Milla Milla Falls, Atherton TablelandsATHERTON TABLELANDSMountains rise inland from Cairns and theNorthern Beaches to flatten out into theAtherton Tablelands, a rugged landscape ofmountains and crater lakes. Once this was ahive of volcanic activity, but is now muchcalmer: a lush cool plateau of crystal lakes,waterfalls (including the famed Milla Milla),national parks and stunning scenery. Anintroduction is the spectacular railway journeywhich climbs and tunnels its way from Cairns tothe rainforest village of Kuranda, something of atourist mecca with a busy market beautifully setamongst the trees, but this is just a day-trip andthe area is worth much more time than this.You will find some of Australia's quirky wildlifeat Mount Hypipamee National Park, includingred-legged pademelons, bandicoots and adiverse array of possums, and this is also a goodplace to spot platypus in rivers and seek out theelusive flightless cassowary. From the lively anduntouristy town of Atherton the steam train toHerberton passes through magnificent sceneryof rolling hills and dense forest. The CraterLakes area is known for ancient rainforest andgigantic kauri pines whilst Yungaburra isrenowned for its remarkable, parasitic curtain figtrees, still standing long after their host treeshave been subsumed. Past Mount Garnet theUndara Volcanic National Park protects a matrixof lava tubes almost 200,000 years old.26Mount Quincan Crater RetreatMount Quincan Crater Retreat,near YungaburraJust six stand-alone pole-framed cabins blend withthe rainforest slopes of Mount Quincan's extinctvolcanic crater, capitalising on panoramic views ofthe crater and Mount Bartle Frere. Each timbercabin is self-contained and features wood-firedstoves and double spas 'with views'. The owners,Kerry and Barb, take pride in their attention todetail, something you'll notice daily when yourbreakfast hamper is delivered. Set in the heart ofthe Atherton Tablelands there are superb bushwalksaround the crater rim and the property is registeredwith Land for Wildlife, a local conservationorganisation seeking to protect the rare Lumholtz'stree kangaroo. Fur 'n' Feathers,Tazali, near MalandaIf you are keen to see the beautiful yet very shycassowary then a stay here presents you with agood opportunity: a mother and her young havebecome frequent visitors. Set within a rainforestbeside the Ithaca River, just five tree-houses offerthe chance to experience wildlife in its naturalhabitat but from a hugely comfortable and privatevantage point. The split-level houses have cosylounge rooms complete with open fire-places, ringedby floor-to-ceiling glass windows with beautiful views,as well as large, shaded balconies. It's a great placeto meet the local wildlife: there are platypus in theriver below and an array of rainforest birds are likelyto join you for breakfast on your balcony.Stoney Creek Falls, Atherton TablelandsFur 'n' Feathers
QUEENSLAND27Wrotham Park LodgeTyrconnell, DimbulahAtop a seared hilltop covered with bloodwood treesand stumpy termite mounds is this once operationalgold mine, just under two hours from Atherton.Andrew and Cate, the owners, renovated the mineand the result is three rustic cottages, 'Top','Ruby'and the larger 'Managers', all with rug-strewnpolished floors, comfortable sitting rooms, ensuitebedrooms and each wrapped in shady verandascommanding magnificent views towards MountMulligan. Meals are taken either in the homestead,a family affair, or by candlelight in the atmosphericsurroundings of the old stamper battery. There areplenty of things to occupy your days here; goldpanning down at the creek, birdwatching walks tothe Mareeba Wetlands or visiting George, one of thelocal Kuku Djundan Aboriginal people, for adidgeridoo lesson. The textures of the landscape arefantastic and the rust-covered buckets with rivetedpatches and corrugated iron buildings set the sceneperfectly, making the mine a living piece of the past.discover thetropical northtailor-made travelAll our travel arrangements are on a private,individual basis to offer you complete freedom ofchoice. The itineraries and accommodation optionsthroughout the brochure are designed to give you aflavour of what is possible and can be tailor-made tosuit your preferences. Prices vary according toselected accommodation and season. Please callour Australia specialists on 01869 276 345 todiscuss your individual requirements.WROTHAM PARK STATIONLocated on the Cape York Peninsula, thisworking cattle station is immense and craggy,and offers a wonderful opportunity to see aworking station in action. The station landcovers three major river systems, with the Lynd,Mitchell and Walsh rivers running through theproperty, and the area is blessed with anabundance of bird species, mobs of kangaroo aswell as some of Australia's more unrulyresidents, the freshwater crocodile and thedingo. The station is reached by air from Cairns,by a guided 4WD tour or, if you're feeling bold,by hiring a 4WD vehicle and driving yourself.Wrotham Park LodgeThis Outback lodge is part of the working station andsits high above the banks of the Mitchell River. Thelandscape, rugged and beautiful, is characterised bythe classic big blue sky and the red earth of theOutback. A host of activities such as canoeing,walking trails and tours of the station occupy yourday, whilst the evenings are communal dinner partystyle with meals a gourmet interpretation oftraditional 'Aussie' country fare. The handful ofguestrooms, 'Quarters', are based on the historicstockman quarters mixed with modern comforts: acomfy leather armchair and a shady veranda with aday bed. The lodge brings together wilderness, therich heritage of Australia's rural history and classicOutback cattle station life with a hint of luxury.Tyrconnell CottageTyrconnellTABLELANDS & OUTBACK North Queensland's vast contrasts come into vivid,human focus on this journey. Your Outback home isa stylish cottage set in a converted gold mine, whileyour rainforest experience is transformed by yourpole-framed tree-house hidden within the trees.Day 1:Depart from Cairns and head outthrough the rainforest to the ruggedOutback Tyrconnell Mine. Day 2:Full day at leisure to explore the goldfieldand meet the locals characters.Day 3:Leave Tyrconnell today for the temperaterainforests of the Atherton Tablelandsand your tree-house within the forest.Day 4:Spend the day exploring the Tablelandsand the famous waterfall circuit.Day 5:Spend the morning relaxing beforedriving back to Cairns.COLOURS OF QUEENSLANDThis indulgent adventure brings the classic images ofQueensland to life: the sun-bronzed red of theOutback, a remote island resting on the colouredcoral of the Great Barrier Reef and the tranquility ofthe Daintree's lush tropical rainforest.Day 1:Fly from Cairns to Wrotham Park Station.Day 2:Exploring the working station whichcovers over half a million hectares ofland. In the evening, a star-gazing talkintroduces the different constellations ofthe southern sky. Day 3:Fly to Cow Bay and on to Silky OaksLodge on the edge of the Daintree.Day 4:Relax at the lodge, maybe picnic by theriver or explore by canoe.Day 5:Fly to Lizard Island and take to the beachwith a mask and snorkel to soak up thebeauty of the Great Barrier Reef.Day 6:Snorkel or dive at the 'Cod Hole', findclams more than a 100 years old, or relaxon a deserted powder-white beach. Day 7:Fly from Lizard Island to Cairns.