Herberton, the village in the hills

  • Population: 855 (2016 census)
  • Area: 23.3 kilometres
  • Founded: 1880
  • Postcode: 4887
  • Distance from Cairns
    • via Gillies Highway 95.7 kilometres driving time 1 hour and 35 minutes
    • via Kuranda Range: 111.4 kilometres driving time of 1 hour and 37 minutes


Welcome to the oldest town on the Atherton Tablelands.  Herberton’s raw minerals were what attracted migrants and opportunists in the late 19th century.

It was a thriving hub of prospectors mining its ample tin deposits in its heyday.  Formerly a busy country town.  Home to 17 pubs, two newspapers and a brewery!


The town celebrates its pioneering mining history at the council-operated Herberton Mining Museum.  Here you will discover displays and local history archives.  Explore an extensive outdoor museum that pays homage to the era.

As part of the museum, visitors can see turn-of-the-century machinery, transport, fashion and pharmaceuticals.

As well as motor vehicles and memorabilia, Australian collections, from grocery items and tobacco to treasured dolls and toys, also feature prominently.

The volunteer operates the Railway MuseumAtherton Herberton Historic RailwayIt also runs regular Sunday train rides from Herberton Station to the Historic Village Herberton on a restored rail line.

Many walking tracks around the town meander through heritage buildings.  Those seeking a longer walk can explore the river and nearby hills.

You can also organise an overnight trek with local guides.  Take in the surrounds of tropical forests to the east and woodlands to the north.

The spectacular carpet of purple flowers created by the blossoming Jacaranda trees is an impressive feature of the area.

One of the town’s first settlers, John Newell, initially planted these stunning trees, and they flower in September and October.

Herberton  Weather

Herberton is relatively drier than other areas of the Atherton Tablelands.  It’s the northern town in Australia to record a temperature below -5 degrees Celcius and the only place in Tropical North Queensland to do so.

Accommodation on offer is a bed and breakfast facility, motel, traditional Australian pub accommodation and a caravan park.

Herberton Map

Places to visit nearby Herberton