The quaint village of Yungaburra is a great base from which to explore the surrounding lakes, waterfalls, rolling hills and country villages of the Central Cairns Tablelands.
Believe it or not but very few of the tourists that visit Cairns each year actually stay overnight in the Cairns Tablelands, yet the area is much bigger than most people realise. If you do want to explore the Tablelands, Yungaburra is a great place to base yourself. It is centrally located as well as being the accommodation and restaurant hub of the region.
These are some of the things to see and do in and around Yungaburra and the Central Tablelands:
[headline size=”small” align=”left”]1. browse shops and cafes[/headline]
Yungaburra is only a small village but there are more than enough cafés, galleries and interesting little shops to make it worth browsing.
One of the most popular places to go aim is the second hand bookshop, which visitors love to trawl through. It also has a café.
[headline size=”small” align=”left”]2. go platypus spotting[/headline]
There is a viewing platform in Yungaburra where you can spot platypus.
The best times of day to see them are early morning or dusk but be aware that there will be lots of tourists because it’s a popular place for tour guides to take people, especially in the evening. Also, if you walk further along the path away from the bridge, you sometimes have more luck spotting these elusive animals.
[headline size=”small” align=”left”]3. visit the avenue of honour[/headline]
This memorial was constructed to remember soldiers who died in Afghanistan as some of the soliders came from this area.
There’s even an area dedicated to the army dogs who lost their lives.
Even if you’re not normally into this sort of thing, its worth a visit. It’s been built in a wonderful location to reflect with views across Lake Tinaroo.
[headline size=”small” align=”left”]4. visit the curtain fig tree[/headline]
This incredible 800-year old tree is one of the must-see attractions of the Cairns Tablelands. It is 50 metres tall and almost 39 metres wide at the base. There is a boardwalk all around it so you can walk around the tree admiring it from all angles.
If you’re there at dusk you might catch a glimpse of some wildlife too.
[headline size=”small” align=”left”]5. throw a stone into the hypipamee crater[/headline]
The Hypipamee Crater is a diatreme, which is a vertical volcanic pipe formed when gas-filled magma forces its way up to the surface.
Nowadays, this crater is filled with 70 metres of water and green weed but it is still pretty spectacular. Most visitors find it fascinating, especially when you throw a stone in and wait until it plops.
Dinner Falls is also close by.
[headline size=”small” align=”left”]6. visit some of the area’s waterfalls[/headline]
There are so many beautiful waterfalls in the Tablelands that there is actually an official ‘waterfalls circuit’ you can do.
Make sure you visit at last one waterfall while travelling through the Tablelands.
[headline size=”small” align=”left”]7. take a scenic drive[/headline]
The drive around the shores of Lake Tinaroo through Danubulla State Forest are very picturesque and well worth doing. There are several camping areas along the way where you can stop for a picnic (or a swim if you’re there in the summer).
This is also a popular area for walking trails and mountain biking.
[headline size=”small” align=”left”]8. taste chocolate and cheese at gallo dairyland[/headline]
This working dairy farm has a cheese making facility that you can have a look at as well as offering cheese and chocolate tasting.
This is a nice place to enjoy a stop for coffee and if you’ve got children they will also enjoy enjoy visiting the animal nursery or watching the cows being milked in the afternoon.
[headline size=”small” align=”left”]9. take a cruise[/headline]
Lake Eacham and Lake Barrine are both beautiful crater lakes surrounded by rainforest.
You can do a circuit walk around both of them and at Lake Barrine, you can take a 45 minute boat cruise or enjoy Devonshire tea at the Teahouse.
[headline size=”small” align=”left”]10. stop for tea at the nerada tea estate[/headline]
The scenery across this tea plantation is beautiful and the café does good food so this is a good place for a pitstop.
This is also one of the best places to spot the very rare Lumholtz Tree Kangaroo, which is unique to this area.
[headline size=”small” align=”left”]11. herberton[/headline]
This historic village is worth a look if you’re a history buff. It is a replica of the pioneering days with an old school classroom, little shops, post office, bank, chemist and township.
[headline size=”small” align=”left”]12. bird watching[/headline]
The Tablelands are renowned for bird watching so if this interests you head for Hasties Swamp Bird Hide (220 different bird species have been recorded here) or Lake Eacham.
[headline size=”small” align=”left”]travel nq fast facts:[/headline]
- There is a range of accommodation available in Yungaburra from motels to self-contained cottages
- There are enough things to do in the central Tablelands to keep you occupied for a 2-3 day visit
Photo of Zillie Falls thanks to Paul Curtis. Photo of Lumholtz Tree Kangaroo thanks to Sandy Carroll.