7 Things to Do these School Holidays on the Atherton Tablelands

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This time last year I wrote this post with some ideas for things to do on the Atherton Tablelands in the school holidays.  There is so much great stuff to do up here in our neck of the woods that I decided it was high time I put a few more of my favourite school holidays activities out there into cyber space!  With still a week of school holidays left – there is still plenty of time to get out and about and have some school holiday fun.

So, here’s 7 more things to do these school holidays on the Atherton Tablelands – Fealy Family style of course!

No 1. Visit Gallo DairylandIMG_0436

Ok. Disclaimer Here.  I grew up on a dairy farm, so I might be a little biased on this one – but honestly you will LOVE visiting Gallo Dairyland!  Sure, it smells a bit, but you get to watch real life milking in action (3pm – 4pm daily), see cheese and chocolate being made in the factory, pat calves, pigs, goats, chooks, ducks, cats and trust me – you haven’t lived until you have felt the rough, slobbery mess of a calf sucking on your hand!  Gallos Dairyland is a family owned and operated farm and is an amazing chance for the public to see how and what happens on your regular dairy farm.  Young kids will love it here (older kids will too, but they will pretend not to – you know too cool and all that!) and it doesn’t cost anything to watch the milking and visit the animal nursery, but it is great if you can show your support to the local farm by purchasing a milkshake or two at the cafe, or a few cheeses and choccies to take home with you!  And of course by buying Dairy Farmers Milk always 😉

Hot Tip: The calves and pigs in the animal nursery are fed after milking is finished at about 4pm – so if you can hang around until then, you get a little bit of an extra show watching all the animals have their dinner!

No 2. Go Platypus Spotting

The best place to spot a Platypus is in Yungaburra, along Petersen Creek.  This activity might require some patience and several trips before a platypus is found, but there is great walk along the creek with a suspension bridge that still makes the outing worth it, even with out spotting the elusive platypus!

Hot Tip: The best time of day to spot a platypus is in the early morning or late afternoon and try to be as quiet as possible!  Look for bubbles on the surface of the water for clues as to where the platypus might be hiding.

No 3. Have a picnic at Malanda Falls

Malanda Falls is a great spot to pack a few sandwiches and some bikkies and head out for a lunchtime picnic.  There are plenty of shady and grassy spots to sit and eat and swimming is good for big and little people as there are shallow areas for kids to paddle and experienced swimmers can swim right up to the falls.  A word of warning though – the water is always very ‘refreshing’!

Hot Tip:  The Visitor Centre at Malanda Falls is free and well worth the look!  Lots of interesting information and interactive displays to keep everybody amused!

No 4. Play at the playground at Lake Tinaroo

The playground on the foreshore of Lake Tinaroo is the bomb.  Not only does it have heaps of great equipment for the kids to play on, but check out the lake views!  It does get hot here in the middle of the day so make sure to bring hats and sunscreen as the kids will easily play for hours!  You can swim here too!

Hot Tip: Bring scooters or bikes to extend your Lake Tinaroo outing as there is a terrific bike/walking path that snakes its way right along the Lake Foreshore – this will ensure everybody is well and truly worn out by the end of the day!  Dogs welcome as well!

No 5. Pick fresh strawberries at Shaylee Strawberry Farm

There’s not much better than picking fresh strawberries from the farm!  They are delicious and you also get a chance to learn how strawberries are grown, picked and sold.  Oh, and most importantly – you are directly supporting a local farmer!

Hot Tip: You pay by weight for the strawberries you pick, so be a little careful not to get over zealous in your picking or you will end up with a big bill at the end!

No 6. Catch a movie at the Mareeba Drive In

There are not too many Drive In’s still operating in Australia so we are very fortunate to have one here in Mareeba, on the Atherton Tablelands.  Movies are screened every Friday and Saturday night, with gates opening at 6.30pm and movies starting at 7.30pm.  Definitely a fun family outing!

Hot Tip: Take lots of pillows and blankets so you can make yourselves super, super comfy!

No 7. Explore Irivenbank.IMG_9950

Irvinebank is super, super interesting!  Established in 1882, it is an old tin mining town that boasts many century old buildings such as the home of the town’s founder John Moffat, said to be the oldest ‘Queenslander’ in the State.  There is a museum to check out as well as plenty of other interesting things to look at via a short drive around town.  It is also worth taking a drive along the Silver Valley road to find some of the abandoned mine sites, but take care if wandering around the mines as you wouldn’t want to lose anyone down a hole!

Hot Tip: Find the Dam at Irvinebank by taking a left just before you reach town.  It is a beautiful spot, but best accessed by 4wd as the track up the hill is quite steep and washed out at times.

So there you have it, plenty more places to go, things to see, to keep everybody busy in the school holidays!  I know are so many other things to add to this list – anybody got any favourite school holiday places or activities here on the Atherton Tablelands?  Let me know in the comments below and I’ll put them in to the next school holiday post!

Hope you enjoy the holidays!

Love The Fealy Family xoxox

Categories: Atherton Tablelands, Travel, Tropical North Queensland | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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