Enjoying The Tablelands

Thoughts on Where We’ve Been

Up on the range, just a short drive from the coast, lies the Atherton Tablelands (The Tablelands).  Still part of the World Heritage Listed Wet Tropics, it’s a fertile oasis that’s a combination of rainforest, wetlands, and savanna, and home to numerous birds and wildlife such as tree kangaroos and wallabies, although we were not lucky enough to see much of either, though we heard plenty of birds.

The region lies at an elevation that ranges from 500 to 1280 metres above sea level (1,640.5 – 4,199.5 feet) and covers an area of 620 km² (239.3 mi² – I think).  The air is clean and clear, the temperature mild (certainly overnight at the moment), and approximately 12,000 people call The Tablelands home.  The Barron River flows across this amazing plateau and Lake Tinaroo, an irrigation reservoir, was created when the river was dammed back in the early 1950’s.  The lake is a very popular place for skiing and fishing.

We stayed for almost two weeks, but during that time we experienced a lot of rain, and spent the greater majority of our time with family, an activity far more important than sight seeing and taking photos.

Location No 97 – Lake Tinaroo, Far North Queensland

This is where Dean and I spent our honeymoon, almost 30 years ago.  Back then, we spent five days on a houseboat exploring the lake and (parts of) its 209 kilometre shoreline (129.2 miles).

This time we spent five days at the Lake Tinaroo Holiday Park in the little township of Tinaroo Village.

In those few moments when the rain eased off, we enjoyed a walk along the lake shoreline, around Tinaroo Village and down to the dam wall (pictured above).  Last time we were here I think you could still walk along the wall, but it’s now closed to public access.  We enjoyed Visiting Some Legendary Trees and bushwalking around Lake Barrine.  We also stopped by Lake Eacham, another crater lake and a great place for a swim, but we didn’t venture in, the water was too cold for that.

The rain prevented us from doing too much, but that was ok.  Mostly we just relaxed waiting for my Dad and his wife Cheryl to arrive in Atherton, just a short drive away.


Location No 98 – Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland

When Dad and Cheryl finally arrived, we helped them move into their new home.  (See Photo of the Week for a lovely photo of them.)  We worked hard, flat-out actually, for several days, rising early and falling into bed exhausted each night.  It’s tough going moving house, even more so doing the packing.  We weren’t around to help with that chore, but were glad we could help them with unpacking and setting up their new home.


Location No 99 – Townsville, North Queensland

Yes we stopped in Townsville for another coupe of days, this time to help Dean’s Mum sort out a few of her possessions.  We didn’t stay long, although we stayed longer than expected when, returning to our car on our first day, we discovered the rear windscreen smashed.  It was most likely the result of the gardener nearby, and we lost half a day organising the replacement.

We stayed at the Townsville Tourist and Lifestyle Village, for convenience more than any other reason.  The park was lovely and the owners so friendly.  It’s the first park we’ve stayed in that caters for the over 50’s traveller.  Kids are welcome (absolutely they are), but they are not catered for with the park vacant of swings or jumping pillows.

This morning we said goodbye once again to our home town and the World Heritage Listed Wet Tropics.  As we head a little further south, Airlie Beach and the Whitsunday Islands are our next stop where we plan to have a little fun in the sun while there’s still enough warmth. 

Winter is coming, ever so slowly, but the nights are getting cooler and, the further south we go, the colder it will get.  I imagine I’ll have to get our jumpers out before too long.

Author: Clare

Ever-expanding one star at a time, my cosmos is a galaxy of thoughts and creativity where you can find poetry, short stories, photography and so much more.

4 thoughts

  1. Love the Atherton Tablelands. We spent part of our Honeymoon at Tinaroo also. Hugh’s cousin Gavin Macdonald was very involved as an engineer with the building of the dam. He was then the Chief engineer of the Burdekin Dam after that.


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