Atherton is the 'capital' of the lovely Tropical Tablelands, a land of beautiful lakes, waterfalls, rich red soil and tropical rainforest. Atherton is about an hour and twenty minutes' drive south-west of Cairns.
The area also has a number of natural attractions such as the Curtain Fig Tree, Millaa Millaa Falls, crater lakes, amazing rock formations and Extensive National Parks.
Several companies offer a number of return services during a seven day week between Atherton, Tolga, Walkamin, Mareeba, Kuranda, and Cairns including drop-offs to airport, railway station, hospitals and bus depots. There are connections available between Ravenshoe and Herberton and along the Wheelbarrow Way to Chillagoe.
The rich Tablelands area is famous for producing a variety of crops including sugar cane, peanuts, mangoes, maize (corn), potatoes, avocados and macadamia nuts. Dairy and beef cattle are also reared in the area. Across the Tablelands region there are also small holdings and unique niche industries such as Rainforest Foods, limes, Lychees, Dragon Fruit, Industrial Hemp, Citrus and an ever growing Organic and Biodynamic Vegetables growers.
Each year towards the end of August, Atherton celebrates the Maize festival, which features a parade with decorated floats, the Maize Queen pageant, some children's amusement rides and some activities such as tug of war and wood chopping. There are also shop window display and artwork competitions as well as a prize given to the best float
Atherton has two primary schools, one secondary school, one independent Prep - Grade 12 school and a TAFE campus. There are also several day care centres in the town. There is a large number of people also Home Schooling in the area and The School of Distance Education provide curriculum and support.
- Atherton State High School
- Atherton State School
- Jubilee Christian College
- St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School
- Tropical North Institute of TAFE
Atherton Hospital is in the Tablelands Health District. It hospital provides obstetric, medical, surgical, operating theatre, accident and emergency services. A wide variety of excellent Natural Medicine Practitioners are also in the area.
Atherton is 752 m (2,467 ft) above sea level. Atherton Climate Statistics
- Summer 17–35 °C
- Winter 5–22 °C