Atherton Tableland

General Information | Trips that go here

The Atherton Tableland is a fertile plateau which is part of the Great Dividing Range in Queensland. It is located west to south-south-west inland from Cairns, well into the tropics, but its elevated position provides a climate suitable for dairy farming. It has an area of around 32,000 km² with an altitude ranging between 500 and 1,280m. The fertility of the soils in the region can be attributed to the volcanic origins of the land.

The principal river flowing across the plateau is the Barron River, which was dammed to form an irrigation reservoir named Lake Tinaroo, also Tinaroo Hydro, a small 1.6MW Hydroelectric power station is located near the spillway.

The tableland contains several small remnants of the rainforest which once covered it, many of which are now protected in national parks. It is classified by BirdLife International as one of Australia's Important Bird Areas, supporting over 1% of the world population of the Sarus Crane and a significant population of the Bush Stone-curlew. Twelve species of birds are endemic to this area and the mountain ranges immediately south: Atherton ScrubwrenBower's ShrikethrushBridled HoneyeaterChowchillaFernwrenGolden BowerbirdGrey-headed RobinMacleay's HoneyeaterMountain ThornbillPied MonarchTooth-billed Bowerbird,Victoria's Riflebird.