Gillies Highway is one of the routes from the Cairns area coastal
strip to the Atherton Tableland. It starts at Gordonvale, just south
of Cairns and winds its way up the Great Dividing Range. It is reputed
to have one of the highest numbers of bends in about 20 Kms. While
the bends are enjoyable and a challenge, arthritic wrists get a
bit sore on the way up. Luckily there are a number of places to
stop and enjoy the view out over tropical rain forest.
the Atherton Tableland there are a myriad of things to do and see.
Lake Barrine and Lake Eacham are both old volcanic craters and are
close together. Any visitor should drop in to see them. The Lake
Eacham Hotel at Yungaburra oozes history and serves meals. In the
same area is the Peeramon Hotel which has also been around since
the year dot. This is a popular destination for Sunday lunch for
is the business centre for the southern end of the tablelands and
is worth a visit. There are many craft shops there. If one takes
the long way around one can travel through Malanda. This town is
the home of Malanda Milk, a milk factory with the longest milk run
in the world extending to Mt Isa and Darwin. Some of our trips have
been to Herberton which was noted for tin mining and was once a
large thriving town. The Tin Pannikin is a museum of sorts and is
located at Herberton. It houses a number of buildings with many
displays of shops and life in the district. There is an old school
room with forms and desks and slates. It sent shivers down my spine
when I walked in. The dentists surgery from the turn of the century
is the epitome of a torture chamber.
south from Herberton is the Town of Ravenshoe. From Ravenshoe to
Millaa Millaa is one of the best rides in the North. Along the way
you can branch off at various interesting spots such as the Crater
Lake. There are two routes available to Millaa Millaa. There is
the so called scenic route with the signs indicating it is not suitable
for caravans or the route most popular with us. The route then continues
down the Palmerston Highway to Innisfail. A terrific place for a
stop is at Mungali Falls shortly after Millaa Millaa.
Palmerston Highway is a good road which does track through World
Heritage listed rainforest so a slower trip may allow the rider
time for more visual enjoyment.
are a number of walking tracks along the way for those who enjoy
that sort of thing. The circuit from Cairns to Ravenshoe and return
would take most of the day if stops for walking or general sight
seeing were included.
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"Chillagoe, Julatten and Palmer River"