Atherton Tablelands Hiking Trails

To experience the magic of this region, you can get up close and personal on one of the many Atherton Tablelands Hiking Trails. There’s some to suit every fitness level. All of them have magnificent wildlife and nature opportunities to take in at your own pace.

Kuranda – Barron Gorge National Park

A great way to start your trip up to the Tablelands. After taking the turn-off into Kuranda, travel 3.5 km along Barron Falls Road. Pull into the car park when you see the signs for the Barron Falls car park. From here you have access to the Barron Falls Lookout. An awe-inspiring sight, these immense falls thunder over the edge, especially after some rain.

  • Distance: 1.2 km return
  • Fitness Level: Easy, beginner

Another 1.4 km down the road, you’ll find the Surprise Creek Walk and Wright’s Lookout. Marvel at the picturesque rainforest before emerging at Surprise Falls. The water cascades 243 metres down into the Barron Gorge.

  • Distance: 2.8 km return
  • Fitness Level: Moderate

Mareeba – Emerald Creek Falls

Located 15 km southeast of the township of Mareeba. Definitely not an Atherton Tablelands Hiking Trails to miss. The Emerald Creek Falls hike has excellent wildlife and birdwatching opportunities. Emerald Creek emerges from the heights of the rainforest and streams down into eucalypt woodland. The waterfalls tumble over giant granite boulders and lead to tranquil swimming pools below.

  • Distance: 2 km
  • Fitness Level: Moderately fit

Mareeba – Davies Creek Falls / National Park

You will find a few different Hiking Trails here. The Davies Creek Falls are probably the centrepiece. A pathway will lead you to two different access points to view the falls as they plunge 75 metres into the valley below. Then you follow the creek and arrive at a beautiful picnic location. You may be lucky and spot a Platypus.

  • Distance: 1.1 km
  • Fitness Level: Easy, beginner

One for the more experienced hikers is the Turtle Rock Circuit. Never walk alone, and start early in the colder time of the morning. You will pass through open eucalypt forest and get to see lots of stunning Xanthorrhoea (grass trees). The track gets steep as you begin to climb the ridge. Make sure you have sturdy boots on, as the ground will be rough with loose gravel for the final climb to the 936-metre summit. Here, there are spectacular views and massive boulders.

  • Distance: 8 km
  • Fitness Level: Difficult, experienced hikers only

Kahlpahlim Rock Hike is another for experienced walkers. The highest point on the Lamb Range at 1300 metres above sea level. Two steep trails will lead you to the top. The sheer size of the rock and stunning views are impressive. Again, start the hike when it’s chilly in the morning. You will see a variety of birds, and keep an eye out for the endangered Northern Bettong.

  • Distance: Can vary, depending on if you decide to do both Hiking Trails or just the one.
  • Fitness Level: Difficult, inform a reliable person of your plans before this walk.

Lake Tinaroo – Kauri Creek Walk

An easy walk and shaded by the rainforest along the banks of Kauri Creek. You will most likely hear the screeching call of the Chowchilla. Wander through the rainforests and the tall pine plantations. There will be lots of beautiful nature and wildlife opportunities. Keep an eye out for the rare Green-eyed Tree Frog and the well-camouflaged Boyde’s Forest Dragon.

  • Distance: 5 km
  • Fitness Level: Moderately fit

Atherton – Hallorans Hill

This uphill track takes you through the rare and protected Mabi forest. Enjoy a shaded walk as you ascend to the summit of Hallorans Hill. This one can be steep in places but is worth it for the magnificent views and excellent birdwatching.

  • Distance: 3 km
  • Fitness Level: Moderately fit

Yungaburra – Crater Lakes

The Lake Eacham Hiking Trails take you around an extinct crater lake surrounded by lush rainforest. The lake’s water is a crystal clear blue. The area is teeming with wildlife. Over 180 bird species have been recorded here along with many other animals. You may be lucky enough to spot the small Musky Rat Kangaroo – one of the few marsupial species active during the day time.

  • Distance: 3 km
  • Fitness Level: Moderately fit

Lake Barrine is yet another pristine volcanic crater lake nestled in the rainforest. You will have uninterrupted views of the lake from the fringing forest. This area comes alive with wildlife. Countless bird species, along with Water Dragons and turtles basking in the sun is what you can look forward to. After your walk, you can’t leave without stopping in at the Lake Barrine Teahouse for their famous Devonshire Tea.

  • Distance: 5 km
  • Fitness Level: Moderately fit

Misty Mountains Wilderness Tracks

There is something mysterious and magical about the Misty Mountains. Covering a large area, surrounded by Tully, Innisfail, Mena Creek, Millaa Millaa and Ravenshoe traversing Tully Falls, Tully Gorge and Wooroonooran national parks. As the name suggests, these mountains high up in the rainforest are nearly always covered with a beautiful mist. There are lots of different Hiking Trails to be found here. You will discover waterfalls, pristine rainforest creeks and spectacular panoramic views. To view a map of all the various hiking trails through these mountains, click here.

  • Distance: 130 km of long and short Hiking Trails
  • Fitness Level: Can vary from easy to experienced hikers

Mamu Tropical Skywalk

Everybody should take the time to visit this fantastic place. Located on the Palmerston Highway. You will explore the rainforest from the floor to the canopy. With an elevated walkway rising from ground level. The panoramic views of the rainforest are breathtaking. The walkway is 15 metres high, with an observation tower escalating to 37 metres! Get up close to some of the spectacular butterfly and bird species. There are comfortable seating options along the way if you need a rest. In total, there are more than 1100 metres of forest walking tracks here.

  • Distance: Elevated walkway is 350 metres
  • Fitness Level: Easy to moderate.

Click HERE to view a map of the Atherton Tablelands parks and forests.