Forget about Arthur, believe it or not, I made him and his table up. The Atherton Tablelands however, are the type of place that grabs you by the aesthetic gonads and squeezes until it hurts. It’s just too gorgeous to bear—makes you want to scream in picturesque pain. As we got higher and higher above sea level the countryside got greener and greener. We stayed at Malanda Falls Caravan Park which is surrounded by lush rainforest. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen anything that verdant – greener than a cold sufferers hankie. To get to the falls all you had to do was walk down a set of steps! We managed to do that on the day we arrived. They had an enormous camping area on the edge of the rainforest and we got a great spot. They also had a range of animals (sheep, goat, alpaca, pig and chickens etc) for sundry children to harass—that’s always a winner.
It seems all the towns up here have been gently prodded by the quaint, heritage listed beauty bar rather than whacked by the ugly stick. The fantastic old buildings and pubs with their slightly buckled floorboards that have been worn smooth by countless reeling drinkers and slightly paint peely, silky oak window frames are a joy to walk past.
We went waterfalling the first day and drove through the winding country roads to Milla Milla Falls and then onto some other falls that I forget the name of (we missed out on another six or seven), and then to the Nerada tea farm, where we spotted our first tree kangaroo (no pic as it was too high up). Finished the first day in Atherton itself with a lovely visit to an unheritage listed Woolies.
The next day we went to Lake Eacham, which is a crater lake, yet there is a warning about a fresh water croc that lives there. How did it get there? Anyway a lovely spot surrounded by lush green and the kids went for dip without seeing any croc. From there we went to Yungaburra. A place that somehow managed to out-gorgeous all the others. Seriously, the great little cafes and amazing woodworking and craft shops were just too much, so they decided to up the ante by having a creek that flows along the edge of town that is littered with platypuses (pi?). What a way to make every other town look like crap. From now on anytime we see anywhere that seems too good to be true we will just say ‘that place is Yungaburraing.’ If you see something so amazingly beautiful that it takes your breath away, you can just say ‘sorry, can’t talk right now, I’ve just been Yungaburraed.’
After that we went to Herberton, which has a ‘Ye Olde Town’ that we didn’t have time to see and a funny little ‘Spy Camera Museum’ that we did mange to go through.
We moved up to Kuranda the next day. Amazing little cliché of a ‘once were hippies’ town, now getting close to over run with tourists (like us!), but it’s still got a stack of character and lots to offer; except for easy parking, as many over loved places do (or should I say don’t). We walked the markets and flew the Skyrail, as you do. Both were eminently worthy and quite Yungaburraesque, in a huge waterfall, amazing tree tops, type of way.
Our tabletop time has ended now and we are moving down to the coast, so hopefully we put the doona away again. It’s a downer needing a doona.