NOW: ATHERTON TABLELANDS
If you’re on the tablelands on the right Saturday you can wander the Yungaburra markets and try some local foods and produce. You can also stroll along the Peterson Creek and watch the platypus swimming in the water even during the daytime! I thought you only saw platypus at night but not at Yungaburra. Just near Yungaburra is the impressive Curtain Fig sits in the rainforest. Not much further on is the Gallo Cheese Factory with nice cheese and yummy chocolates.
We also timed it for the annual Maize Festival in Atherton with a street parade that lasted two hours and included historic maize harvesters. If it happened in Atherton it was represented in the Maize Festival street parade. We also tried the local coffee and loaded spuds from the street vendors.
The Herberton Historic Village is listed by the National Trust. This enormous private collection of buildings, machinery and artefacts had us captivated for a whole day.
We were astounded by the way the collection was displayed with newspapers and books in the newsagency, working vintage cars in the garage, metal tools in the blacksmiths with a working forge, cameras, film and projectors in the camera shop. There was even the boiler and shaft of the tin mine that was the reason for the village in the first place.
Chocolate, coffee, tea, mango, avocado, sugar cane, potatoes and maize are all grown on the tablelands and turned into delicious temptations. On our food trail journey we tried rum, mango wine and fresh tea from the plantation. At the tea plantation we watched the green tea leaves cut, dried and put into a teapot with some pretty good scones as company. We’re told there are resident tree kangaroos near the tea house but they weren’t home when we visited.
Waterfalls and rainforest go together and we visited Millaa Millaa and Ellinjaa Falls near Millaa Millaa and a tier of Dinner Falls on the Barron River after short walks in the Mount Hypipamee National Park.
Kuranda is famous for its markets in the rainforest where we roamed for a morning. We had lunch with some water dragons that lounged on the verandah railing and wandered over to check the tables for scraps when diners vacated their seats. A few kilometres from Kuranda the Barron River has some impressive falls as well.
Back in Atherton the Hou Wang Temple sits next to Platypus Creek where the town’s early Chinese settlers lived. Gold was found in the area and a thriving community evolved to meet the miners’ basic needs as well as the timber getters and their families. The Chinese grew vegetables, including maize and built a street full of stores and the temple which still stands on its original site.
The lush green of the tablelands and grass under our feet were a welcome relief from the dust and dry landscape of the last few months.
NEXT: THE WET TROPICS
See you on the Emu Track
Cheryl and David