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Innisfail to Irvinebank, Atherton Tableland - Far North QLD


Grant works as a builder, and in return for food and board on his boat, I was helping work on some of the properties. One of them was a 2 hour drive through the Atherton Tableland.
Rising sharply from the coastal plains of Cairns, the northern landscape levels out into the lush Atherton Tableland. At their highest point, the tablelands are 900m (3,000ft) above sea level. the cool temperature, heavy rainfall and rich volcanic soil make this one of the richest farming areas in Queensland. For many decades, tobacco was the main crop, but with the worldwide decline in smoking, farmers have diversified into peanuts, macadamia nuts, sugar cane, bananas and avocados.
and on to a great opportunity for me to see the sights.
The Atherton Tableland is a fertile plateau which is part of the Great Dividing Range. It is located west to south-south-west inland from Cairns.
Although it is in the tropical latitudes, its elevated position provides a climate suitable for dairy farming.

Wooroonooran National Park is one of Queenslad's largest national parks, in the heart of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.
A mountainous park, it includes two of the State's highest peaks, Bartle Frere (1,622m) and Bellenden Ker (1,592m)
These high mountains intercept moisture-bearing winds from the ocean, causing them to drop the moisture in the form of rain. In addition, tropical monsoon activity brings heavy downpours in summer, with an annual average of over 8m recorded nearby.
this mountain range is largely made up of granite, but basalt from relatively recent volcanic activity is present in this southern section of the park. Basalt produces a fertile soil which, combined with the abundant rainfall, supports an especially rich type of rainforest.

Lake Tinaroo, also known as Tinaroo Dam, is a man-made reservoir.
In 1952, The Tinaroo Dam and Mareeba-Dimbulah Irrigation Scheme was approved by the state government. Construction on the dam was started in 1953 and completed in 1958, at a cost of $12,666,000. The dam wall is 45.1 metres high and traps enough water from the Barron River to create a lake 3/4 the size of Sydney Harbour with a capacity of 407,000 megalitres
Today it is a magnet for water sports

Lake Echam
Lake Eacham (Yidyam) and the nearby Lake Barrine, were formed approximately 12,000 years ago by molten magma. Magma from the center of the earth rose to the surface and heated the water table. The steam that resulted from the boiling water was trapped underground, until massive explosions signalled its release. Huge cracks appeared in the ground and the trees that once lathed the mountainside were levelled and burnt. Eventually, over hundreds of years, water filled the craters and the trees grew back, creating the tranquil lake used today by families and tourists for recreation. There are no streams that flow into or out the lake, water is only lost through soakage and evaporation and only replenished through rainfall, the level can fluctuate up to 4 metres between wet and dry seasons.

Curtain Fig Tree
A seed was deposited in the host tree's crown. It germinated and the first root descended to the soil
Enriched by the soil, the fig developed aerial roots which encircled and eventually strangled the host tree
The host tree then fell into a neighbouring tree - a stage unique to the development of the curtain fig tree. Vertical fig roots descended from the fig's trunk to form the curtain like appearance.
eventually the host tree rotted away leaving the free standing curtain fig tree.
I've seen a lot of strangler fig trees, but none like this one
especially when there was a good looking wild cockerel in the car park!

Mungalli Falls
The only free-hold world heritage listed waterfall in Queensland.

Millaa Millaa
Representing a farmer 'persuading' a cow through a gate!

I don't have much to say on this place... except there were some very friendly Rag doll cats in the pet shop!
I was very tempted to steal this one as she practically climbed up my legs for cuddles!!
There were also some cute snuggling baby birds, cuddled to a big teddy bear!

Irvinebank House
Irvinebank is a village in the western foothills of the Atherton Tablelands
First known as Gibbs Camp, the town was founded in 1884 by John Moffat, who had purchased the mining leases from the original prospectors. He built a dam, a mill, smelters and other infrastructure that attracted settlers and miners to the area.
The house is almost finished, including this deceptive bathroom
but some great details added to the unique style

There was a very friendly Kookaburra, obviously used to being fed off the balcony

and for dinner, freshly caught Coral Trout from our trip to the reef

which was much more appealing than these Whichetty Grubs found in the garden - they were the biggest I've seen!!

Heading back 'home' to Innisfail we stopped at some of the attractive watering holes.
Josephine Falls is at the base of Queensland's highest mountain, Mt Bartle Frere.
Josephine Creek starts as a trickle high on the south-east side of the summit of Mt Bartle Frere and ends as a substantial creek flowing into the Russell River.
Approximately 7.5km from the summit the waters tumble of granite boulders, forming the picturesque Josephine Falls.
In the 1930s young people hiked up the side of the creek - there was no track then - and got covered in leaches, to get to this special spot.

The rural town of Babinda is a quaint survivor of the old-world Queensland, lined with veranda-fronted houses and a wooden pub.

The Babinda Boulders are a series of huge round outcrops, water-worn rocks strewn along Babinda Creek.
Babinda Creek begins high on Mt Bartle Frere.
Massive surges of water thrown down the creek after storms add to its wild and dangerous beauty.
This area contain the most complex and divers type of rainforest that occurs in Tropical North Queensland.
A section of rainforest the size of a house block contains more than 150 different tree species.

Golden Hole is another popular swimming spot
with a beautiful campsite next to the river

in such beautiful surroundings, there were always lots of butterflies
and for the journey... Grant's bargain Mercedes S5, costing $100 and turning out to be bullet proof, literally!

Posted by charlystyles 13:34 Archived in Australia Tagged atherton_tableland

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