Best Things to Do in Yungaburra, Queensland

Published Categorized as Travel Blog, Australia Travel, Destinations, Queensland Travel
Yungaburra - Queensland, Australia
Yungaburra - Queensland, Australia

In our opinion, Yungaburra on the Atherton Tablelands is the prettiest town in Queensland. The streets are lined with hanging flower baskets and heritage-listed buildings. Only 70 kilometres south-west of Cairns, this town provides a great base from which to explore the surrounding lakes, waterfalls, rolling hills and country villages of the Central Cairns Tablelands. In addition it is the accommodation and restaurant hub of the region.

READ MORE ABOUT OUR 1 MONTH ROAD TRIP IN QUEENSLAND


“Queensland, beautiful one day, perfect the next.”

– Queensland Tourism Board –

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you click on our affiliates / advertisers links and make a purchase, we may receive a small commission, but at no extra cost to you. AND, many times, you will receive an offer. Win/win! The products and services we write about and mention are the ones we love. We only recommend items that we feel are of good quality and would be helpful to our readers. While we pay for our travels out of our own pockets, these small commissions do assist in keeping us on the road. Thank you!


Yungaburra

Yungaburra is a rural town on the Atherton Tableland in Far North Queensland, Australia. It lies in countryside that has been shaped by volcanic activity dating back 420 million years. This geological activity has left behind rainforest, waterfalls, volcanic crater lakes and green pastures.

This quaint little town is just over one hour up the Gillies Range or you can come from Cairns’ northern beaches via the Kuranda Range. If you are driving north from Townsville, you can drive the Palmerston Highway from Innisfail. Yungaburra is located centrally on the Atherton Tablelands, with all the attractions within an hour and a half drive.

It has long been a popular destination for locals looking for a getaway.


Map of Yungaburra

image 17

Best Things to Do in Yungaburra

Yungaburra town itself has lots to offer as do the many natural attractions in the beautiful surrounding countryside. The rolling green hills, crater lakes, waterfalls, and lush rainforests and pastures are a legacy of its volcanic origins. There are great walking tracks for the fit or not so fit, lovely picnic spots, and drives with fantastic views at every turn.

Upon arriving in Yungaburra town, pop into the Yungaburra Visitor Information Centre and pick up a copy of:

  • “Yungaburra Top Ten Things To Do”
  • “Peterson Creek – Wildlife and Botanical Walking Track”
  • “Yungaburra Old Town Loop: A Walking Trail Through Yungaburra’s Past”


Curtain Fig Tree Yungaburra

Also known as Cathedral Fig Tree, this incredible 500 year old heritage listed tree is one of the must see attractions in Far North Queensland. It is located in Curtain Fig Tree National Park just 2 kms west along Gillies Highway from the town on Curtain Fig Tree Road.

Curtain Fig Tree is 50 metres tall and almost 39 metres wide trunk circumference. It gets its name because of the extensive ‘curtain’ of aerial roots which hang down some 15 metres from the main body of the tree to the ground.

Starting from a seed dropped high in the canopy, this strangler fig grew vertical roots, which gradually became thicker and interwoven. Over hundreds of years, these roots have strangled the host causing it to fall into a neighbouring tree.

There is an elevated 180 metre return wheelchair-accessible boardwalk all around the curtain fig so you can admire the tree from all angles.

If you’re there at dusk or early in the evening, you might catch a glimpse of some nocturnal wildlife too. Some people have even managed to catch a glimpse of the elusive Lumholtz’s tree-kangaroo.

It is one of the largest trees in Tropical North Queensland, Australia, 

  • Visit Duration: 30 minutes
  • Where: Curtain Fig Tree Road, Yungaburra
  • Hours: Anytime
  • Cost: Free
Curtain Fig Tree - Yungaburra, Queensland
Curtain Fig Tree – Yungaburra, Queensland

Yungaburra Heritage Walk

Yungaburra has the highest proportion of heritage-listed buildings of all regional centres in Queensland. No fewer than 19 have been listed by the Queensland Register of the National Trust of Australia. The 3 km self-guided Yungaburra Heritage Walk (collect your map from the Yungaburra Visitor Information Centre) will provide you with information about 29 sites of historical significance within the village.

