Atherton Tablelands

If you’re following up on my articles you’re already getting to know Cairns and it’s area a little bit. Hang on, buddy – it’s not over! If you go further inland, 80 kilometres from Cairns to be exact, you’ll find a place called Atherton Tablelands.

Atherton Tablelands is a plateau that alternates fields, hills, waterfalls, lakes, forests and makes me think of the Larzac plateau in France. The area spans nearly 65,000 square kilometres (this is the size of Sri Lanka!) and includes some of the waterfalls I mentioned in my previous article 6 must-see waterfalls in Cairns (Ellinjaa Falls and Millaa Millaa Falls).

Of all the attractions in the Atherton Tablelands, two have caught my attention: the Curtain Fig Tree and Lake Tinaroo. Why don’t you ask me, ’cause eventually it’s just a tree and a lake. Yes, it is, but let me tell you a few facts about these two attractions.

Curtain Fig Tree

Atherton Tablelands Curtain Fig Tree

The Curtain Fig Tree is one of the largest trees in Tropical North Queensland, Australia. It’s a “strangler fig tree”. Normally, these fig trees germinate on another tree and emit roots towards the ground. When it has become rooted, the fig tree grows vigorously, eventually killing the host tree, and then grows independently. In this case, the first host treebanked and the strangler fig tree surrounded a second tree of its aerial roots, creating a root curtain. This aerial root curtain is 15 meters high!

Lake Tinaroo

Atherton Tablelands Lake Tinaroo

Lake Tinaroo is an artificial lake that provides electricity to the area and regulates the Barron River. It was built near two natural lakes that I also invite you to visit: Lake Barrine and Lake Eacham. They offer a magnificent panorama with turquoise water on the bank, and forests and hills in the background. If you’re lucky, you can see a lot of barramundis and catfish.

Enjoy the Atherton Tablelands!


To see the other articles about my adventures in Australia, click here.

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