The region has a reputation as a food lovers’ paradise and is also rich in wildlife, museums, coffee and wine and produces over 70% of Australia’s coffee crop. The region is a magnet for self–drive visitors, and is a popular destination for Grey Nomads who enjoy Mareeba as a base to explore the Atherton Tablelands and as a gateway to Cape York and Gulf destinations.
Food lovers paradise
Warm and welcoming bed and breakfasts, interactive farm-stays, camp grounds, holiday parks and luxurious tree house retreats are found throughout the Mareeba Shire. Whether you’re a couple, a family or a group travelling together, there’s accommodation to match your needs so why not stay a while and give yourself time to really enjoy everything our beautiful region has to offer.
Birds of a feather flock together
The Mareeba region is acknowledged by birding experts as the richest region for birdlife in Australia. Nearly half of Australia’s 750 bird species can be found here, and birders have recorded over 300 species within a 15km radius of nearby Mount Molloy. The Mareeba Tropical Savanna and Wetland Reserve is also a regionally significant Brolga and Sarus Crane roost.
Kuranda – Village in the Rainforest
Kuranda village is an iconic tourism destination for the region and is a popular gateway to Mareeba and the Atherton Tablelands. Kuranda is surrounded by Wet Tropics World Heritage area and offers an amazing rainforest experience through a network of interlinked walks that surround the village.
Kuranda offers an amazing variety of world renowned wildlife attractions and activities which include koalas, butterflies, native and exotic birds, kangaroos and reptiles. You can take a rainforest walk with an Aboriginal guide, travel on a riverboat, hold a koala, feed wallabies and even come face to face with a life size skeleton of an Allosaurus Dinosaur.
Kuranda Markets and village shopping has something for everyone. You will find locally designed and produced fashions from vibrant hand crafted silk and cotton clothing, to exclusive jewellery, locally made Aboriginal arts and crafts. Kuranda’s excellent restaurants serve both local and international cuisine and offer an extensive range of menus. The village’s cafes and coffee shops give the town its laid back ambience, offering tropical taste sensations to suit the most discerning taste buds.
Mareeba – up, up and away
Located only one hour west of Cairns, Mareeba experiences over 300 sunny days a year and is considered the ballooning capital of the world. Mareeba has a strong sense of community spirit which sees support for traditional outback sports such as the famous annual Mareeba Rodeo held in July each year and at the Multicultural Festival held annually in August.
Mareeba Heritage Museum – step back in time
The fully accredited Mareeba Heritage Museum is an award winning tourism attraction for the region.
The Mareeba Heritage Museum exhibits are curated by an enthusiastic group of volunteers with most items being donated by Mareeba locals. The Heritage Walk explores the regions’ history from the first Australians to the explorers and early settlers. Other exhibits depict Australia’s war history and the mining days including a very moving display detailing the 1921 tragedy of the Mount Mulligan Mine disaster. Visit an old school room with its old desks, inkwells and slate writing tablets. The largest exhibit involves the history of the now illegal tobacco industry.
Get high in Mareeba
The Mareeba Airport is home to Heli Australia and also Scenic Flights where you can take a flight in a helicopter or a four seater aeroplane across Mareeba and the Atherton Tablelands. Or try ballooning with Hot Air or Raging Thunder as weather conditions are ideal in the Mareeba area and the views are spectacular.
Chillagoe Caves and the Wheelbarrow Way
Chillagoe is located two hours drive west of Mareeba and is easily accessed by conventional vehicles via the Wheelbarrow Way which starts at Mareeba. This route was named after the gold mining pioneers who trudged out bearing their worldly goods in a wheelbarrow. The annual Great Wheelbarrow Race commemorates these early pioneers and honours their amazing trail-blazing feats.
Chillagoe was once the site of an ancient coral reef but today the coral has been transformed into massive limestone bluffs containing over 560 known caves. Three cave systems, Donna, Royal Arch and Trezkin Caves have steps, walkways and lights for guided tours. More information can be found here