The boom period for the town seems to have occurred shortly after the arrival of the railway in 1910. Between 1910 and 1920, some of the town’s most attractive buildings were constructed. St Marks Anglican Church on Eacham Road was built in 1913 at a cost of £250. The same year St Patricks Catholic Church at the top of Eacham Road was completed. The buildings along Cedar Street, the narrow street at the side of the Lake Eacham Hotel, all belong to this period. The former Bank of New South Wales is on the corner directly opposite the Lake Eacham Hotel.

  • Visit Duration: approx. 2 hours
  • Where: Join in or depart anywhere along the route, Centre of Yungaburra
  • Hours: Anytime
  • Cost: Free

The Afghanistan Avenue of Honour

This living memorial, opened in 2013, is dedicated in remembrance of the soldiers who served in the Afghanistan campaign, and to those Australians that died there.  Some of these soldiers came from this region.

By Lake Tinaroo, this touching memorial features a spectacular grove of Illawarra flame trees and there is even an area dedicated to the army dogs who lost their lives.

  • Visit Duration: 30 minutes
  • Where: Tinaburra Drive, Yungaburra
  • Hours: Anytime
  • Cost: Free

Peterson Creek Walking Track

Make sure you have your copy of “Peterson Creek – Wildlife and Botanical Walking Track” (collect from the Yungaburra Visitor Information Centre) before setting off on this walk.

Just a 5 minute walk outside the town, you will find the Peterson Creek – Wildlife and Botanical Walking Track. This 2 km walking track can be started from either end – Gillies Highway or the cemetery on Mulgrave Road.

We started at the Gillies Highway platypus viewing platform where we were lucky enough to spot platypus immediately upon our arrival. A couple of minutes later a tour bus arrived and we were bombarded with people so we decided it was time to begin our walk along Peterson Creek.

We followed the track leading to the creek under the bridge, and then we meandered along the creek at our own pace. We were rewarded many times over with platypus sightings, however, they proved a lot harder to capture on camera.

Further along the track, you will across the highly instagrammable ‘Lloyd’s Suspension Bridge’, Williams Weir, Frawley’s Pool and the Peterson Creek Interpretive Shelter. You can also get some great vies of the Railway Bridge from below, and views of the ‘Seven Sisters” (volcanic cinder cones).

In addition to the many platypus we spotted in the creek, we also saw turtles, water dragons, wallabies, bush turkeys and Kingfishers. If you are extremely luck, you may spot a rare Lumholtz Tree-Kangaroo.

  • Visit Duration: 1 – 2 hours
  • Where: Start at Gillies Highway or the cemetery on Mulgrave Road, Yungaburra
  • Hours: Anytime
  • Cost: Free

READ MORE: YUNGABURRA PLATYPUS SPOTTING

Lloyd's Suspension Bridge at Peterson Creek - Yungaburra, Queensland
Lloyd’s Suspension Bridge at Peterson Creek – Yungaburra, Queensland

Yungaburra Markets

On the fourth Saturday of every month, the village holds the Yungaburra Markets at the Bruce Jones Market Ground. Day trippers come from near and far looking for local crafts and produce. Yungaburra’s artisan community showcase their wares such as earrings, handmade clothes and woollen knits. Explore these vibrant markets whilst enjoying a fresh fruit smoothie a salty sweet potato stack served from stalls onsite.

  • Visit Duration: 1 – 2 hours
  • Where: 4 Maple Street, Yungaburra
  • Hours: 7:30am – 12:30pm, every fourth Saturday
  • Cost: Free

Gallo Dairyland

Just 7 minutes from Yungaburra, Gallo Dairyland is a fully functional dairy farm that is now producing a range of gourmet dairy products and hand crafted chocolates. This working dairy farm has a cheese making facility that you can have a look at and it also offers cheese and chocolate tasting. A nice place to enjoy a stop for coffee and if you’ve got children, they will enjoy visiting the animal nursery or watching the cows being milked daily at 3:00pm in the afternoon.

  • Visit Duration: 30 – 60 minutes
  • Where: 9 E Barron Road, East Barron
  • Hours: 10:30am – 4:00pm, Thursday to Sunday
  • Cost: Free

Map of the Lakes District

image 19

Lake Tinaroo

Just 10 minutes’ drive from Yungaburra, Lake Tinaroo is accessible from the east (Danbulla Forest Drive), or from the west via Kairi and Lake Tinaroo Township.

Water Sports

Created by damming the Barron River in 1950 to provide irrigation for the surrounding agricultural areas, Lake Tinaroo offers a huge water sports and recreational area. Sailing, water-skiing, kiteboarding, wakeboarding, paddle boarding, canoeing and fishing are all very popular with locals and visitors.

