Atherton Tablelands

After 3 lazy days of doing nothing we wanted to go on one last adventure in Australia and therefore headed off to the Atherton Tablelands which is the hinterland of Cairns. Only about a hundred kilometers inland from Cairns the Tablelands surprised us by a very distinctive landscape with a lot of greenery which almost reminded us of Switzerland.

After a very winding road up the mountains we had our first stop at the 500 year old Cathedral Fig which was super impressive (just imagine for a moment that this tree was already there way before the first Europeans set foot on Australia).

Next stop was beautiful blue Lake Barrine where Kevin talked Hazel into the five kilometer loop walk around the lake (okay, he bribed her with lunch in the nice restaurant at the lake). Later on Curtain Fig was our second tree stop of the day and we even saw two teens climbing up the tree (“crazy” Kevin has to add). In nearby Yungaburra we went for a short walk along the river in the hope to see a Platypus. Unfortunately we were once again unlucky and couldn’t spot any and so we went on to set up our tent for a last time in Australia.

We (or at least Kevin) would say that camping in Down Under really added some special quality to the trip. One feels more connected to nature (e.g. scary animal sounds during the night, dingoes saying hi while having dinner and for sure a lot of fat bugs) and one for sure has much more privacy than in a backpacker. In addition the huge majority of Australia’s campgrounds are very well maintained, clean, offer good facilities and often even have a nice swimming pool. So if you ever have the chance to go camping in Australia – just do it!

The next day was devoted to some waterfalls (you guessed correctly that this was waterfall-crazy-Hazel’s idea). First stop were an impressive crater and small waterfall at Mount Hypipamee National Park. The platform was bout 70 meters above the crater which apparently was home of some fishes. Later on we drove on to the waterfall way with the Millaa Millaa, Zillie and Ellinja Falls – all nice waterfalls but again only working at half power as there wasn’t too much water. Leaving the Tablelands behind we drove to Innisfail and then back to Cairns (on the way we passed once again one sugar cane field after the other). On the way we stopped at The Boulders near the town of Babinda which (besides a lot of warning signs) offered some nice photo spots and a gigantic spider.

In Cairns we booked in again at Cairns Sunland Leisure Park for another four nights (hey, who can resist a 38 AUD cabin with aircon and TV).

The next day was spent with packing, getting rid of our camping gear (donated to charity), picking up a package and going for a swim at the nice artificial lagoon in the city center. The following next two days were then devoted to doing nothing at all (we are on holidays after all).

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