The Atherton Tablelands, often referred to as Cairns Highlands

A plateau in North Queensland, Australia made up of several picturesque towns, natural falls, pristine rainforest and the rolling green foothills of the Great Dividing Range.

Situated well into the tropics about an hour and a half southwest of Cairns, the Tablelands offer an unparalleled opportunity to enjoy and commune with nature.

Crater lakes and waterfalls, left over by ancient volcanic activity, and the placid waters of Lake Tinaroo offer a variety of water activities.

Miles of rainforest are a paradise for hikers and the wetlands have long been considered one of Australia’s foremost bird watching areas.

Frequent visitors agree that the Tablelands are a must-see on any holiday to the Northern Region.


Atherton Tablelands

Only minutes into the drive past the small town of Kuranda, or up the Gillies Highway, tourists begin to experience the extraordinary beauty that surrounds them and at once begin to unwind.

The mild climate and comfortable temperatures make the Tablelands a desirable year-round holiday destination.

Unique accommodations dot the magnificent scenery, but quaint Bed and Breakfasts with their reasonable prices and delectable fare are becoming increasingly popular with international as well as domestic holiday seekers.

In addition to its incredible beauty, the Tablelands have a diverse and interesting history.

More than a dozen Aboriginal tribes who thrived on rainforest animals, fish and lush vegetation called these highlands home before they were forced to retreat to make way for the region’s more recent settlers.

The Chinese pioneered agriculture in the area, dug wells for irrigation and started what continues to be a flourishing dairy industry.


The rich, red soil and fresh elevation provides the perfect environment for producing crops and raising cattle.

To cover everything the Tablelands have to offer would take pages to write and weeks to experience, but one thing for sure is, whether looking for an adventure filled with excitement or a tropical escape to hide away in.

The Atherton Tablelands have something for everyone.