Far northern Queensland is a region of many contrasts. Although its largest city, Cairns, constantly swarms with thousands of tourists eager to explore the Great Barrier Reef, there are still many places where you can escape the maddening crowds and relish some quiet time, surrounded by some of Australia's most beautiful countryside.
Situated on the Atherton Tableland, approximately 110 kilometres inland from Cairns, Yungaburra is a small historic village surrounded by mountains, rainforests, and idyllic, lush green farming land. The area is renowned for its many beautiful waterfalls and deep crater lakes, offering nature-lovers a perfect natural getaway.
Established in the late nineteenth century, the town itself is extremely picturesque and is noteworthy for its many gorgeous heritage buildings, most which are built in classic Queenslander style: out of hardwood cut from the local forests. Like many villages in the area, Yungaburra has attracted many creative people, and a wander through the town will reveal several wonderful galleries, including Artistree Gallery and Full Circle Studio and Gallery.
Also popular are the Yungaburra Markets, where you can purchase local art and craft, jewellery, food, clothing, fresh produce and much, much more. The markets are held on the fourth Saturday of every month, from 7.30am until 12.30pm, on the village common.
Directions To reach Yungaburra, we did a scenic circuit, driving south from Cairns. We turned off the Bruce Highway at Gordonvale, and travelled along the Gillies Highway until we reached the village. For our return to Cairns, we travelled on to Atherton, and then followed the Kennedy Highway, via Mareeba and Kuranda, back down the mountains.
Public transport to Yungaburra does exist, but it's not very frequent. Trans North ( Ph -4095 8644) runs buses from Cairns to nearby Atherton, while Emerson Bus Services (Ph - 4096 5262) runs buses from Atherton to various small local towns, including Yungaburra.
This beautiful little village is one of my favourite places in Australia! If you love art and nature, you'll love it here - especially on market day when all the local artisans emerge from their secluded studios to ply their wares. The Queenslander style of architecture can also be seen here in its full glory, so I really recommend doing a wander through the town. If you have the time, stay for a few days!