Malanda Falls, Yungaburra & Mareeba

The Atherton Tablelands 

Since we needed to hang around within cooee of Cairns until we met up with some family later in Cairns, we decided to spend the time up in the tablelands.  Even though we had spent some time here before we went up to the cape, there was still many things to do and see around here. Lakes, waterfalls, markets, history, arts & crafts including public murals. The Atherton Tablelands has it all and is absolutely delightful.
Yungaburra Markets

With crafts being a big passion of mine, one of my main objects was to visit the renown Yungaburra Markets which are held on the 4th Saturday of the month. There’s something like 150+ markets. There were some handmade crafts there but not as much as I would have hoped for, but there certainly was a large range of other stuff, from exquisite timber work, skorts & scarves, animal farms and jumping castles for the littlies, hair braiding and tarot cards for the ‘young and free at hearts’ trash & treasures and retro items for something different, soaps and perfumes of all sorts. We can’t forget the  huge range of food from tropical bush food, natural honey, fresh squeezed juices and frozen juice cones right through to gourmet chocolate  and coffees and of course the essential BBQ, chips and even tornado potatoes, which I haven’t seen before.

After succumbing to the temptation to buy a few items, including some food, we took in some eye candy and looked at the refurbished and juiced up or it is jazzed up old cars that were next door to the markets. A thunderbird was the only name that rings a bell, but there were other kinds too, even one for sale if you had a bit more than loose change left over.

The foreshores of Lake Tinaroo
We took in a visit out to Lake Tinaroo. What a wonderful picnic area there is just a tad out of town around the foreshores of the lake. Lakeside Caravan Park is also right on the waters and even cheaper than staying in the National Park which we did about a month ago. With much better faculties including hot showers, bitumen road right up to the door and closer to town, why wouldn’t you stay in instead!  On our way back to Malanda we stopped by the much smaller Lake Eacham which is also pretty. I would have no trouble at all in moving to such a beautiful area such as Yungaburra, if the kids would love within an hour or 2 as well. It is certainly tempting if I were to move to Queensland, then this would be one of my first considerations.

Lake Eacham
After a short break, we went for a walk to the Malanda Falls which are adjacent to the caravan park we are staying in. There is a shallow swimming pool formed at the base of the falls.

Malanda Falls
We also took in one of the loop walks through the rainforest that are also home to the Lumholtz Tree Kangaroo but we were not blessed with a sighting of these tree climbing kangaroos. We did see some fruit that resembles raspberries growing on a tree and a flower that reminds me of gum blossom except these flowered directly on the trunk of the tree. 

The lovely soft colours of new leaf growth

Native wild berries at Malanda Falls Rainforest

We were quite fascinated with the flora in the region, especially the caulifory which is where the flowers grow directly on the trunks of the trees. As an aside, did you know that Eucalyptus do not grow in true rainforests?  I love the buttress roots of the red oak trees. It is extraordinary the numerous shade of greens and the textures and leaf shapes  that can be seen within a forest if you look for it.

And the 2 shall become 1 (here it is highlighted by the sunlight shining directly on it)
We then concluded with a look around the town of Malanda. It really should be known as the Mosaic capital of the Atherton Tablelands; there are many mosaic artworks throughout the town to view. There is also a lovely metal cut work relief at the war memorial park to see there.

One Sunday, we attended the Atherton Baptist Church and were greeted enthusiastically especially by one friendly lady who promptly discovered that we were free camping and being a fellow caravanner or grey nomad who just loves hospitality, she offered her large block of land as a camp ground for a few days. We got along fabulously and ended up staying there for 9 nights, doing various sight seeing trips from there, in between the numerous cuppas and dinners that they invited us to. Oh... what a hard life it is
[not]. We so thoroughly enjoyed our time in Atherton and easily attribute half of it to this wonderful couple whom we now count as dear friends.

On other trips we have taken various sights and touristy places. In Mareeba there is the Coffeeworks. I hear that many people are fascinated by this place. However I think this place is mostly a glorified gift shop centred around tea and coffee. Sure you get to taste some extraordinary number of coffees but you pay $19pp for the privilege. They do have a range of chocolates also made on site with many with various flavours added. We did stop & have a cuppa there though there is a BBQ restaurant there with a limited but classy menu availableJust north of Mareeba is the Golden Drop Mango Winery, where you get to taste several different flavours of Mango Wines and liqueurs, including a lovely looking red rose type made from dragon fruit... I did like the medium wine and succumbed to a dozen bottles for the novelty as much as anything else. South of Mareeba we went see the Granite Gorge, however we walked into a rescue operation going on where there were heaps of rescue vehicles and a ambulance. There was a rescue helicopter buzzing around. We stayed a watched for half an hour from a distance. Apparently a older woman fell between 2 boulders into a crevasse and needed to be airlifted out. Needless to say, we didn’t proceed with a walk there.

On another day we went and had a lovely picnic and walk at Hypipamee Crater and Dinner Falls.
There are still some waterfalls and nature walks we could have done there as well as touristy things such as visit a dairy factory, timberworks, Crystal Caves in the area but we enjoyed quiet days ‘at home’ and time to craft or fiddle with car engines and the numerous social opportunities with people we met on the road too.

Dinner Falls at Hypipamee
So do take the time to stay a week or more on the Atherton Tablelands, there’s heaps to see and do  if you want to keep busy and it is a fabulous place to kick back and do little if that is your preferred plan, the weather in July is fantastic. 

My kind of place

I told my hubby I would gladly move here to live permanently, Yungaburra is my preferred town... it is so pretty and the town is clean and well maintained. Pity it would be so far from my family!


  1. I loved your photos of the Atherton Tablelands. I live in Townsville but haven't visited the area for quite a while. I wanted some authentic & up to date information on Malanda. One of the protagonists from my novel A hint of Darkness is traveling through the area. So I had a vested interest. Thanks.

  2. I loved your photos of the Atherton Tablelands. I live in Townsville but haven't visited the area for quite a while. I wanted some authentic & up to date information on Malanda. One of the protagonists from my novel A hint of Darkness is traveling through the area. So I had a vested interest. Thanks.


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