The township of Mareeba is an hour’s drive west of Cairns. Mareeba and its surrounding district’s multicultural heritage has given the region its distinctive flavour. The fertile district has a reputation as a food lovers’ paradise which can be discovered by visits to tropical fruit farms, coffee plantations, wineries and the Mareeba Markets held on the second and fifth Saturdays of the month.
Mareeba has a history going back to the gold mining days and 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 Multi-Cultural Festival held annually in August.
An opportunity arises to explore Mareeba’s history and heritage at the Mareeba Heritage Museum with expert travel and tourist information given by their Visitor Information Centre, situated in Centenary Park, Mareeba.
Mareeba has perfect conditions for getting airborne with hot air ballooning at sunrise, taking to the air in a microlight or experience a flight in a restored warbird aeroplane from Mareeba Airport.
Nature based experiences can include cooling off in the rock pools after exploring around Emerald Creek Falls where there are public toilets, barbeques and tables, and a walking track leading to an excellent lookout. A popular locals’ picnic spot, Davies Creek Falls, also has camping grounds and there is a moderate 850 metre circuit walk which takes you to the head of the falls.
Alternate Savannah Way Route: via Chillagoe
Travel via Chillagoe for an additional experience with unsealed roads. A former mining centre, Chillagoe is renowned for its marble, Australia’s finest, and limestone caves that have regular tours. Check your map for access via Mareeba and Dimbulah to the east or on the Ootan Road to the south which rejoins The Savannah Way 13 km east of Mount Surprise.
More information: www.athertontablelands.com.au