A typical day trip will set you back anywhere from $85 to $160 and the content will differ depending on the tour. The following list is in order from the cheapest tour. •Captain Matty’s Barefoot tours Another hightly recommended tour and at a great price. This tour is “all about relaxing and having a you beaut day out with no time restrictions’’ so most backpackers would find this tour to be just the thing. •Tropics Explorer Tablelands Tour This tour is an absolute bargain and good fun as well. •Wait a while Wildlife TourThe only way you will see lots of native rainforest wildlife without hijacking a uni zoology field trip. See column on left for more info.
There are 5 or 6 waterfalls on the tablelands, but by far and away the best one is Milla Milla Falls (pictured right). It is a great place to get skimpy and wet especially in the summer months. In the winter the water gets mighty chilly but that doesn’t stop the scandinavian backpackers all whom seem intent on swimming behind the falls. All of the tours go here.
Atherton Tablelands is about an hour drive west of Cairns and is a great place to not just see some rainforest, but also cool off in the lakes or waterfalls, something not easily accessible in Cape Trib. In fact, it makes sense to do the Tablelands rather than Cape Trib if you are here during the wet season not just so that you can take a dip, but also because Cape Trib gets so much rain in the wet season it’s not funny. Here are the main attractions of the Tablelands•The curtain fig tree (right)•The Cathedral fig tree•Lake Eacham and Barrine. Both have walks, Eacham •is best for swimming, Barrine has a boat cruise $15). •Milla Milla falls (and other waterfalls)•Paronella Park (photo below). •Mamu Rainforest Canopy WalkThe Tablelands really do lend themselves to the option of renting a car and not worrying about a tour. The roads are easy to navigate (although you will have to drive on steep mountain roads with many bends) and a day trip is not too rushed. Make sure you get an early start though if you choose this option. It is best to drive up the Gillies highway and back down the same way or back via the Palmerston Highway (allow more time). Having said that though the cheapest tour is only about $85/person so this is a hassle free way of seeing all the Tablelands has to offer.
It was originally built 80 odd years ago by a Spanish settler for his not so beautiful wife. It comprises romantic gardens including the tunnel of love , Kauri Pine Avenue and concrete picnic tables (moss covered) by the river. The castle side of it is just as awe inspiring including the grand staircase, the theatre room and tea house. If you are self driving entry is about $40. The 2 main lakes on the Tablelands are Lake Barrine and Lake Eacham. They are both volcanic crater lakes with clear blue water surrounded by rainforest. Lake Eachem is perfect for swimming whilst Lake Barrine runs boat cruises on the lake and has the tea house (perfect lunch stop). There are rainforest walks around both, and Barrine has 2 of the biggest Kauri pines you will ever see. All fo the tours go to one or the other of the lakes. TIt is very hard to see rainforest wildlife as they are all pretty much nocturnal. You really need to go on tour like the Wait a While Wildlife Tour . Animals you can expect to see are:•Platypus (98% success rate!)•Possums•Bandicoots•Flying foxes•Pademelons (rainforest wallabys)Plus a whole lot more you might see if you are lucky such as tree kangaroos and bettongs
If you have the time and money you really should haul your ass to Paronella Park. It is just a magical, enchanting mix of jungle and concrete architecture.