Just a short drive from Cairns, The Atherton Tablelands is a beautiful area with many attractions and activities. We’ve pieced together a list of free things to do with kids on the Atherton Tablelands.
A steep, 125m tall waterfall situated on the Barron River is one of Cairns’ most beloved landmarks and attractions. A 1.2km walk high above the rainforest floor takes visitors to the Din Din Barron Falls Lookout where they can view the breathtaking Barron Falls.
2. Curtain Fig Tree
A heritage-listed tree located in Yungaburra and one of the largest trees in North Queensland. It’s spectacular and enormous build makes it a popular tourist site complete with a boardwalk and plenty of relevant information.
3. Mareeba Heritage Museum
The museum was established in 1995 allows visitors the opportunity to explore the rich history of Mareeba and it’s people through a collection of over 5 000 items.
4. Lake Eacham
Formed by volcanic explosions and surrounded by lush tropical rainforest, the lake is now safe for swimming and is a popular attraction on the Atherton Tablelands. Complete with toilet and picnic facilities, Lake Eacham is a great place to enjoy a free family day out.
5. Lake Barrine
Lake Eacham’s twin crater, Lake Barrine offers a fantastic walking track with stunning views of the lake and opportunities to view a range of wildlife. The Lake Barrine Teahouse, while not free, is a great place to grab a bite to eat and enjoy a boat cruise around the lake.
6. Lake Tinaroo
Alarge lake perfect for a wide range of water sports including swimming, kayaking, skiing, wakeboarding, tubing, paddle boarding and many more. Camping does incur a small cost, however visiting for day tips is free. See the dam spillway or have a go at fishing or red clawing for a fun day out.
7. Millaa Millaa Falls
An 18m heritage-listed waterfall and freshwater swimming hole located on the Waterfalls Circuit. The falls are complete with a grassy picnic area, making for a refreshing swim and a great place to spend a day out.
8. Crystal Caves Shop
While purchasing from the shop and experiencing the self-guided tour will cost you, the Crystal Caves shop in Atherton is a perfect place to make a quick stop and marvel at the collection of a very passionate man. You don’t have to pay for the museum tour to see priceless gems, but simply have a look in the showroom.
9. The Rail Trail
The Atherton Tablelands Rail Trail follows the old Cairns railway line and is an easy trail ideal for walkers, cyclists and horse
riders. The trail starts in Atherton and finishes in Walkamin, a total of 20.5km.
10. Atherton Forest Mountain Bike Park
A network of purpose-built mountain bike trails through open forest. The bike park consists of 50km of 17 trails with varying difficulty and completion times.
11. Windy Hill Wind Farm
Queensland’s largest wind farm is situated near Ravenshoe, with 20 windmills producing enough energy to power 3 500 homes. The wind farm has free entry and is worth a look for people interested to learn more about renewable energy.
12. Hypipamee Crater
Referred to as a ‘volcanic pipe’ the Hypipamee Crater is a huge diatreme with a diameter of 61 metres. It is an approximately 10 minute walk to the viewing platform, where the water level in the crater is a staggering 58m below. At the viewing platform, visitors have the opportunity to continue on another path to see Dinner Falls, another beautiful landmark.
13. Avenue of Honour
A memorial dedicated to the lives and memory of all the people who served in the fight against terror in Afghanistan. Located in Yungaburra, this timeless memorial is a heartfelt tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice in defence of freedom and liberty.
14. Nandroya Falls
The waterfall is the highest point in a 6.6km moderately difficult circuit in Wooroonooran National Park. Nandroya Falls is a great swimming hole and place to relax, with toilets, picnic and barbecue facilities at nearby Henrietta Creek.
15. Kuranda Rainforest Markets
Kuranda is a quaint country town renowned for it’s two thriving rainforest markets; the Original Markets and Heritage Markets which are both open 7 days a week. The markets offer a wide range of Aboriginal artefacts, handmade goods, food, jewellery, unusual souvenirs and entertainment.
16. Malanda Dairy Centre
While a guided tour of the Dairy Farmers Factory can be experienced at a cost, why not enjoy the quaint dairy museum and art gallery. Learn about the history of the area and dairy production through a number of well-thought out exhibitions.
A fully operational dairy farm and cheese and chocolate factory open to the public. Plus, you can see cows being milked, cute animals in the nursery, cheese being made and chocolates being crafted, all for free!
18. Cathedral Fig Tree
Another remarkable tree on the Atherton Tablelands, the Cathedral Fig Tree is a massive, 500 year-old tree in Danbulla State Forest. The exquisite tree is complemented by a boardwalk and information boards to help visitors understand the rich history of the tree.
19. Giant Red Cedar Tree
A short walk through the rainforest transports visitors to the splendid Giant Red Cedar Tree at the end of Gadgarra Road near Lake Eacham. Early pioneers used red cedars as though they were an endless resource, and this tree is believed to be the largest accessible red cedar remaining in North Queensland and possibly Australia.