Zig zagging from sea to summit

Townsville to Cairns incl Atherton Tablelands


The hinterland north from Townsville certainly has a lot to offer. Moving north we were constantly zig-zagging from coast to inland. We drove from quiet beaches into lush mountains to see waterfalls and back out again all within a few hours.

Wallaman Falls, Girringun NPA stand out waterfall for us was Wallaman Falls in Girringum NP. It’s Australia’s tallest single drop waterfall, with a plunge of 268 metres and by the time the water hits the bottom it’s mostly mist. We also really enjoyed the hike going down to the bottom of the gorge and seeing it from below was spectacular.

A stand out location for us was Mission Beach, mostly because we liked the feel of the town and we finally saw some sun, so we set up here to chill for a few days. I was happy to celebrate my birthday here. Davey made pancakes for brekkie, we blew the budget and ate out for lunch and dinner – unheard of! He must know the way to my heart is through my stomach! An arvo slack line at the beach was also in order.

Mission Beach, my b'dayMission Beach, my b'day

Finally it was time to meet up with my mum and sister, who had driven over from Darwin to meet us in QLD. I’d been looking forward to this since leaving Sydney! We picked a spot called Innot Hot Springs in the middle of nowhere and agreed to meet there.

Innot Hot Springs pubThere was a pub at Innot Hot Springs and they were showing State of Origin so our happy family reunion went late into the night, and on this special occasion Davey and I managed to stay up until 10:30pm! This pub had the awesome idea of giving you a raffle ticket for every drink you bought. Davey won a scooner of beer, a stubby holder and a six pack of beer and by the end the locals were yelling “It’s rigged!”. This was our first outback Aussie pub experience where we mingled with locals and heard some great stories. We had so much fun that we decided we’d have to head to the pub more…for tourism reasons of course.

We set off to spend a week exploring the scenic winding roads, rolling green hills, lakes, rainforests, waterfalls and cute small towns of the Atherton Tablelands area (inland from Cairns). We mainly picked this area to explore because Mum had spent a day seeing the area about 35 years ago, and always wanted to go back – see it’s never too late! My mum has travelled around Australia loads, she loves this country and she’s always keen to see more. For any of you who wonder where I got the travel bug from…

Atherton Tablelands

Atherton Tablelands

Henrietta Creek, walk Nandroya Falls

Nandroya Falls walk

Henrietta Creek, Nandroya Falls walk

Nandroya Falls walk

Lake Tinaroo

Lake Tinaroo

Mum's homemade beenie

A bit big?

Mum's homemade beenie

Mum’s homemade beanie

A real stand out for us was Davie’s Creek NP. We found a stella camp spot and could have stayed here for a week. It was right alongside a beautiful crystal clear creek, with barely anyone around. We all hiked to an amazing waterfall, Dave and I had our bush bath in the freezing cold creek and we chilled out by the fire at night. My Mum and sister had their tents set up by the water, while Dave and I were in Dusty above the camp area. Despite this we’ll list it as a favourite campground of ours.

Davie's Creek NP Davie's Creek NP Davie's Creek NP Davie's Creek NP Davie's Creek NP Davie's Creek NP

Barron Falls
We loved this area – it’s so scenic! The driving was not about getting from A to B because the experience was also about what you saw from your window as you drove. It was full of surprises – we would round a hilly corner and pop out on top of a tableland with a view for as far as the eye could see, and soon after go down a little shaded road with rainforest either side. We moved along at a nice slow pace and spent many a long afternoon relaxing and having a laugh. What a great experience we had!