Canoes can be rented them from On the Wallaby in Yungaburra, or you could choose to do one of their night wildlife canoe tours. Their rates are very reasonable and their service is excellent.

Pacific Water Sports  is the best place if you enjoy paddle boarding. They offer sessions in a variety of locations in and around Cairns, including Lake Tinaroo.


Picturesque Drive

The drive around the shores of Lake Tinaroo, through Danbulla State Forest, is very picturesque and well worth doing. The road is 28 kms long and is unsealed.

The 200 kms of shoreline is great for camping, picnicking, and there is also a popular area for mountain biking enthusiasts.

If you enjoy bushwalking, there are many tracks along the way. Bushwalking opportunities include the Mobo Creek Crater (30 min return), Lake Euramoo (30 minute return), Kauri Creek day use area (2.5 hr moderate walk along the creek), and Downfall Creek Camping area (2 hr return walk to Kauri Creek).


Fishing and Boating

Lake Tinaroo is a fisherman’s paradise open all year for the taking of Barramundi. The famous Barra Bash is held on the lake each year, and Tinaroo holds the record for the largest freshwater Barramundi caught.

Being part of a fish stocking scheme, permits are required to fish within Lake Tinaroo (all money paid is a contribution to the scheme). Permits can be obtained from the caravan park shop at Lake Tinaroo Township.


Lake Eacham

Lake Eacham (10 minute drive from Yungaburra), is a huge crater lake with deep emerald waters which was probably formed about 10,000 years ago. The local Aborigines, the Ngadyan people, explained the origin of the lake in a way that seems to blend myth with reality. Apparently two newly initiated men broke a taboo and the rainbow serpent punished them with a fierce act which destroyed their camp with a combination of winds like a cyclone, a red cloud in the sky and the earth shaking. The people tried to escape but were consumed by a hole which opened in the earth.


Activities

Lake Eacham is a place of spectacular beauty. It has excellent swimming facilities and there are plenty of grassy banks to enjoy a picnic lunch.

The lake is surrounded by World Heritage Rainforest, with a 4.5 km walking track around its perimeter (Lake Eacham circuit track).  This track promises Wet Tropics rainforest on one side, and views of the deep blue lake on the other.


Wildlife

Whilst on one of your bushwalks, keep your eyes open for a musky rat-kangaroo, or see the Boyd’s forest dragon sitting motionless on a tree limb, perfectly camouflaged. The brush turkeys stalk the picnic areas, and turtles and fish are seen in the lake.

Surrounded by World Heritage Rainforest, this lake is a great bird watching area. Look into the weeping fig canopy at the lake side car park to view fig parrots or listen for the distinctive calls of the catbird and tooth-billed bowerbird.

Lake Eacham - Yungaburra, Queensland
Lake Eacham – Yungaburra, Queensland

Lake Barrine

Drive east 15 minutes from Yungaburra to Lake Barrine, Crater Lakes National Park. The larger of the twin crater lakes, Lake Barrine has been operating as a tourist destination since the 1920’s.

Activities

Enjoy a 45 minute boat cruise around the lake, or an award-winning Devonshire Tea, complete with a secret scone recipe, on the balcony of the Lake Barrine Teahouse whose tin and timber dates back 80 years.

Spot the sunbathing pythons, eels, turtles, ducks and other water birds. Experience remnant Tableland Rainforest on the 5 km circuit walk around the lake. There is also a short walk to the 1,100 year old Twin Kauri Pines.


Yungaburra Accommodation

Yungaburra offers a variety of accommodation options to suit all types of travellers. From boutique cottages and villas, cute B&B’s, and motels, to a historic pub.

Luxury (AUD$200 and Up)

Birds ‘n’ Bloom Cottages
Birds ‘n’ Bloom Cottages offer either a two bedroom or three bedroom cottage. This property consistently gets high reviews.

  • Where: 3 Elm Street, Yungaburra
  • Facilities: 160m2 or 180m2 house with AC, balcony, free Wi-Fi, free parking, hot tub

Miss Bullens Cottage

Historic two bedroom self-contained, cosy cottage with a log burning stove. Located in the hub of the village, this cottage is suitable for couples and families.

