A scenic one hour drive into the Highlands west of Cairns are the Atherton Tablelands, Tropical North Queensland's own mountain getaway. Situated between the Bellenden Ker Range and the Great Dividing Range, this is an area rich in history, indigenous culture and old mining settlements from the early pioneering days. The Cairns Highlands, as they are also known, are a fertile land with diverse terrain, rainforests, waterfalls and volcanic lakes, abundant in wildlife, and dotted with charming little country of the region's best kept secrets!
Crystal Caves is a fascinatingly crafted mineralogical museum located in Atherton, in the Cairns Highlands.Crystal Caves on the Atherton Tablelands, is home to the world's largest geode.
69 Main Street, Atherton (MAP)
Phone (07) 4091 2365 / Fax (07) 4091 3285

Home of the world's biggest amethyst geode!

Crystal Caves is a fascinatingly crafted mineralogical museum. Explore a labyrinth of caves on 2 levels over 250 square metres to discover spectacular and colourful natural crystals, ancient fossils, and rare delicate minerals. You will be given a miners helmet and your adventure begins! Venture into the man made cave system, which offers an amazing labyrinth of gemstone, crystals and fossils studded into the walls.

What began with one man's passion is now Australia's most spectacular mineralogical collection, attracting more than 25,000 visitors annually. The mineralogical world is as much a part of nature as the rainforest and the reef, and René Boissevain, and his wife Nelleke would like to share the beauty of this spectacular collection that they have travelled the world to collect since 1963.

Visit the Atherton Tablelands famous Waterfall Circuit.Tour the rainforest with Captain Matty's Barefoot Tours. BAREFOOT TOURS
Phone (07) 4032 4525

Not your typical, rushed, overpriced tour!

At Barefoot Tours, they know you don't want to spend the day rushing from one place to another, with no time to really appreciate the beauty of nature around you- this is why their tours are all about relaxing and having a you beaut day out with no time restrictions!

Come on a fun filled tour through some of the most beautiful locations around the Atherton Tablelands! Swim in a volcanic crater lake, take a dip under breathtaking waterfalls and slide down a natural waterslide! If you're not a fan of water, don't worry, there's still plenty for you to see and do. Check out the amazing Cathedral Fig Tree, find loads of awesome photo opportunities and enjoy a tropical morning and afternoon tea!

Departs daily!

Discount travel insurance. Buy anywhere, anytime, online.

Panoramic views from the Millaa Millaa lookout. The Atherton Tablelands are also often referred to as the 'Cairns Highlands'. With altitude ranging from 600 metres to 1,100 metres above sea level, the air feels cool and fresh, a different world from the humidity and hustle and bustle of Cairns, but only an hour or two away. Lush and fertile, the Atherton Tablelands are home to World Heritage listed rainforests, national parks, mountains, rivers, lakes and waterfalls. Visitors will find an area varied with rich agricultural lands and charming little townships, classic old country pubs, cosy motels, pleasant guest houses, fun backpackers hostels, farm stays, boutique style cottages and caravan and camping parks which will provide the ideal base for exploring. The Atherton Tablelands are Australian countryside at its best.

Beautiful Millaa Millaa Falls. For visitors, the Tablelands present opportunities for many different and varied activities. Bushwalking is a very popular activity, with walking tracks ranging from easy and short ones to the most strenous trails. Birdwatchers will find a paradise in the Tablelands, with more that 300 bird species. Other activities include wildlife cruise, marsupial spotting, hot air ballooning and water sports as diverse as fishing and white water rafting. Australia's widest waterfall, Millstream Falls, flows all year round. Wildlife is abundant on the Tablelands, as a night time spotlighting tour will show. You may even have the rare opportunity to see a shy tree kangaroo or a platypus in the wild.

Mareeba's famous rodeo. Visitors can tour the 'waterfall circuit' around Millaa Millaa, pick up some unique arts and crafts at the huge monthly Yungaburra markets, explore the crystal caves and volcanic mountains of Atherton or the limestone caves of Chillagoe, marvel at the huge wind generators in Ravenshoe, check out the unique woodcraft at Tolga gallery, and take a step back in time in the historic villages of Herberton and Malanda, and rub shoulders with the cattlemen at Mareeba's big weekly cattle auction. The list of events that take place in the Tablelands is massive, with events ranging from authentic Aussie rodeos to popular fishing competitions, agricultural shows, music festivals, races for all ages and fitness and much more. You won't have time to fit it all in your holidays.


Find the best deals on rental cars in Tropical North Queensland with Cairns Unlimited.Almost all of the roads within the Atherton Tablelands region are sealed, and driving conditions are generally suitable for conventional vehicles. Having said that, many of the roads are narrow and winding, and motorists shouldn't expect to be able to maintain highway speeds throughout the Tablelands. A four wheel drive would be necessary for those planning to venture well off the beaten track, and especially during the wet season. Anyway, this is not a drive to rush. Wind the windows down, let the smells and the fresh air in, take your time, and enjoy the Atherton Tablelands at your own pace. For the best deal on a rental car, please visit our CAR HIRE page.

IMPORTANT: Most car rental companies don't allow their cars to be driven on unsealed roads. Make sure you double check your rental agreement, as you will not be covered by insurance if you are in breach of your contract.

Trans North Coaches connects the Cairns Highlands with Cairns.Trans North Coaches services the Atherton region, and connects the Tablelands with Cairns, operating a number of daily services on the Cairns - Kuranda - Mareeba - Atherton route. Connections are available with Kerry's Bus Service from Atherton to Ravenshoe and Herberton, and with Chillagoe Bus Service along the Wheelbarrow Way to Chillagoe.

In Cairns, the route begins/ends at 46 Spence Street, but passengers can also also hail the bus at bus stops along Sheridan Street, or anywhere else along the route, provided it is safe for the driver to stop. Discounts range from 20% for tertiary students to 50% for pensioners and primary school children. Details of Whitecar Coaches latest timetable can be found on their website.

In addition to this service, Whitecar Coaches also shuttle between Cairns and Kuranda three times a day. For more details on this service, please visit our KURANDA page.

Please Note: There are no regular public transport services to (or between) the towns of Yungaburra, Malanda, Kairi, Tinaroo or Millaa Millaa. Atherton, Malanda and Ravenshoe have local taxi services, and can serve to transport you from town to town, but of course this can become expensive, especially if travelling alone.

Port Douglas to Mareeba - 1 hr
Cairns to Mareeba - 1 hr
Cairns to Yungaburra
(via Gordonvale) - 1 hr

Mareeba to Chillagoe
(some sections unsealed) - 1.5 hrs
Mareeba to Atherton - 30 mins
Atherton to Herberton - 30 mins
Herberton to Irvinebank
(last 15 km's unsealed) - 30 mins

Atherton to Millaa Millaa - 45 mins
Atherton to Ravenshoe - 45 mins
Ravenshoe to Mt Garnet - 35 mins
Mt Garnet to Undara Nat. Park - 1.5 hrs

Millaa Millaa to Malanda - 30 mins
Millaa Millaa to Ravenshoe - 45 mins
Millaa Millaa to Innisfail - 45 mins

Ballooning over the Atherton Tablelands. The Summit Rainforest Retreat offers luxurious holiday home accommodation in the heart of the Atherton Tablelands. Deep blue Lake Barrine, in the Crater Lakes National Park, near Yungaburra. Fur'n'Feathers Tree Houses offer luxury accommodation in the rainforest. Click here for more information.. Neatly trimmed tea plantation... and another perfect day in the Atherton Tablelands.