We left Cairns on Sunday and headed in to the rainforest covered mountains of the Atherton Tablelands. It instantly became cooler, which we were very pleased about. We stayed the night just outside Mareeba and woke early the next day.
We took the long way round to Atherton and drove around Lake Tinaroo, which is beautiful. The road weaves in and out of grazing land and dense rainforest. We stopped at a small crater lake but couldn't get to it as the track was too overgrown. Instead we walked the 1km loop track through Mobo Crater Creek. This track was much better and took us through the rainforest and over crystal clear creeks. We quickly stopped off to see the Cathedral fig tree, before heading to our camp for the night. The fig tree was massive! It was thought to be over 500 years old The host tree has long since died and rotted away, leaving behind huge buttresses and ariel roots. It was very impressive. We camped the night by the lake and were the only people there (because we shouldn't have been there!). It was peaceful and the views of the lake and surrounding forest were spectacular.
Tuesday was spent exploring a couple of volcanic craters, now filled with water, to form deep lakes. The first lake, Lake Barrine, is home to the twin Kauri Pines. Two native pine trees towering above the rainforest canopy. Lake Eacham was the second lake, which was busy with people taking their morning jog or swim before work. We have forgotten what that is! We joined in but at a more leisurely pace and walked around the lake. We were a bit dissapointed that we couldn't really see the lake. We spent the afternoon visiting some waterfalls, Dinner falls, Millstream falls (Australia's widest falls) and Little Millstream falls, which wasn't that little.
Wednesday was waterfall day again. There are so many we decided not to got to them all. We started with the iconic Millaa Millaa falls, Zillie falls and Elinjaa falls all on the waterfall circuit. We also saw Wallicher falls and Tchulpala falls, these were very pretty but the 2006 cyclone Larry had badly damaged the tracks so we couldn't get very close. All the waterfalls were spectacular, made even better by the heavy rain in Queensland over the last few weeks. Our favourite was Millaa Millaa falls, although we weren't brave enough to go for a swim to claim our 'Polar Bear' certificate.