Queensland Journals

The Atherton Tablelands: Full of Nature's Wonders

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A July 2006 trip to Queensland by stomps

Atherton Tablelands Photo, Queensland, Australia More Photos
Quote: After exploring the tropical areas around Cairns, we decided to head inland, past the Great Dividing Range, to another, equally beautiful and astounding, area.

The Atherton Tablelands: Full of Nature's Wonders

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Overview

Atherton Tablelands Photo, Queensland, Australia
Quote:
Often overlooked by visitors to the Cairns/Tropical North Queensland area, the Atherton Tablelands are a beautiful area of rolling hills, tranquil lakes, and spectacular waterfalls. It’s hard to believe somewhere so beautiful could be overlooked until you see what people are doing instead—snorkeling/diving on the Great Barrier Reef or making the trek to the Daintree Rainforest, for starters.Visiting the Tablelands was actually our main motivation behind renting a car in Cairns. My friend Michelle had told me that the area was not to be missed, yet going on a tour was not financially feasible. It was much better to rent a car for a day, plus fees, and be able to pick and choose our spots and...Read More

Shaylee Strawberries

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Restaurant

Quote:
One of our goals when visiting Cairns was to find real, North Queensland bananas. Neither James nor I count bananas as one of our favorite fruits, but we were still craving them. It's amazing what having something taken away—in this case, bananas cost about $12 a kilo (calculated at one point to be $3.75 a single banana) because Cyclone Larry had knocked out nearly the entire North Queensland crop. We were hoping to see one or two, but the extent of the bananas we saw were the giant, threatening signs telling us we'd essentially be murdered if we got anywhere near any banana plants, and empty fields. On our way to Lake Tinaroo, we saw a sign for fresh strawberries at Shaylee Strawberries. We...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 2, 2006

Shaylee Strawberries
Atherton
Queensland, Australia

Lake Barrine, Cruise and Teahouse

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Attraction | "Lake Barrine"

Lake Barrine, Cruise and Teahouse Photo, Queensland, Australia
Quote:
Lake Barrine was our first stop once we arrived on the Tablelands. The turnoff is to the left shortly after you enter the Tablelands on the Gillies Highway. We were expecting to see this, although not quite as soon as we did, since both of the Crater Lakes were on our day’s to-do list.The Crater Lakes—Lake Barrine and its sister, Lake Eacham—were both formed more than 10,000 years ago as the result of volcanic activity—just like the much larger Lake Taupo on New Zealand’s North Island. Essentially, the volcanoes that used to be where the lakes now stand collapsed, due to too much pressure from the steam created when superheated magma came into contact with the outside world. Flora flourished...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on October 2, 2006

Lake Barrine, Cruise and Teahouse
Gillies Highway
Yungaburra, Australia

Lake Eacham

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Attraction

Lake Eacham Photo, Queensland, Australia
Quote:
After the disappointment that was Lake Barrine, we arrived at its sister lake, Lake Eacham, with high hopes. Since we didn't have time to see the waterfalls further south, these two lakes were what we had hung our hopes on—had they both been duds, a precious one-third of our trip to North Queensland would have been wasted. Luckily, this was not the case at all. Even from the parking lot, Eacham was much more picturesque than her sister. A lot of this was because Eacham had not been spoiled—the extent of the buildup around the lake was a dirt parking lot, wooden walkways and platforms, and a jetty. As we walked down the stairs, the trees around us gave us peeks at the bluey-green la...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 2, 2006

Lake Eacham
Crater Lakes National Park
Queensland, Australia

Lake Eacham

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Attraction | "Lake Eacham, pt. 2"

Lake Eacham Photo, Queensland, Australia
Quote:
This entry is a continuation of my Lake Eacham entry.Unfortunately, the fact that the turtles had another source of oxygen meant they didn't need to surface as often. We were determined to see one, though, so we leaned against the railing and peered into the water. There was definitely a reason behind the placement of the platform; the view here was the clearest we found. We stood for quite awhile, looking for any sign of amphibian life. Then, James started frantically pointing, saying "Look! Look, there's one!" I finally followed his finger and saw it, swimming around just under the surface. James pulled out the camera and got a couple great shots of water before we lost sight of him. ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 2, 2006

Lake Eacham
Crater Lakes National Park
Queensland, Australia

Curtain Fig

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Attraction | "The Curtain Fig"

Curtain Fig Photo, Queensland, Australia
Quote:
As we were driving down the road connecting Yungaburra and the Crater Lakes to Atherton, we saw multiple signs pointing out "The Curtain Fig". Our curiosity piqued, we turned off and followed the signs to a small parking lot on the edge of the forest. There were quite a few people here—more than we saw at any of our other stops on the Tablelands—and the few "car" parking spaces were taken, so I ended up parking our Toyota in a bus parking spot. A small wooden path led off into the forest from the center of the parking lot. We walked along it, and barely a minute later, we were standing next to a giant of a tree, totally draped in fig roots. It was quite a sight to see, and certainly very d...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 2, 2006

Curtain Fig
28 Gillies Highway
Queensland, Australia 4883
+61 (7) 4095 3168

Lake Tinaroo and Tinaroo Falls

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Attraction | "Lake Tinaroo & Tinaroo Falls"

Lake Tinaroo and Tinaroo Falls Photo, Queensland, Australia
Quote:
Our last stop on the Tablelands was Lake Tinaroo. This lake is one of the largest ones on the Tablelands, but it isn’t natural; rather, it is a reservoir created from the Barron River and Tinaroo Dam, which is on the northern side of the lake. Having already seen two lakes in a very short period of time, James and I bypassed the entrance to Tinaroo near Yungaburra, preferring to see the lake from what the map boasted as “Tinaroo Falls”, which was very close to Tinaroo Dam.An interesting fact about the lake: its name sounds very much like other names in Australia, like Indooroopilly and Toowong, that are of Aboriginal origin. However, it is said that the name of the lake actually came from a ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 2, 2006

Lake Tinaroo and Tinaroo Falls

Queensland, Australia