May 4, 2008, 1:05 pm
Filed under: travel

Curtain fig panorama

Originally uploaded by cobismith.

Maybe we were the only Australians ever to go there on a package tour (everyone else were European backpackers), but we went to the Tablelands on a tour with On The Wallaby. I haven’t been on many tours (the day I go on a Contiki tour is the day I stop loving Europe), so I don’t have much to compare it to. But as someone who is skeptical about tours, this was fantastic.

We went to one of the official (beware! There are many unofficial ones!) travel information services in Cairns, who recommended On The Wallaby. Great work, information people! We did so many things we wouldn’t have been able to do just traveling on our own. Our guide was great, with all kinds of useful insider knowledge, so we went on local, unpublicised trails through the rainforest, and pumped through a 12k bike ride that finished with a dip in a crater lake.

We stayed for two nights –we were the only people then who stayed more than one night – which was part of what made it so great. We got to relax at the beautiful hostel in Yungaburra, see platypuses at a nearby waterhole, and share a BBQ with staff and other guests.

I went to Far North Queensland as a kid and going to the Tablelands wasn’t even on the radar. I won’t make that mistake again. It’s a must-do.


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