Is it worth going to Atherton Tablelands?

Is it worth going to Atherton Tablelands?

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 11/13/2023

Reading time: 3 mins

An hour and a half from Cairns is one of Australia’s natural beauty destinations, Atherton Tablelands.

Atherton Tablelands is a beautiful place that gives you a chance to leave the busy city of Cairns and visit a natural area for a day. Atherton Tablelands has some incredible waterfalls, swimming spots to cool off, and a range of wildlife.

Do you need some ideas on what you can do and see in Atherton Tablelands? Check out ways you can spend most of your day exploring such a beautiful area.


One of the Atherton Tablelands’ main highlights is the amazing set of waterfalls that are here! One of the most popular waterfalls in the area is Millaa Millaa Falls. When you see this waterfall, you’ll understand just how gorgeous it is. The large waterfall drops down into a cool plunge pool and the lush rainforest and a grassy picnic area surrounds the area.

Other waterfalls to check out while in the area include Zillie Falls, Nandroya Falls, Josephine Falls, Dinner Falls, and Ellinjaa Falls.

Cathedral Fig Tree

The Cathedral Fig Tree is in the heart of Atherton Tablelands in Danbulla National Park. The 500 year old tree stands almost 50 metres tall. This tree crown is also as big as two Olympic swimming pools!

Follow along the boardwalk that takes you around the tree where you can spot out some wildlife and read the sign about the facts of this tree! It’s worth checking out this tall tree as it towers over you and everyone else.

Spot the wildlife

Atherton Tablelands is home to some unique wildlife. Anything from a tiny critter to a large dino looking creature! You can expect to spot small animals like the Boyd’s forest dragon or the Atherton antechinus.

There are also tonnes of different types of birds in the area, making it one of the best birdwatching places!

Lake Eacham

Lake Eacham has clear water and lush trees surrounding the lake. A fun fact about this lake is it’s on an extinct volcano crater! The cool water of the lake creates a great swimming spot for those who need a cool off in the Queensland heat.

Around the lake, you can also enjoy a BBQ and a picnic or go for a walk or hike through the lush rainforest.

Atherton Tablelands is worth visiting for a day trip out of Cairns. If you’ve got the time and love to see spectacular beauty, this is your place to go. You can drive down on your own or book a tour with an itinerary already sorted for you.

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.