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Art & Craft
Volcanic Crater Lakes
Giant Rainforest Trees
The Atherton Tablelands
The Atherton Tablelands are located about an hour's drive over the great escarpment from Cairns. Due to the higher altitude, a typical day on the tablelands is cooler and less humid than in Cairns and on the coastal plain. Rainfall in the central (Barrine/Malanda) tablelands averages between 1.5 and 2 metres a year (Tracey 1987), which is lower than Cairns and much of the lowlands, and the escarpment country to the east. The presence of mist and the recently acknowledged phenomenon of 'cloud stripping' probably adds to the overall unmeasured precipitation.
These tablelands were the site of some of Australia's most recent volcanic activity. Lava flows that spilled into the area from volcanoes have resulted in the pleasant undulating hillsides that are known as the tablelands. This has also resulted in rich basaltic soils and after much of the area was cleared for timber, it has subsequently been developed for a huge range of agricultural activities. The volcanic activity occurred over many years, with estimates ranging from millions to much more recently, perhaps only 10,000 years ago.
Script: Courtesy of Damon Ramsey BSc.(Zool) Biologist Guide