The Atherton Tablelands Cairns Qld, Australia
Situated between Bellenden Kerr and the Great Dividing Range, it is regarded as one of the region's best-kept secrets. Thousands of years ago volcanic eruption carved out the landscape and created two spectacular lakes: Lake Barrine and Lake Eachem. Each of them is surrounded by the world's most ancient rainforest. On Lake Barrine visitors have the opportunity to cruise on little boat and see pelicans, turtles and perhaps one of the huge non-venomous pythons. Here at the Tablelands you can visit uncountable waterfalls, see black and white milk cows like in the European Alps and, if you are lucky, watch the very shy platypus. But this takes a lot of patience...
One of the major attractions of the Tablelands is Kuranda. Set amidst lush tropical rainforest it's the place to just wander around. Many shops, galleries and the markets create a very relaxed atmosphere. You can reach Kuranda either by car, Skyrail or the Kuranda Scenic Railway. A beautiful scenic drive with a stop at Henry Ross Lookout, a silent glide over ancient rainforest with the Skyrail cableway or step back in time with the Kuranda Scenic Railway on a one and a half hours ride up from Cairns.
How about visiting one of the many caves in Chillagoe? Just 230km and you can see beautiful stalactite and stalagmite caves.
Some of them you can explore on your own. Whatever you do in Tropical North Queensland: Once is never enough!