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Atherton Tablelands area

Leaving Undara Volcanic National Park, our next stop was Atherton, where the Prado was booked in for its 40,000 service before we headed up to the Palmer River Goldfields and Cooktown.

What a contrast...the Tablelands are certainly cooler and more temperate than the savannah landscape we had recently left.

On our first morning in the Tablelands we woke to mist over the surrounding hills and light rain...and figured it was a goodAtherton Tablelands area day to motor down to Cairns, on the coast, a hundred or so kilometres away, for a bit of shopping (Rod's favourite past-time).

On our way, we stopped half way down the Kuranda Range to take in the view of the coast. It was well worth the stop...timely too, as motion sickness was starting to set in.

Yes, Rod is a good driver...sometimes!

 

The next day we did some sightseeing on the Tablelands...still overcast and cool...but pleasant for galloping about the sights.

First stop was Lake Eacham, located about 21 km away from Atherton in the Crater Lakes National Park.

Surrounded by wet tropics rainforest, Lake Eacham is a clear blue lake, circular in shape with a diameter of approximately 3km. In geological terms, it's called a maar - a volcanic crater formed by a massive explosion resulting from the superheating of groundwater.

It's a popular spot for picnics, bushwalking and birdwatching...who needs a beach, when there's over 180 different species of birds to see here! (sic Rod)

A popular swimming spot - the clear turquoise waters look so inviting....but not for these bunnies at the moment...we'll wait 'til it's a bit warmer thanks!

 

Lake Eacham

 

Lake Eacham viewed from the walking track.

 

Lake Eacham

 

Rod walking along the track which circumnavigates Lake Eacham.

 

Curtain Fig tree, near Yungaburra

 

The Curtain Fig tree, near Yungaburra, on the Atherton Tablelands.

This magnificent strangler fig tree, with its extensive curtain of aerial roots stands about 50 metres high and is nearly 39 metres in circumference around it's girth, it's claimed to be around 500 years old. I wonder if I lived that long... would I too have similar dimensions?

Atherton tablelands.

 

Rich red basaltic soil covers much of the fertile farming land of the Atherton tablelands.

Red Cedar tree.

 

Almost extinct...toona ciliata...the Red Cedar tree....prized for its fine furniture timber.

This rare specimen was inexplicably left by loggers...Mind you, if you've ever seen Rod pruning, you'll ask how this one missed the axe.

A lone survivor of a species of the red giants that once dominated many of the Tableland's forests, this tree is located about 12 km from Yungaburra. It is estimated to be over 500 years old and, at 35 metres in height, towers over the surrounding forest canopy.

 

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