There are 3 levels of altitude plus a historical precinct (Herberton & Irvinebank), which splits the "Tablelands" into 3 unique areas. Each section has a distinct landscape, due to variations in soil and climate, hence the attractions and wildlife vary accordingly. This diversity is in a comparatively small area, (15 min's driving east or west and 30 min's north or south from Atherton), which allows a minimum of driving and a maximum of experiencing. If you have time, allow at least 1 day of sight-seeing in each section. See below for printable "Self drive itineraries" :-
Northern Section at approximately 500 metres above sea level.
Central Section at approximately 750 metres above sea level.
Southern Section at approximately 1000 metres above sea level
With an annual rainfall of around 1600mm, Atherton (the most central town), and its immediate district, are a lovely tropical green. The towns and villages of the Atherton Tablelands boast a tropical atmosphere and close knit community spirit. Naturally air-conditioned, being an average 700 metres above sea level the district is free of coastal humidity. The perfect summer retreat, but still close enough to enjoy coastal attractions. Residents boast that they are blessed with the best weather in the world. With winter getting an occasional helping of early morning frost and the daily temperature around a perfect 21 degrees Celsius, the spectacular afternoon/evening storms in spring and the lower humidity in summer makes this an all year destination without the oppressive climate at sea level.
An ideal position to base yourself for birding in Queensland. Visit the crater lakes, world heritage rainforest, waterfalls and historical areas. You can even explore further west, out to the Gulf Savannah and other Outback areas.
Atherton is a picturesque town right in the heart of the Atherton shire. It is also the Tableland's major commerce centre. Most major roads crossing the Tablelands come through Atherton, making it an ideal base on the Tablelands to start your exploring. The Jazz Festival is held annually in July and attracts jazz lovers from all over Australia. Every September, the town hosts the Maize festival, with street processions and a gala ball.
Atherton spent over $2 million in 2001 to celebrate Federation. In doing so they created the "Hallorans Hill Lookout Experience", "Hastie Swamp Bird Hide" and the "Hou Wang Chinese Temple". "The Crystal Caves & Fascinating Facets", in the main street, is a geological exhibition and mineralogical collection with over 600 specimens, which is well known throughout the region, displaying and selling crystals from around the world. Within a very short drive on the outskirts of Atherton is the "Gallo Cheese and Chocolate Centre" as well as a local master craftsmen at "The Tolga Woodworks".
The area is an ecological wonderland of delight for the traveller. Boasting modern facilities it is also able to provide an abundance of native fauna and flora. It is one of the most diverse regions in Australia with 4 distinct landscapes within a very small area. A highlight is to visit "Platypus Bend" only a 15 minute drive from Atherton township, it is a 71 ha private property which is registered as "Land for Wildlife". Walks and canoe hire are available to get up close and view native rainforest with some of its inhabitants such as platypus, Lumholtz tree kangaroo's, echidna's, green ring tailed possums, pademelons, Johnstone river turtles, fish and lots more, without the tourist "hordes" found at other sites.
Constructed & opened for business in 1999
Includes continental breakfast served on the top deck
Cooked breakfast is available at an extra cost
All rooms have ensuites, TV & private entrances
Your hosts (John & Helen & family) live on site, the b&b rooms are on a separate/private level.
Temperature controlled pool & spa
Poolside BBQ facilities
Tea/coffee, microwave facility access
Self drive itineraries, maps & Tour Desk available
2 bedroom apartment available, (breakfast not included)
Self-Contained Bed & Breakfast - The Summit
Completed construction of The Summit B&B in July 2008, Includes continental breakfast provisions
Each room has an allocated lockable cupboard in the kitchen
All bedrooms have private ensuite, satellite TV & DVD
Temperature controlled pool, spa & waterfall feature at deck level
Panoramic views from the deck & bedrooms
Access from your bedroom onto the deck through "French Doors"
Full self-contained kitchen/dining facilities for all guests
Air Conditioning available, however the cross ventilation is delightful
Laundromat facilities for all guests
An outdoor setting on the deck, for each bedroom
Shared lounge room with AUSTAR satellite TV control
Rainwater tank available for water bottle refills
Undercover car parking with 2 separate stair accesses, to each side of the dwelling
BBQ facilities down stairs, undercover
Native wildlife & rainforest walks, incl wallabies & pademelons
Maximum number of bookings per night is 3, on a B&B basis
The Pademelon room has 2 br's with interconnecting ensuite, suitable for families, 2 couples or 4 singles
The Summit B&B can also be holiday let, on a whole house basis of 4 br's, (not incl breakfast)
Non hosted - key collection at Atherton Blue Gum B&B, 36 Twelfth Avenue, Atherton