How far is it from Cairns to Atherton Tablelands?

How far is it from Cairns to Atherton Tablelands?

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 05/06/2021

Reading time: 3 mins

The Atherton Tablelands, along with the Great Barrier Reef, the Daintree Rainforest and the Kuranda State Forest, is one of the marvellous tropical wonders surrounding Cairns.

Millaa Millaa Falls, Atherton Tablelands

Ancient rainforests, unique wildlife and crystal blue lakes make up this most impressive scenery, making it the most incredible getaway from the hustle and bustle of Cairns.

The Tablelands are situated around 90km from Cairns, and there are two ways of getting to this serene part of Australia. You can either take the Gillies Highway into the mountains, or take the Kuranda Highway from the northside of Cairns.

Either way you get there you will soon arrive in some of the most unspoiled natural landscapes this beautiful land has to offer.

Here’s what makes the Atherton Tablelands so special.

  • Peruse Paronella Park

    Visiting Paronella Park is like visiting the ruins of a Spanish castle in tropical Mexico, after all, it is a host of ruins built by Spaniard José Paronella in the 1930s. He dreamt of building a castle, but his dream was cast aside as the land experienced a series of disasters that all but destroyed this unique location. Thankfully for us, these ruins create a most surreal experience, with visitors enjoying the park’s beautiful gardens and Spanish architecture.

  • Traverse the Rainforestation Nature Park

    This nature park covers 100 acres of World Heritage-protected rainforest. It’s no secret as to why the nature park wins countless awards: it’s a lush and gorgeous landscape dotted with Indigenous history, unique wildlife and majestic flora. A hike around this mystical park is like stepping back in time, away from the grind of the modern world.

  • Check out artisan stores at Kuranda

    Kuranda is a town that was built by local artisans, so you know you will be able to find charming handicrafts, artwork and jewellery. The village of Kuranda serves as one of the gateways to the Atherton Tablelands, and makes for a lovely stop on your way in or out of the region. You can enjoy local produce whilst watching a busker, go for a river cruise or set out for one of the surrounding forest’s numerous walking trails.

It can’t be missed!

The Atherton Tablelands are one of the absolute highlights of a visit to Cairns – do yourself an awesome favour by heading out there when in the city or heading to the Great Barrier Reef.

Related article: Where Should You Swim in the Atherton Tablelands?

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.