ANZACS and Artisans feature in two new self-drive adventures – the ANZAC Trail and the Artisan Trail – through tropical north Queensland’s Atherton Tablelands. The Tablelands are approximately one hour’s drive west of Thala Beach Nature Reserve.
These new trails join six self-drive trails were launched to encourage travellers to enjoy a Tropical North Queensland road trip in search of adventure and new experiences. The trails highlight the importance of the role played by the Atherton Tablelands in the “Allied” win of the war in the Pacific during World War II. Additionally the trails highlight the markets, galleries and craftsmanship of the Atherton Tablelands.
“Many people are not aware of the important roll the Atherton Tablelands region played during World War II,” Mr Trout said. “Thousands of Australian and American troops were sent here for R&R and for jungle training in the rainforest,’ said Tropical Tablelands Tourism chair Michael Trout
“Many people know there were army camps throughout the region but that’s about it. Many don’t know Australian and American airforce squadrons were based at the Mareeba airfield, which played a major role in the Battle of the Coral Sea 75 years ago,” he added.
The ANZAC Trail takes in Kuranda where troops enjoyed leave, Mareeba airfield memorials, the historic site of the huge field hospital at Rocky Creek, the various camp locations throughout the region, the art deco Barron Valley Hotel in Atherton, which was taken over for the officers’ club and the Historic Village Herberton, which has trench art and memorabilia left behind in the troop camps in the Ravenshoe area.
“People love visiting the markets to pick up a bargain or to try something new, whether fresh fruit or delicious foods and drinks prepared from our fantastic local produce.
“I am always amazed by the clever and beautiful artistry people engage in to express themselves and to create something different or new,” he said.
The Artisan Trail covers the markets in the towns and villages of the region, from world-renowned Kuranda to the regional favourite at Yungaburra, as well as galleries that include locally made world-class furniture and jewellery through to quirky spots that show some of the fun and cheekiness of the locals.
The road trip trails include The Great Aussie Pub Trail, Geological Wonders, Unique Wildlife and Stunning Landscapes, Off Road Pedal Power (Cycling Adventures), Food Delights and A Step Back in Time.
The trails will be available on the free Discover app as well as on the Atherton Tablelands website and at local visitor information centres.
Looking for more road trip ideas from Cairns and Port Douglas? Check out the video for short day trips around some of the region’s most exciting highlights.