Roadtrip #7: Waterfalls in the Tablelands

Firstly, apologies for the lack of contact over the past month or so (okay, past 8 weeks or something insane like that), I've been in the middle of nowhere working my arse off with very little time or patience to sit writing a blog post (oh and the lack of internet might have contributed somewhat).

So, I've got a few posts lined up (which I'm pretty sure I'll bash out in the time I sit here at Peterpan's Adventures in Cairns). So, after my awesome trip to Cape Tribulation we decided we should make full use of the car and go on another little adventure – this time around the Atherton Tablelands (kind of) on a little waterfall route. We actually took the same routes as one of the more popular tours departing from Cairns, Uncle Brian's: Fun, Falls, and Forest tour. It is only about $120 if you did the tour which is pretty amazing value for what you do but since we had our own vehicle it would've been silly to not take it..

Curtain Fig Tree, Yungaburra

Our first stop off was to see the curtain fig tree in Yungaburra. It was pretty incredible to look at but as soon as we got out of the car we were munched by mosquitoes, horrible things. The tree is one of the largest in Tropical North Queensland. It was miraculous really. The species, Ficus virens, is of the strangler fig species. Although an epiphyte and able to survive on its own, it essentially acts as a parasite, picks the host plant, and grows exceptionally quick. In this case, the original tree fell to the side as it died and as such the fig 'parasite' started to grow onto the next tree too.
Lake Eacham

 Avoiding a little bit of rainfall and the dreaded mozzy, we head off again, this time towards Lake Eacham (or Yidyam). This is a huge water-filled crater formed from volcanic activity thousands of years ago (wikipedia tells me 12,000 years but don't take my word for it). There wasn't really much to see and truth be told we were a little chilly but the German dude wanted to do some diving into the lake. I took a few photos but spent a lot of the time looking at the fish swimming between my legs.

Milla Milla falls

Ah, the ever famous Milla Milla falls. Although the weather was pretty poor it did mean that there weren't so many tourists around and that the waterfall was flowing pretty well for the dry season. We stripped off to our swimmers and jumped in until we could perch on the rocks to the left of the waterfall, and then under the water itself. It was freezing but exhilarating. I've never felt so alive and rejuvenated however I did (at times) freak myself out a little bit thinking that there were crocs in the water (there aren't, but when it gets too deep so feel the bottom you start to wonder eh?)

I'm still waiting on the photos from one of my travel buddies but once they're up I'll whack them on here. We all did the Herbal Essences hair flick. 

We stopped for lunch at the Falls Teahouse after visiting Milla Milla, and to get warm by the roaring fire (perfect). We actually timed it really well as within about 10 minutes of us ordering our food, the tour group for Uncle Brian's trip came flooding through and we met an American, Canadian, and Scottish girl that we met a few days prior. They hadn't yet been to Milla Milla so we prepared them with how cold it was. The boys tucked into some steak and parma whilst I opted for a barra burger. The burger itself was pretty poor (I'm losing the taste for bread really), but the barramundi was delicious. 

From here we also took a little trip to the other waterfalls near Milla Milla on a 10km waterfall circuit. Zillie falls and Ellinjaa falls. Both also beautiful and one rather muddy to get to..


Josephine Falls 

Another beautiful stop but we were a little rushed for time since Jan had to get to the airport an hour earlier than he first thought (oops). Because of the rainfall and the fast currents it was advised that we didn't go in or down the rock slide which was a shame but after getting all warmed up after going in Milla Milla I was pretty grateful. Either way we spent a while taking photos and going up and down the different levels before one of the boys decided he'd like a photo on one of the rocks. It was horrible. I felt like the old mother hen trying to call him back in case he slipped and got himself killed!

And that was it! All done. We rushed home, got horrendously lost on a badly signposted detour near the Esplanade, and dropped Jan off at the airport before heading back for a few drinks for my last night in Cairns before shooting off to Atherton for some farm work. 



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