The Atherton Tablelands is an area in north Queensland spanning the region west and south-west inland from Cairns. It lies on a plateau giving it a climate conducive to farming various products from coffee to peanuts to plain old dairy. In addition to the weather, the area is also known to have very rich soil because of all the volcanic activity in the past (it also helped to create the amazing Granite Gorge).
The Tablelands includes the following towns: Atherton, Herberton, Kairi, Kuranda, Mareeba, Malanda, Millaa Millaa, Tinaroo, Tolga, Yungaburra, Ravenshoe.
If you are passing through as Heather and I did on our Cairns to Sydney road trip, there are plenty of delicious attractions to stop off at. These stops let you get to know, and taste, some of the regions treats a bit better:
Tichum Creek Coffee Farm – Tichum – Run by Mario and Claudia Sorbella, this coffee farm is open for tastings from Tuesday to Sunday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.
Jaques Coffee Plantation – Mareeba – Set in lovely garden surrounds, Jaques Coffee Plantation offers $3.50 cappuccinos and tours on “The Bean Machine”. They are open 7 days from 9 am to 5 pm.
>> Read more about a stop-off at Jaques Coffee Plantation
Coffee World – Mareeba – Part of the Coffee Works roaster, Coffee World is the largest coffee museum in the world. Entry to Coffee World gives you access to unlimited coffee and chocolate tastings, the museum, the roasting plant and so much more. They are open daily from 9 am to 4 pm.
>> Read about my experience at the Coffee Works
Gallo Dairyland Cheese & Chocolate Factory – Atherton – Taste delicious cheese and chocolate that was produced from the milk of the 500 cows on the premises. You can get great cappuccinos and scones with jam and fresh cream for about $3.50 each. They are open daily from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm.
The Peanut Place – Tolga – Taste and buy from a selection of roasted and flavored peanuts that are 100% Australia Hi Oleic. They are open daily from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm.
>> Read about why you should stop at The Peanut Place
Humpy Nut World – Tolga – Besides delicious regional nuts, The Humpy sells fruits, veggies and gluten free products to name a few. They are located just down the road (south) from The Peanut Place.
Golden Drop Winery – Bilwon – Ever tasted mango wine? Here’s the place to give it a go, along with other exotic fruit alcohol specialties. They are open daily from 8 am to 6:30 pm. A tasting costs $5 unless you buy a bottle, in which case it’s free.
Mt Uncle Distillery – Walkamin – This distillery produces a number of liqueurs and spirits, and it also features over 50 teas, delicious chocolates and more in their cafe. They are open daily from 10 am to 5 pm.
Because of all this Atherton Tablelands goodness, I recommend self-driving when in the area. Heather and I had the Autobarn Wagon, but you can rent a campervan or get a nice car rental to do the same. Signs on all the main roads are prevalent, leading the way to all of these delicious stops.