterfall – Millstream Falls – and many smaller ones, the extinct volcanic crater lakes of Lake Barrine and Lake Eacham, the ancient Bromfield Swamp and the Hypipamee Crater.

The Tablelands are about an hour’s drive from Cairns via the Palmerston and Gillies highways in the south, and the Rex and Kennedy highways in the north.

Nearest Airport: Cairns

Atherton Map


  • 18-35's
  • Caravan and Camping
  • Farm/Station
  • Rural/Country
  • Cultural
  • Eco Tourism
  • Environmental
  • Historic/Heritage
  • Self-Drive

Popular Activities

  • Off Road Driving
  • Bird Watching
  • Bush Walking
  • Cruising
  • Driving
  • Golfing
  • Sailing
  • Scenic Flight
  • Shopping
  • Sightseeing
  • Skiing - Water
  • Wind Surfing
  • Swimming
  • Wine Tasting
  • National Park
  • Winery
  • Fishing
  • Nightlife
  • Rainforest
  • Wildlife
  • Beach
  • Fruit Picking
  • Fishing - Trout/Fly
  • Fishing - Estuary
  • Fossicking
  • World Heritage
  • Jet Boating

About Atherton

  • Locality: Urban locality
  • Atherton Postcode: 4883
  • State: Queensland
  • Region: Cairns & Great Barrier Reef
  • Latitude: -17.26827
  • Longitude: 145.47457
  • Elevation: 766m
  • Population: 7331
  • Median Income: $27456
  • Area (Sq/km): 94.046
  • Timezone: Australia/Brisbane

Accommodation In Atherton

Discover some of the accommodation in and around Atherton

Explore The Outback

Australia has a vast remote interior, much of it largely untouched. By night, the outback is deathly quiet, with the only light provided by the stars and the moon - a perfect oportunity for stargazing. Explore the isolated heart of the country, meet and connect with Aboriginal people and experience one of the oldest living cultures in the world. Go ‘walk-about’ and immerse yourself with Australia’s endless outback horizons.

Outback Experiences

Luxe Accommodation

Enjoy a distinctly Australian luxury experience, such as the unforgettable reefs, islands, beaches and coast; rugged mountain ranges, rainforests and vast national parks; and the many vibrant food and wine regions. Take a once in a lifetime adventure and discover the sheer indulgence of experiencing the wonders of Australia in style and stay in total luxury.

Australia has wide variety of accommodation options to suit most budgets and travelling preferences. Choose from luxury lodges, boutique hotels, serviced apartments, motels, bed and breakfasts, caravan parks as well as youth and backpacker hostels.


Glasshouse Mountains

The Glasshouse Mountains in the hinterland of Queensland’s Sunshine Coast are actually the cores of 20 million year old volcanoes. The sides of the volcanoes have eroded away leaving only the hardened rock spiremountain cores we see today. Learn more about this awe-inspiring landscape.

Glasshouse Mountains