What else can I do in the region?
We love where we live.
The Atherton Tablelands is renowned for fresh water lakes and spectacular waterfalls, but here are our combined top ten places not to be missed while you are here:
Historic Village Herberton – almost as obsessed with preserving historic buildings as René is about crystals, this attraction is a testament to Harry Skenner who salvaged the buildings during the 1970’s and current custodians Craig and Connie Kimberley who transformed the village into one of the most highly respected heritage museums in Australia and an invaluable part of Far North Queensland’s fascinating heritage.
Coffee Works Mareeba – Whether you are a lover of coffee or not, the fascinating collection of coffee and tea making memorabilia on display at Coffee Works was curated by Ian Bersten who spent 37 years globetrotting to bring one of the largest and most significant collections of Coffee and Tea makers in the world. This incredible collection includes over 2000 coffee makers, grinders, roasters and tea makers spanning back to the late 1700’s.
Oh, and the make amazingly delicious chocolate…
Lake Barrine Teahouse and boatcruise – The family history of this quaint teahouse is evident the minute you step inside. George Curry pioneered the lake tours when he first showed the visitors around Lake Barrine in a rowboat in 1923. Today, the 3rd generation of the Curry family still own the teahouse and boat cruises. The boats have been upgraded to electric boats the seats only 12 people for a small and personalised idyllic tour. The award winning Devonshire tea is still made using the family secret recipe scones.
Lake Tinaroo – This massive lake with a shoreline of more than 200km was built to provide irrigation to Mareeba and Dimbulah in the 1950’s. Today it also serves as a recreation lake for swimming, boating, camping year round with no fears of hightides, crocodiles, sharks or jellyfish. You can however, hook a massive barramundi, waterski, paddleboard or birdwatch.
Markets – most towns across the tablelands have a monthly market. The biggest is at Yungaburra on the forth Saturday of each month where up to 250 local growers, producers and artisans gather to display and sell their produce and handiwork in the middle of the historic village. To check what markets are on here.
Historic pubs – the Barron Valley Hotel in Atherton and the Royal hotel in Herberton were built in the 1880’s, while the Yungaburra pub and the Malanda pub were built in the 1910’s. But it’s the Ravenshoe pub with her large wrap around verandas, built in 1927, that can boast the highest pub in Queensland.
Quaint cafes – There are loads of coffee shops and cafes in Atherton and surrounding area. Here are our personal favourites based mostly on Instagramability, what can I say, we love ambience. Whistle Stop Café in Yungaburra for cute outdoor dining; SuperStar café in Atherton for extraordinary art deco decor, Gallery 5 in Atherton for cool local artwork, Petals and pinecones for incredible creation jars including one called ‘crystal caves’, Station café for its super cute railway carriage seating, Shaylee Strawberries for their amazing view of strawberry fields.
Fossicking – Scratching around in the dirt can be very rewarding in these parts, just ask René. There are still plenty of agates to be found at Agate creek, near Forsyth. O’Briens creek is a popular fossicking area for topaz. The camp facility at O’Briens creek can get you a licence and point you in the right direction, but if you want more information the local BP can get you on your way. If it’s gold you are looking for, you must go to Palmerville station in Palmer for licences and access, most of the sites are private leases so its not a good idea to prospect without a permit. Check qld govt regulations here.
Camping – There are some excellent caravan parks with amazing facilities in Atherton and Tinaroo, or you can go it alone at one of the many sites on Lake Tinaroo, but you must book these with national parks. But if you want something in between, that’s going to get you engaged with nature, we recommend Old Mates Farm for independent camping or Bonadio’s RV and Nature park if you have a van.
Visitors centres – But don’t take our word for it… There are very informative information centres all over the tablelands. The Malanda, Mareeba and Herberton Visitor information Centres also offer spectacular displays worth a visit even if you know where you are going.