Explore the wild landscapes of the Atherton Tablelands on this full-day tour from Cairns. Cruise around the Lake Barrine crater lake, spot native wildlife the UNESCO-listed wet tropics rainforest, and tour the magnificent Paronella Park. Along the way, see natural wonders like the Curtain Fig Tree, and take a swim beneath Millaa Millaa Falls. Enjoy your choice between three itinerary options for the day.
Full-day tour of the Atherton Tablelands from Cairns
Admire the castle and waterfall of Paronella Park on a guided tour
Great-value tour includes hotel pick-up, entrance fees and round-trip transport from Cairns
Traveler pickup is offered We pick up from all hotels in Cairns, Palm Cove, Trinity Beach, Clifton Beach, Holloways Beach. Please note for Palm Cove, Trinity Beach, Clifton Beach, Holloways Beach - Return Transfers from Northern Beaches is an additional $22 per person and is payable on the day of travel. Alternatively you can make your own way to either Skyrail Terminal in Smithfield or Cairns Central Railway and return transfers are free of charge.
Return Transfers from Port Douglas are also available to meet the bus in Cairns. The cost of return transfers are AUD$70 per person and is payable direct to the driver on the day.
Enjoy a relaxing quiet stop in the cool of the morning at beautiful Lake Barrine filled with pristine rain water and surrounded by World Heritage listed rainforest teeming with abundant wildlife. (This is a large Maar Volcano crater – a low subcircular volcanic crater lake derived from the latin “mare” for sea.)
This is the first stop of the day and includes a delicious morning tea (Option A only). Lake Barrine are famous for their award winning ‘Devonshire Morning Tea’ of freshly baked scones and jam/cream and locally brewed tea or coffee.
Participate in the first wildlife cruise of the day and view the undisturbed wildlife in its natural habitat. This cruise is highly recommended as it’s the best place to view the abundant wildlife. On most days the banks of the lake will reveal a variety of birds including pelicans and ducks and other animals such as tortoises, eels, water monitors and various species of snakes including pythons, carpet snakes & red bellied black snakes sunning themselves on the shoreline. (The Cruise is only included in our Option A tour)
Departure from Cairns, we head south travelling past Walsh’s Pyramid, one of the largest naturally formed pyramids in the world. Here your guide will stop so you can grab a photo of this unique North Queensland landmark.
Now it’s time to travel up the World Heritage listed Gillies Highway climbing 730 metres above sea level whilst enjoying the breathtaking views over the Goldsbourgh Valley.
Just before the top of the amazing Gillies Range is a short photo opportunity at the Heales Lookout before heading into the gorgeous Atherton Tablelands.
Visit The World famous Millaa Millaa Falls, one of the most renowned and photographed waterfalls in Australia surrounded by Mabi rainforest. This waterfall has been used as a feature in both television advertisements and movies.
The waterfall flows over solid volcanic basalt rock formed over many thousands of years ago giving the perfect drop for Millaa Millaa creek to fall for approx 20 metres into a pool surrounded by rainforest.
After leaving Lake Barrine, we take a short journey through quaint country towns and farming areas to visit an unusual quirk of nature – the 600 year old Curtain Fig Tree nestled in World Heritage Mabi rainforest. This is the worlds most visited tree and easily accessible via elevated boardwalks.
The surrounding rainforest is home to the shy Lumholtz Tree Kangaroo – only found in Queensland. We spot them seasonally high up in the trees.
In the cool of the afternoon we visit amazing Paronella Park’s Spanish style castles in the rainforest. This includes a 45 minute tour expertly conducted by Paronella Park’s own knowledgeable English, Chinese & Japanese speaking guides.
Paronella Park is a multi award winning tourist attraction with National Trust listed Heritage gardens and castle ruins, also boasting North Queensland’s first hydro-electric power plant all built by Jose Paronella at Mena Creek Falls. Originally created in the 1930’s by Jose Paronella, a man with a dream.
We have structured this tour to highlight the diversity and the important points of interest in the region including our unique World Heritage rainforest and waterfalls. Something you won't see anywhere else. Thank you for traveling with us. Regards, Louise
This was a great tour! The driver was very knowledgeable and very friendly! My husband would have been happy just with the waterfall, but everything else was a bonus! The place we stopped at for tea was a quaint building and the tea and biscuits were yummy! It was very relaxing to stop there first in the morning. The waterfall was beautiful! My husband as always wanted to swim under and behind one and he was able to at this stop! The water was freezing for me but I still swam out to experience the falls and was glad I did. Luckily it was a warm day so I didn't take too long to warm up after. The park was also great, the history behind it was extremely interesting. We also did a few other stops on the way back that made this trip fun and unique! Would definitely recommend it!
I loved this tour. The driver was courteous and quite funny. We stopped at the Millaa Falls and we even got to some of the locals swim. It was amazing and I loved The Paronella Park.That one is a place to remember. My family and i enjoyed the ride as well as we stopped at a place called Frog on The Banana. We saw lots of locally sold fruits and vegetables. The trip was amazing .
A great shame that Paronella Park has decayed to such an extent but the guide and period photographs provide evidence of what a unique and sophisticated resort it was and the imagination and hard work that went into creating it.
Really interesting tour. Our guide Steve was very knowledgeable on the tablelands, the villages, their economy and industry, and the history. It was a startling change from the beached of Cairns, and incredibly beautiful. Paronella Park was the highlight for me from this trip. An amazing place with a fascinating history. As beautiful in it's run down condition, lending a magical air, as i imagine it was in it's heyday. Highly recommend this tour.