The Tablelands (Atherton Tablelands / Cairns Highlands) region is an area covering 64,768 square kilometres of diverse landscapes including world heritage rainforests and crater lakes, expansive savannahs and wetlands, along with a variety of rural and agricultural farming.
The Tablelands region has distinct natural beauty and biodiversity, including world heritage areas of environmental importance and a strong rural economy. The Tablelands are accessible from the coast via four major highways: the Palmerston Highway near Innisfail; the Gillies Highway near Gordonvale; the Kennedy Highway which passes through Kuranda and Smithfield to the north of Cairns; and the Rex Range Road near Mossman.
The Tablelands Regional Council formed in 2008 govern the area. It was preceded by four previous local government areas (Atherton, Eacham, Herberton and Mareeba Shires) which dated back more than a century.
Quality agricultural and horticultural land, complemented with an abundant water supply, all play a major role in the region’s economy. Currently four markets exist: domestic / local, niche, opportunistic and international. The Tablelands is also home to the many expansive dairy and beef cattle properties, as well as being host to a hub of mining and tourism activity.
The natural diversity of the Tablelands Region, allows for a range of rainfall, temperatures and altitudes, ranging from 400m above sea level at Mareeba to approximately 1200m. The region's climate is pleasantly tropical, with low humidity and temperatures ranging from 17-35 degrees Celsius in summer and 2-25 degrees Celsius in the winter months.Climate
Unlike many parts of Australia and the world, the Tropical North Queensland has regular rainfall and the ability to capture major outflows during the seasonal wet summer months. The average yearly rainfall for the Tablelands Region varies from approximately 400mm in the dryer areas, to over 4,000mm. This annual rainfall is utilised to help keep the Tinaroo Dam flowing with water to downstream townships, irrigating crops and the Barron Gorge Hydroelectric Power Station. This wet season is fueled by Monsoon and South East Trade Wind activity. This annual rainfall is utilised to help keep the Tinaroo Dam flowing with water to the Barron Gorge Hydroelectric Power Station, downstream townships and irrigation of our vast array of crops.
Located in Far North Queensland, extending west of Port Douglas, Cairns and Innisfail, there are several major towns including Atherton , Malanda , Mareeba and Herberton . Smaller towns are Ravenshoe , Mt Garnet , Kuranda , Dimbulah, Chillagoe , Mt Molloy, Millaa Millaa , Julatten, Tolga, Walkamin and Yungaburra .
History and Heritage
The Tablelands region has an extremely culturally and linguistically diverse population. 60 different nationalities are represented in Mareeba - Dimbulah and the most commonly spoken languages, apart from English, are Italian (3.9% compared to 1.0% in Australia), German, Croatian, Dutch and Spanish. Throughout the region there are several museums and centres displaying and commemorating local history and heritage.
The Tablelands Walking Club promote and organize walking activities for residents and visitors to the Tablelands region of Far North Queensland. The club maintains a small book, map and video library for members.
Arts & Culture
Council aims to enhance cultural and artistic life in the region by supporting exhibits, displays, programs, workshops, events and activities by local residents.
Art Galleries showcase monthly exhibitions by local artists. Find out what's on in the region.There are 11 libraries located within the Tablelands region providing an extensive variety of books, videos, DVDs, music CDs, magazines, audio books, newspapers and jigsaws. Internet and computer access, photocopying and laminating are also available. If you live in the Tablelands, you are eligible for free membership.
Markets Every weekend markets are held throughout the region.