Welcome to the Atherton Tablelands, Tropical Queensland, Australia

It was time again to swap beaches with mountain forests and what better place to go then to the Atherton Tablelands.

Tchupala Falls with deep blue sky, Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Tchupala Falls with deep blue sky, Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Dozens of waterfalls cascade throughout the escarpment, which all have their own uniqueness in many ways.

Millaa Milka Falls, Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Millaa Milka Falls, Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Australia’s most photographed waterfalls are ‘Millaa Millaa Falls’.

Millstream Falls on a sunny day at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Millstream Falls on a sunny day at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

‘Millstream Falls’ is Australia’s widest waterfall, as others are just as spectacular within their surroundings. Some are close to car parks in open areas, others are well worth a few hours hike. I couldn’t wait.

Yet another waterfall in Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Yet another waterfall in Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Waterfalls are definitely one of my favourite natural photo objects and it doesn’t come to anybody’s surprise, that I have taken many photos of each one of them. 

Waterfall on the knife’s edge in Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Waterfall on the knife’s edge in Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

This mountain range is an adventurer’s and photographer’s paradise like myself. Many creatures of the forest live here only and nowhere else in the world. Large scale deforestation has brought many species to the brink of extinction.

Lumholtz Tree Kangaroo in Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Lumholtz Tree Kangaroo in Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

National Parks have been placed in this ‘Tropical Rainforest World Heritage Area’, a sanctuary for many endangered species like tree kangaroos.

Curtain Fig Tree next Yungaburra, Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Curtain Fig Tree next Yungaburra, Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Rare birds call these forests their home and even the flora is just as unique.

Whistling Ducks at Hasties Swamp next Atherton, Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Whistling Ducks at Hasties Swamp next Atherton, Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Swamps and wetlands create an aquatic haven for migratory birds as well as for stationary local birdlife.

Platypus foraging through green carpet at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Platypus foraging through green carpet at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Crystal clear creeks yield an abundance of Nature’s famous and fabulous.

Crater lake st Mount Hypipamee National Park, Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Crater lake st Mount Hypipamee National Park, Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Deep crater lakes are an ancient reminder of the Tableland’s violent past. Although considered as dormant, this area could again be a volcanic hotspot due to tectonic movement.

Eucalyptus forest on Atherton Tablelands western slopes, Far North Queensland, Australia

Eucalyptus forest on Atherton Tablelands western slopes, Far North Queensland, Australia

It is somehow surprising how quickly the lush forest to the east turns in to dry eucalyptus plains on the western slopes around Ravenshoe. 

Impressive view to the Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Impressive view to the Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

The Atherton Tablelands are one of Australia’s most significant geological area. They are part of the Great Dividing Range which flanks Australia’s east coast. Queensland’s highest peak, Mount Bartle Frere, towers over an already impressive mountain range.

Aboriginal Dreamtime at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Aboriginal Dreamtime at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

The Atherton Tableland Region has a long history of indigenous occupation. Aboriginal people with ties to the region seek to maintain their culture today, despite a long period of forced removal from their lands following European occupation in the late 19th-early 20th century. 

Lookout over Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Lookout over Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

 

Tin mining in the early 19th century started another ecological disaster by humankind. Tree logging for valuable woods and agricultural farming eventually destroyed most of this ancient rainforest. Shame really. If we only knew then what we know now! 

Dairy paradise in Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Dairy paradise in Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Today, the Atherton Tablelands are well known for dairy products and a large variety of fruits and vegetables. Rich volcanic soil and high rainfall are the perfect ingredients for agriculture.

So many waterfalls to choose from at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

So many waterfalls to choose from at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

I have been to the Atherton Tableland on different occasions before, but I never have spent much time here. It was different this time, I came with good intentions. This is the land where anything can happen if you are looking for it.

Birds of prey hovering in strong winds over the Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Birds of prey hovering in strong winds over the Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Birds of prey use strong winds to soar above paddocks in search of mice.

Look who’s there? Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Look who’s there? Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Kookaburras are just as cheeky and cute here as they are anywhere else in Australia.

Staring contest at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Staring contest at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Possum in hollow at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Possum in hollow at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Possums eye you out whilst passing their hollow. 

Windmill farm at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Windmill farm at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

One thing was for certain. There is plenty to discover and plenty to capture with my camera.

Stunning flora at the Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Stunning flora at the Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

The weather gods were with me most of the time, which is an added bonus. Considering, that the eastern slopes of the Atherton Tableland have some of the highest rainfalls recorded in Australia. 

My next few posts are all about the Atherton Tablelands, kept in short individual stories. 

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