Book the Best Hotels and Places to Stay in Atherton, Queensland

Lake Eacham in Crater Lakes National Park in the Atherton Tablelands is a lovely place to relax
Lake Eacham in Crater Lakes National Park in the Atherton Tablelands is a lovely place to relax | © blickwinkel / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Richard Collett
21 October 2021

If Far North Queensland’s fiery hot coastline is starting to make you sweat, head for the town of Atherton, 750m or 2,461ft above sea level. This mountain town has a cool climate. Surrounded by rainforest, waterfalls and wildlife, the Atherton Tablelands are home to extinct volcanoes, crater lakes and delicious home-grown produce. Planning your trip? These are the best hotels and places to stay – bookable on Culture Trip.

Big4 NRMA Atherton Tablelands Holiday Park, for eco-conscious travellers

Cabins at Big4 NRMA Atherton Tablelands Holiday Park
Courtesy of Big4 NRMA Atherton Tablelands Holiday Park / Expedia

On the edge of the Herberton Range State Forest, the Big4 NRMA Atherton Tablelands Holiday Park is one of the best choices for eco-conscious travellers looking for self-contained accommodation. This lush, green holiday park is eco-certified and surrounded by 2ha (6 acres) of lush gardens. It also features an outdoor swimming pool. From your fully equipped holiday villa or cottage, nature trails and walking paths lead from the park out into the bush, while the Atherton Forest Mountain Bike Park is just a short ride away.

Atherton Hotel, for cold beer and good grub in Tablelands

A room in shades of blue at the Atherton Hotel
Courtesy of Atherton Hotel / Expedia

The Atherton Hotel is a classic, Aussie-style pub and hotel that’s a firm favourite for anyone looking for some cold beer and hearty grub in the Atherton Tablelands. The Sports Bar is a popular venue for locals looking to shoot pool and watch some footy, but travellers will fit right in as soon as they start ordering up the schooners. The friendly Family Bistro cooks locally sourced ingredients in a laid-back atmosphere, while the hotel offers spacious rooms for singles and couples, along with large suites for families.

Atherton Blue Gum Bed and Breakfast, for superb views over Atherton

A wood-clad bedroom at the Atherton Blue Gum Bed and Breakfast
Courtesy of Atherton Blue Gum Bed and Breakfast / Expedia

One of the loveliest places to stay in Atherton is the Atherton Blue Gum Bed and Breakfast. This quirky B&B features a unique wooden facade made of locally sourced timbers and materials, while the tall, open-air verandas offer superb views over the town. Surrounded by tall trees and green scenery, you’ll feel like you’re deep in the rainforest, especially when the sounds and noises of the Atherton Tablelands really come to life in the evenings.

Malanda Lodge, for a rainforest retreat

The brick Malanda Lodge among a verdant landscape
Courtesy of Malanda Lodge / Expedia

The Malanda Lodge isn’t your average roadside motel and overnight stop. On the outskirts of town, on the road that traverses Malanda Falls, it has more than 4ha (11 acres) of sculpted and landscaped gardens, an outdoor swimming pool with a fully licenced poolside cocktail bar and an on-site restaurant named the Pickle & Smoke (yes, they do barbecues). The Malanda Lodge is one of the most popular events venues and motels in the Atherton Tablelands for a reason, and you’ll soon see why when you enjoy a weekend escape at this rainforest retreat.

Blue Summit Hideaway, for a luxury spa weekend

A cosy studio at Blue Summit Hideaway
Courtesy of Blue Summit Hideaway / Expedia

The Blue Summit Hideaway, in the small community of Yungaburra, right in the middle of the forest, is one for luxury-loving travellers. You’ll quickly come to appreciate the cosy comforts of this upmarket resort’s boutique spa villas. After a long day spent exploring the Atherton Tablelands, there’s nothing better than sinking back into a hot spa bath. Whip up a light meal in your villa’s kitchenette before enjoying an evening on the veranda immersed in the sounds of the surrounding forest.

Birds ‘n’ Bloom Cottages, for tranquillity in Yungaburra

A spacious living-dining room in a cottage at Birds ‘n’ Bloom Cottages
Courtesy of Birds ‘n’ Bloom Cottages / Expedia

Embrace the laid-back country lifestyle with a luxury getaway at Birds ‘n’ Bloom Cottages. In the quiet town of Yungaburra, these cottages are much loved for their colourful gardens, where fruit trees bloom and birds flock no matter the season. Enjoy the tranquillity from your private veranda, and make the most of the spacious rooms, lounge and dining area inside your two- or three-bedroom cottage throughout your stay. On those chilly Atherton evenings, light up a fire or run a warm bath in your private therapeutic spa.

The Summit Rainforest Retreat and Conference Centre, for access to the Hallorans Hill Conservation Park

The heated spa at the Summit Rainforest Retreat and Conference Centre
Courtesy of The Summit Rainforest Retreat and Conference Centre / Expedia

Immerse yourself in nature with a stay at the Summit Rainforest Retreat, where you’ll be surrounded by the unique flora and fauna of the Tablelands on the quiet slopes of the Hallorans Hill Conservation Park. Step out from your self-catering apartment or spacious bed and breakfast room, and you’ll be awed by the views over Atherton from the open veranda. This is the highest point in town, and you can take it all in while relaxing in the outdoor heated swimming pool and spa.

Crystalbrook Flynn, for five-star luxury in Queensland

Loungers flank a swimming pool at Crystalbrook Flynn
Courtesy of Crystalbrook Flynn /

If you’re used to Queensland’s tropical heat, then you might prefer to spend the day in Atherton and a warmer night down on the coast in Cairns. Check into the Crystalbrook Flynn, and you’ll enjoy the warmth of five-star luxury as you look out over the Esplanade from the comforts of your ultra-modern and super-stylish hotel room. And if it does get too hot, you can cool off in the outdoor swimming pool or rejuvenate with a healing session at the Eléme Spa before ordering cool cocktails and grazing boards at the laid-back Boardwalk Social.

Shangri-La the Marina, Cairns, for the ultimate relaxation

Sun loungers and umbrellas adorn a deck surrounding the outdoor pool at the Shangri-La the Marina, Cairns
Courtesy of Shangri-La the Marina, Cairns / Expedia

Shangri-La the Marina is the ultimate hotel for relaxation. This five-star luxury favourite overlooks the marina in one direction and quiet tropical gardens in the other. Take in the peace and tranquillity from your private terrace, or head down to the swimming pool for a cooling dip and a cold poolside beer. Order cocktails to your sun lounger, take a calming stroll through the botanical gardens or unwind with a laid-back barbecue lunch at the Backyard Restaurant.

Hilton Cairns, for a breakfast buffet with mountain views

The Hilton Cairns stands beside its outdoor pool
Courtesy of Hilton Cairns / Expedia

You’ll love the views of the mountains and waterfront from your high-rise balcony at the Hilton Cairns. It’s one of the most luxurious hotels in Far North Queensland, and for the most relaxing stay, upgrade to the spa room. Enjoy a breakfast buffet in front of tropical gardens at Cafe Sunrise, indulge in an afternoon gin on the veranda at the Gin Social and finish the day with a barbecue feast under the shade of a poinciana tree at Mondo on the Waterfront.

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