Atherton, Australia

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Atherton Guide: Spend Less, Do More

Welcome to Atherton

Atherton Millaa FallsThe fertile plateau of Atherton Tablelands in Queensland is part of the Eastern Highlands, also known as the Great Dividing Range, which is the most substantial mountain range in Australia. At its heart is the town of Atherton.


There are Atherton shows and festivals from May to October. Summer events include the wood-chopping competition in July, where you can sample local produce and browse among displays of craftwork at Atherton Show. In August, join the Mardi Gras procession and watch the crowning of the Maize Queen at the Maize Festival. There's even a triathlon event for energetic types. September brings Taste of the Tablelands with delicious sampling of food and wine, plus live music.

Top sights

Atherton TablelandsVisiting the Atherton Tablelands is all about experiencing the very special rainforest environment, and taking the opportunity to tour the villages that make up this part of Queensland at the gateway to the World Heritage listed rainforest. A family-friendly destination, there are opportunities to take tours of the rainforest, to go bird watching and find rare wildlife. Visitors can get a bird’s eye view of the rainforest by soaring over the treetops in a cable car.


An unusual feature in Atherton is the archaeological site and rare Chinese temple, dating from the 1800s, when Chinese settlers arrived in pursuit of gold. This property is owned by the National Trust of Queensland and well worth a visit. The Hou Wang temple has a deceptively simple exterior, but inside the ornate carvings and elaborate fittings are dazzling. A charming little museum tells the story of the community, which left Atherton around the 1920s.

Atherton Tablelands Hotels

There are truly charming options for cheap hotels in Atherton Tablelands including leisure park chalets, motor inns, motels, lodges and a hotel perched on a hillside, which has stunning views. Atherton Tablelands accommodation also includes a resort where guests stay in unusual, award winning 'tree houses' right in the middle of the ancient rainforest.

Getting around by car

Cairns to Atherton: 1 h 21 min (93.7 km) via National Route 1

Port Douglas to Atherton: 1 h 41 min (120.6 km) via National Route 1, Mulligan Hwy/State Route 81 and State Route 44

Townsville to Atherton: 4 h 16 min (355.1 km) via National Highway A1 and Bruce Hwy

Accommodation, driving and car rental

At Cheaperthanhotels and Cheaperthancars we have a wide range of car rental discounts at convenient locations and accommodation to meet all budgets and taste. We really do believe that the less you spend, the more you will have to do when you get there.

Your Cheaperthanhotels Team

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