For a refreshing, tropical rainforest experience, head out west to the Atherton Tablelands, where the days are sunny and warm, and the nights have a cool, mountain air crispness in them.
Winding slowly up the mountain ranges, the dense rainforest canopy soon opens up to a magnificent display of rich pastoral lands and World Heritage listed National Parks and rainforests. This is where the adventure begins. Swim under cascading waterfalls, take a refreshing dip in the crystal clear waters of the volcanic crater lakes, see the amazing curtain fig trees. Wildlife is abundant, with common sightings of cassowaries, tree kangaroos, platypuses, turtles, water dragons and for the bird lovers … well, we can keep you busy for hours. There is plenty of great bushwalks or, for the more energetic, cycling is popular, as is the canoeing and waterskiing on Lake Tinaroo.
Leaving Cairns at around 8am and returning between 6.30 and 8.30pm (depending on the company), you will be taken on an action and value packed journey to the Tablelands. There will be plenty of time for experiencing all the sights.
Don’t forget to keep one eye open for the sneak previews and sightings of the many animals that inhabit the area. The day will be finished relaxing by a waterhole doing some last-minute platypus spotting. Prepare to return home exhilarated and absolutely exhausted!
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Escape the hustle and bustle of Cairns and spend a peaceful night on the Tablelands with it’s true rural charm and hospitality. As the evening temperature drops, the open fire places warm the lodges.
The overnight trip is a combination of guided walks and short excursions to take you to the popular visiting places, and still leaves plenty of time to do some exploring of your own, and even exercise your muscles with a touch of mountain biking.
Day 1 takes you to the volcanic crater lakes, where you can relax on the grassy banks or go for a swim with the turtles. There is also an excellent walking trail around Lake Eacham. You will visit a variety of waterfalls, including the majestic Millaa Millaa Falls, and search for wildlife at the Cathedral and Curtain Fig Trees. Platypus spotting at one of the lakes is followed by a scrumptious barbeque dinner at your lodge.
Day 2 will have you down at Lake Tinaroo, where you will paddle a canoe to some secret, secluded areas. Your guide will help you spot an array of wildlife, including birds, fish, eels and water dragons. You will dig for ochre rocks and paint your faces with the bright colours from these aboriginal stones.
Your accommodation is a lovely, small, homely lodge, with a warm, relaxing communal area. For the chilly winter evenings, the open fire place and cosy doonas should keep you warm and snug. The rooms are on a share basis, with the ability to upgrade to a twin or double.
(Please note that the itinerary is subject to alteration, depending on what sights are best at a particular time of the year.)
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