Atherton and Paronella
Paronella Park features many unforgettable experiences.

Mini Queensland lap – Atherton and Paronella

After three weeks of enjoying the bush, it was finally time to head east towards the coastline for our run home. Atherton and Paronella

But before we made our way to the coast, there were a couple of places left on the itinerary that needed to be checked off… Atherton Tablelands and Paronella Park. Atherton and Paronella

Atherton is a place you could easily spend weeks if not longer, however we had only a few days to take in this quaint little area. Atherton and Paronella

Not that I have planned my retirement, but I could quite easily live in or around this area – barramundi fishing in Lake Tinaroo, spectacular waterfalls and the relaxed lifestyle, plus reef and sportfishing are less than two hours away.

If waterfalls are your thing, there are plenty to check out on the Tablelands and you could easily spend a whole day spot hopping between them on the circuit.

All are unique and offer different pros and cons – some are good for swimming and others are very picturesque.

Unfortunately, during our visit, we were met with very wet conditions – which meant the togs were left in the JB Scorpion Sting van and it was more a sightseeing trip than a swimming expedition.

Atherton and Paronella
The history of Paronella Park is amazing and is only surpassed by the engineering feats.

Despite the challenging weather at the time, watching the falls pump out water was spectacular.

If you are looking for a place to stay, there are a few good options including Lake Tinaroo Holiday Park, which basically borders the lake.

There is also a playground nearby on the foreshore of the lake and plenty of room in the adjacent park to access the dam that is open to anyone.

Though we didn’t stay here, it looked like the prime place to be.

Our resting place for a couple of days was at Greta’s relatives’ residence – an acreage property that also borders the lake.

The perfect spot to rest and relax, with a canoe paddle filling in part of a day and nights spent by the fire!

If you are planning a trip here, make sure to check when the markets are on because there are plenty to choose from, along with other tourist shops and destinations.

I’ll definitely be back for a longer stay… and with a boat in tow!

One other highlight in the vicinity was the Yungaburra platypus viewing walk.

Fortunately, when we did the walk there were one or two ornithorhynchus anatinus swimming down the creek that we could follow.

Atherton and Paronella
The crew were happy to catch up with Uncle Tim at Millaa Millaa Falls.

This was a great experience for the kids, young and old!

With the batteries fully recharged – both the van and us – it was time to go to our next destination, Paronella Park.

Despite the fact it was still raining, we did the tour and took in the sights.

The history of the place is amazing, which is only surpassed by the engineering feats.

Because of the rain, the waterfall was pumping.

However, this was nothing compared to where the water level peaked during one of the historic floods – putting into perspective just how much water can flow in the river at times.

It is also possible to do a night tour, which Greta and Amaya did, armed with umbrellas!

If you are planning a trip here, there are a few nearby accommodation spots, with the Mena Creek Hotel being the closest.

We stayed in the field next to the hotel, which had power and water.

The field was actually the grounds of Paronella Caravan and Camping – available to guests who have their own caravan, camper or tent.

As a bonus, a camp site for a night is included in the entry fee to Paronella Park, however bookings are essential.

Next month we head south along the coast towards home.

Visit for Parts 1 – 5.

About Ben Collins

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