RatPacker Holly tells us all about her North Queensland Adventures – If you’re heading to Cairns, you’re probably there to check out the epic Great Barrier Reef right? – the most recognised attraction, the must-see thing to tick off your Aussie bucket list?
But, have you ever heard of the Atherton Tablelands? No? – Neither had I until I got to Cairns but, the waterfall tour ended up being one of the highlights of my time in Oz and I got to see:
- The most EPIC Waterfalls..
- Unreal wildlife including Platypus
- Natural Waterslides
- AND the music video location for a certain cheesy song…
About an hour and a half South West of Cairns, the tablelands are a must do day trip! The landscape is a mix of rainforest and wetlands; from waterfalls to lakes, to impressive trees, it has it all!
Such an aesthetically pleasing spot (great photo op)! As you emerge through a short walk through the rainforest, watch as the fast flowing tropical creek beside you flows over huge boulders. The water is sometimes suitable for swimming, but on my tour we were advised against it as the water gets pretty rough. Nonetheless, it was a beautiful spot!
Chat to Our Team
I would describe this spot as Cairns’s natural playground – it’s honestly so much fun! It is pretty much a huge slip and slide, but surrounded by rainforests and completely natural – cool huh!? The guide will make you aware of the slippery rocks, so go steady and you’ll have a great time. The water is absolutely freezing, but just brave it – find a spot and jump on in. If you swim on over to the ‘slide’ there are submerged rocks under the water that you can hoist yourself up on, then climb up the non-slippery sides to the top, get your camera on selfie mode and slide on down!
TOP TIP: If you are bringing a camera/GoPro, make sure to tie it around your wrist – I unfortunately dropped mine and lost it under the water! [Side note] Luckily, as we were leaving the site, one of the other tour guides dived down and found it for us! It’ll always be a mystery how he found it, but thank you Aussie tour guide!
Millaa Millaa falls
Remember Peter Andre? The questionable top hit Mysterious Girl? Well, this is where it was (allegedly) filmed! This plunge waterfall is an incredible site – it’s huge! No wonder it is one of the most photographed in Australia; it just looks completely like how you would picture a waterfall, like something out of a movie. Again, the water below is extremely fresh, so pretty cold but, don’t let this stop you from taking the obligatory hair whip photo – herbal essence style (this is the site for one of their ads).
This was by far the highlight of the tour for me. It is essentially just a huge, natural lake but we had such a laugh here! It was formed by a volcanic crater, so the water is naturally really warm and super clear. There are numerous pontoons around to jump in from and swim between. It is a pretty cool, unique location; make the most of it whilst you’re there.
TOP TIP: Look out for tree kangaroos.
What to take?
If you’re unsure of what to bring for these epic experiences in the Rainforest around Cairns, I’ve popped together a short list of things to bring:
- Swimmers and towel (obvs) but, remember a change of clothes- the drive to and from the tablelands is pretty long, so you don’t want to sit in the car soaking wet for 2 hours!
- Camera – ideally waterproof – the place is so photogenic.
- Insect spray – be warned, there are horse flies about that bite!
- Comfy shoes – there is a lot of walking.
Chat to our Team
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Whether you hop in a car yourselves and road trip inland to the waterfall circuit or book on to a tour (I would recommend this as they know a tonne of hidden spots you wouldn’t necessarily visit yourself and the guides are full of knowledge – on my tour we were taken to a tiny little pond where we spotted a platypus, which are a very rare sighting), make sure you put a day aside for the Atherton Tablelands.
I hope my tips and tricks encourage you to add some of these spots to your own Aussie bucket list. You’re gonna have the time of your life!
Yewwwwwwwwwwwwww Holly (RPT Blog Writer)
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