Things to do at Lake Eacham

Set on the sprawling Atherton Tablelands in a volcanic region near Cairns, Lake Eacham is a World Heritage listed landmark proffering a rich history that spans back thousands of years and a range of adventurous outdoor activities combined with mesmerising wildlife spotting opportunities.

How Lake Eacham Was Formed

The lake itself dates back more than 12,000 years, when it first started to form via molten magma which rose from the centre of the earth and heated the surrounding water table. As a result, steam that was trapped underground escaped, creating massive explosions and causing massive cracks to appear in the ground. Over a period of hundreds of years, water began filling in the cracks and craters made by the explosions and the trees that once flanked the area began to grow back creating the peaceful landscape seen there today.

No streams flow into or out of the lake, meaning the water level only rises when there is heavy rainfall and only disappears through evaporation.

Lake Eacham Today

It wasn’t until 1888 that the scenic beauty of Lake Eacham and its surrounding were fully appreciated, and the lake, as well as a narrow stretch of rainforest close to its shoreline, were dubbed a scenic reserve.

For more than 50 years following that, the lake was used as a scenic reserve by visitors, with boating and water sports available for fun-seeking holidaymakers. In 1934, the local government declared the lake and its surroundings as a protected and managed National Park.

Things to Do at Lake Eacham

There are plenty of ways to enjoy the scenery at Lake Eacham and to explore the lake, the plants that surround it, and the animals that call it home.

Visitors are invited to take a cooling dip in the clear waters before kicking back and relaxing in the shade of the nearby trees. Elsewhere, there are viewing decks that promise exceptional views out across the lake and beyond.

The forest that fringes the lake is well worth a wander around, too, where you can see the scenery through the ancient eyes of the traditional Aboriginal owners. As you go, listen out for unique birdsong, as the resident birds call out and screech to their flocks. Animal-wise, keep your eyes peeled for native creatures like musky rat-kangaroos (smaller, chocolate versions of their cousins).

For younger members of the family, there is a fun walk that incorporates facts about the local animals and fascinating insights into the history of the lake and its surroundings.

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