The Atherton Tablelands are a small area of North Queensland which is so rich that every visit can be different. In July we stopped at Ravenshoe, Yungaburra, Malanda and Mt Hypipamee; in October we visited Henrietta Creek, Mungalli Creek, MAMU skywalk, Halloran’s Hill in Atherton, and Abattoir Swamp.
A small picnic ground, swimming hole and camping ground on the Palmerston Highway (and rather too close to the road to be a great camping spot) between Innisfail and the Tablelands proper. See the National Parks site for more details.
MAMU skywalk is a fairly new tourism venture not far from Henrietta Creek. It’s an easy, well-signed walk through lush Wet Tropics rainforest but its main claim to fame is its elevated walkway and the views that it offers into the rainforest canopy and out across the valley. Recommended.
Mungalli Falls near Millaa Millaa are worth a visit but this time we went to Mungalli Dairy instead, an attractive cafe which is the shop-front for the organic and biodynamic dairy. As Wikipedia implies, biodynamics is out on the new-age end of the organic farming movement but we like Mungalli’s results regardless of how they get them.
The highest point in Atherton is the top of Halloran’s Hill, which is not as steep as Townsville’s Castle Hill but fulfills similar roles, being an exercise route for keen walkers and a big chunk of natural parkland in the middle of the town.
The walking track begins on the northern side of Rotaract Park near the hospital and runs, fairly gently, up to the top of an extinct volcanic cone through open woodland. There are good views of the town and countryside from the top.
A small conservation area near Mount Molloy at the northern end of the Atherton Tablelands, Abattoir Swamp is nominally a wetland but had little open water when we saw it. That was, of course, near the end of the dry season but the bigger problem, as this brief history says, is that it has become clogged with invasive weed (Hymenachne). However, the area is still well used by birds including the rarely seen White-cheeked Honeyeater.
- Introduction and index to Cape York (Cooktown – Cape Trib – Chillagoe) blog posts late 2021.