  • Where: 9 Pine Street, Yungaburra
  • Facilities: 120m2 fully self-contained cottage with AC, garden, BBQ facilities, free Wi-Fi, free parking on site

Eden House Retreat
Set in the heart of historic Yungaburra village, the award-winning Eden House Retreat offers spa and garden cottages. Continental breakfast including coffee, fruit and cereals are provided in each cottage prior to guest arrival.

  • Where: 20 Gillies Highway, Yungaburra
  • Facilities: 50m2 cottage with AC, balcony, garden view, free Wi-Fi, free parking

Mid-Range (AUD$100 to AUD$200)

The Church
The Church is a unique, restored church, originally built in 1926.  It is now a luxury self-contained cottage with a spa! Just a short 5mins stroll to town and restaurants.   

  • Where: 11 Pine Street, Yungaburra
  • Facilities: 200m2 self-contained cottage with AC, free Wi-Fi, BBQ area, garden views, free parking, spa bath

Kookaburra Lodge Motel
Kookaburra Lodge Motel is surrounded by tropical gardens in the heart of Yungaburra village. It features wide verandas and fragrant gardens, guests can relax by the pool or enjoy the cosy fire.

  • Where: 3 Eacham Road, Yungaburra
  • Facilities: AC, free Wi-Fi, balcony, garden view, BBQ area, free parking

Yungaburra Heart B&B
This whole apartment is centrally located just 50m to the centre of town and restaurants. The apartment has beautiful views of the mountain.

  • Where: 4 Kehoe Place, Yungaburra
  • Facilities: 110m2 self-contained 2 bedroom apartment with AC, free Wi-Fi, terrace, free parking, fitness centre, children’s playground

Budget (Up to AUD$200)

On the Wallaby Lodge
Award winning budget, clean, friendly lodge right in the centre of town. Share and double rooms are available, and staff offer guided canoe trips and the hire of mountain bikes.

  • Where: 34 Eacham Road, Yungaburra
  • Facilities: AC, free Wi-Fi, BBQ area, cooking facilities, free parking

CLICK HERE TO SEARCH FOR ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS IN YUNGABURRA AND MAKE A RESERVATION!


Street Art - Yungaburra, Queensland
Street Art – Yungaburra, Queensland

Yungaburra Camping

Lakeside Caravan Park

Situated on the tranquil shores of Lake Tinaroo, Lakeside Caravan Park is a perfect base for anyone wishing to explore the Atherton Tablelands. Located approximately 5 minutes from the quaint village of Yungaburra, the Caravan Park features a range of accommodation options including: powered and unpowered sites, motel rooms and 1 bedroom self-contained units.

  • Where: 2 Tinaburra Drive, Yungaburra
  • Facilities: Toilets and showers, drinking water, laundry facilities, camp kitchen with BBQ, swimming pool, wood fired pizza oven, kids movie nights

Genazzano Retreat

With a focus of getting back to nature, Genazzano Retreat offers wide open spaces, lake vistas and abundant bird life. There are 4 powered sites and spacious non-powered sites, all with lake views, that ensure privacy and tranquillity.

  • Where: 739 Powley Road, Yungaburra / Lake Barrine
  • Facilities: Toilets and showers, drinking water, BBQ area, allows fires

Lake Eacham Tourist Park

Quiet eco-style Caravan Park on 10 shady acres. Walk to Lake Eacham. Five self-contained cabin accommodations available and caravan park suitable for motor homes, caravans, camper trailers and tents.

  • Where: 198 Lakes Drive, Lake Eacham
  • Facilities: Toilets, drinking water, BBQ area, allows fires

Lake Tinaroo Holiday Park

Sprawled across more than 17 acres and surrounded by lush, native bushland, Lake Tinaroo Holiday Park is just a stone’s throw from stunning Lake Tinaroo. With a variety of cabins, caravan sites and camping grounds available there is accommodation to suit every style of holidaymaker, from the intrepid traveller to the modern family.

  • Where: 4-28 Tinaroo Falls Dam Road, Tinaroo
  • Facilities: Toilets, drinking water, BBQ area, allows fires

Yungaburra Restaurants

Yungaburra Heritage Village is the dining heart of the Atherton Tablelands and offers top quality local produce and food products. Choices range from locally owned takeaways, charming cafes, and the historic pub, to fine Yungaburra restaurants, including some award winners. 


Yungaburra Pub

The Yungaburra Hotel, also known as the Lake Eacham Hotel, was built in 1910 and is the pride of the Atherton Tablelands with Federation architecture and displays of historic photographs of the area’s early saw milling days. These days the Yungaburra Hotel is the hub of social events, family dinners, dancing and loads of fun for everyone.

