Arthur Tun’s Table Lands in a superlative spot. Why did he throw it?

Malanda Falls

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. 

Our door facing the rainforest
The creek down the hill from our site

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.

Oldest continually operating picture theatre in Austalia
The classic Malanda Hotel
The beautiful Barron Valley Hotel in Atherton. They just can’t make them like this anymore.

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.

Milla Millaa Falls
Something or other Falls
View across the plateau from a dirt road
One of the many great little creek crossings in the area. This one comes with a turtle included.
Walking past a tea bush at the Nerada plantation. Did you know it’s a type of camellia? No? Nor did I. Did you know they grow out like this when left uncropped?
tea plantation (after a neat trim)
The tea farm. Why they suggested you take a photograph of these stairs I’ll never know, but I am always happy to oblige.
Again why is it good to photograph this post? I put the kids in there to create some extra interest. But as you see Tim was not impressed with my TEAsing
Lunch at the Malanda hotel
The enormous ‘Curtain Fig Tree’ The original host tree fell over onto another tree and the thing just swallowed both of them up.

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.’

Lake Eacham
It’s a walk around the lake ya turkey
Nice track that takes you along the creek at Yungaburra
Mabel looking for that stuff that they look for
Nancy telling Mabel to stay in her part of the creek
Yungaburra Hotel
Community arts space and Tim contributing to a project. I had to say ‘Hurry up Tim – we’re weaving’

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.

Ye newy Herbeton up the street
Ye newy Herbeton down the street
Family Portrait at the Camera and Spy Museum
Kids checking out the old camera. They were confused by the fact that the image was upside down.
Me and my girl

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.

The Billabong Campground
said Billabong
One of the Kuranda Markets (they have the original markets and the heritage markets? Market FIGHT!)
Barron River from the sky thingy
Barron River Falls
Barron Gorge
Tree tops from the Skyrail cable car
The view of Smithfield and the Pacific
Lawyer vine .. also called Wait-a-while
This is how you avoid paying the money for those silly photos they take as you arrive. My print was ready in less than 1 minute.

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.

I thought I might make a joke about this
Then I thought, maybe that’s scraping the bottom of the barrel pun wise.

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