Why do they call it the Atherton Tablelands?

Why do they call it the Atherton Tablelands?

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 02/17/2022

Reading time: 3 mins

The Atherton Tablelands, although not as famous as the Daintree Rainforest and Great Barrier Reef, is in itself a spectacular Far North Queensland destination.

Characterised by lush rainforest and cascading waterfalls, the Atherton Tablelands are the perfect place to get some well-earned respite from the northern heat, with plenty of places to enjoy its top produce in shady, refreshing places.

The Atherton Tablelands and its eponymous town are named after John Atherton, an early settler who was famous for overlanding sheep from New South Wales to Queensland in the 1850s.

Atherton eventually moved to the region, and it was soon named after him. Good for him, to be honest, as the Atherton Tablelands are some of the most remarkably beautiful landscapes in all of Australia.

These incredible adventures await you in John Atherton’s old stomping ground:

The Millaa Millaa Falls Circuit

Millaa Millaa Falls is Australia’s most picturesque – and consequently photographed – waterfall. There is little wonder as to why budding travellers are so eager to get a snap of these cascades: they look like something out of a very happy tropical dream!

Not only this, Millaa Millaa Falls is the perfect place to take a dip after a day’s exploring the tablelands, and it’s part of the region’s extended waterfalls circuit, which also includes beauties Ellinjaa Falls and Zillie Falls.

Paronella Park

Paronella Park is the enchantingly decaying testament to one man’s desire for the ultimate tropical manor house. Jose Paronella was a Spaniard who moved to Australia in the 1900s, hoping to build his dream abode.

However, bad weather and even worse luck prevented Paronella from ever fully completing his dream, although the manor did look pretty spectacular in its heyday.

Today, Paronella Park can be visited by all those who want to get a feel for this man’s grand vision. The park, its house and gardens are all lush if not in a little disrepair, further adding to the beguiling nature of the park.

Hot air balloon ride

The Atherton Tablelands are beautiful, and there is no better way to enjoy viewing anywhere that is lush and verdant than through that of a hot air balloon ride!

Atherton Tablelands hot air balloon rides take you well above this epic expanse, where you can marvel at its astounding beauty in the picturesque morning light – it’s the perfect way to start a wonderful day in the 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.