  • Where: 6 Kehoe Place, Yungaburra
  • Hours: 10:0am – 9:00pm, Thursday to Sunday, 10:00am to 12:00am Friday and Saturday
Yungaburra Pub - Yungaburra, Queensland
Yungaburra Pub – Yungaburra, Queensland

Quincan Cottage Café

The perfect place to enjoy meals made with all local ingredients and a freshly ground Proud Mary coffee. A quaint, relaxed, family friendly atmosphere with plenty of room, including seated garden space.

  • Where: 34 Gillies Range Road, Yungaburra
  • Hours: 8:30am – 3:30pm, Friday to Tuesday

Our Place Restaurant

Modern Mediterranean and Australian restaurant located beside the Food Works in Yungaburra. Serving lunch and dinner in a relaxed setting. 

  • Where: 17 Eacham Road, Yungaburra
  • Hours: 12:00pm – 2:00pm, Friday to Monday; 5:30pm – 8:30pm, Thursday to Monday

Yungaburra Pizzeria

Yungaburra Pizzeria uses collected and created recipes which have originated in the authenticity of village pizzerias in Italy. Fresh and home-made ingredients are essential to experience great taste. That is why we only use local vegetables and home-grown products from Nick’s organic vegetable garden.

  • Where: 33 Gillies Highway, Yungaburra
  • Hours: 11:00am – 2:00pm, Saturday and Sunday; 5:00pm – 9:00pm, Wednesday to Sunday for takeaway and delivery

Nick’s Swiss Italian Restaurant

At Nick’s Restaurant we offer fine food, using local, fresh and seasonal products. You will enjoy Swiss gastronomy, cooked by European Chefs. All the family is welcome into our rustic alpine traditional environment. 

  • Where: 33 Gillies Range Road, Yungaburra
  • Hours: 5:30pm – 9:00pm, Wednesday to Saturday

In Summary

If you do want to explore the Tablelands, the quaint village of Yungaburra is a great place to base yourself. It is no coincidence this village attracts visitors from far and wide. Whether you choose to visit for a couple of days or a week, there are so many things to do and experience. We hope this guide will entice you to visit Yungaburra and enjoy the area as much as we did!

Have you been to Yungaburra? What was your favourite thing to do there? Leave a comment below.


READ MORE ABOUT OUR 1 MONTH ROAD TRIP IN QUEENSLAND

PLATYPUS SPOTTING IN YUNGABURRA

AMAZING THINGS TO DO IN ATHERTON TABLELANDS, QUEENSLAND


Exit 45 Rating

The Exit45 Rating scale runs from a low of 1 to a high of 5 in each of the 9 categories.  As such, the higher the score out of 45, the better the Exit45 Rating.  N.B. These scores are our own personal opinions and are based on our experiences, budget constraints and what we love doing i.e. adventure seeking foodies who love snorkelling and water related activities.

Value for Money4.5
Cuisine4.5
Friendliness of Locals5
Ease of Language Barrier5
Climate4.5
Activities and Tours5
Ease of Travel5
Culture Barrier5
Safety4.5
TOTAL EXIT45 RATING43 / 45

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BEST THINGS TO DO IN YUNGABURRA, QUEENSLAND

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you click on our affiliates / advertisers links and make a purchase, we may receive a small commission, but at no extra cost to you. AND, many times, you will receive an offer. Win/win! The products and services we write about and mention are the ones we love. We only recommend items that we feel are of good quality and would be helpful to our readers. While we pay for our travels out of our own pockets, these small commissions do assist in keeping us on the road. Thank you!


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By Peta Wenzel

We are Peta (Australian) and Jonas (Swedish/Australian), a couple in our mid 40’s / early 50’s who have been travelling the world fulltime since January 2018. We met and lived on the Gold Coast, Australia and spent many evenings researching and watching YouTube vlogs about travel and dreaming of the day we would retire and be able to enjoy a lot more travel ourselves. Over the years, a number of events happened to family and friends and an opportunity arose which made us decide to not wait but to instead take a “Gap Year”. We are now in our 3rd year of travel and still hunger for new adventures and embrace the uncertainty that comes with full-time travel. If you want to know more about who we are, why we choose this lifestyle and how we do it, please follow our adventures and see how you can do it too.

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