Map of Walk Queensland’s Atherton Tablelands with Donkeys including Australia

Venture through some of northern Queensland’s most spectacular scenery

Jaw-dropping scenery, incredible wildlife and donkeys as travel companions – this 5-day Queensland adventure is anything but ordinary. An oasis away from the sweltering temperatures of the surrounding areas, explore the wonders of the Atherton Tablelands on foot, with a local guide leading the way and an endearing team of much-loved pack donkeys allowing access to secluded trails that can’t be reached by vehicles. Walk through tropical rainforests, swim in crystal clear crater lakes and marvel at cascading waterfalls on a journey to remember.

Cairns, Australia
Cairns, Australia
Walking & Trekking
Physical rating
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

  • With an experienced and knowledgeable local leader at the helm, you’ll be introduced to a side of the Atherton Tablelands few get to see, from local legends to unique insight into the region’s flora and fauna.

  • Explore the bush on foot with a delightful team of pack donkeys, led by an expert guide who will ensure they’re just as well looked after as you are.

  • Your donkey travel buddies not only provide great company, but also allow the group access to trails that can’t be reached by vehicles, so you can get off the beaten track – literally.

  • Venture along the fascinating Peterson Creek Walking Track in search of diverse plant life, platypuses and rare tree kangaroos.

  • Discover Lake Eacham and the surrounding Crater Lakes National Park, take a dip in crystal clear waters and explore walking trails that weave through rainforest.

Is this trip right for you?

  • This trip involves plenty of walking over varied terrain and is best suited to travellers with a good level of mobility. Good footwear, clothing for all types of Queensland weather, plus perhaps walking poles are recommended. Details on physical activities can be found in the itinerary.

  • Please ensure you consult your local government’s advice regarding domestic travel prior to booking this trip.

  • This trip is new to our range this year. And while we have thoroughly researched every detail of the logistics, new destinations can sometimes throw us some unexpected surprises. More often than not, it’ll be a great surprise. But every now and again there might be a hiccup. We like to think that’s what puts the ‘adventure’ in ‘adventure travel’.


Welcome to northern Queensland! Your adventure begins in Cairns, your gateway to the Atherton Tablelands. You’re free to check in to your accommodation from the early afternoon and, if you arrive with time to spare, you may like to check out the colourful array of tropical plants at the Cairns Botanic Gardens or get a feel for the city with a stroll along the esplanade. This evening is free for you to rest your legs before the upcoming walks, or to get to know the city a bit better with a drink and dinner in town.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Meet the group in the accommodation lobby at 7:15am this morning as you leave Cairns in the rear-view mirror and hit the Gillies Highway, one of Queensland’s best scenic drives. Make a pit stop in Little Mulgrave for refreshments then make tracks for Yungaburra, a charming rural town bursting with history and heritage sites. On arrival, meet you leader for your official welcome meeting and pre-trek briefing, where you’ll be issued with your pack bags and be introduced to some of the best travel buddies you’ll ever have – an endearing team of pack donkeys. These four-legged trekkers are well-loved and looked after and trained in carrying bags across all sorts of terrains, allowing you access to parts of the Atherton Tablelands that can’t be accessed by vehicles, while also providing excellent company along the way! The donkeys will be led by an expert guide who will make sure they’re having as good a time as you are. Then it’s time to set out along the Peterson Creek Walking Track – if you’re really lucky you may even see platypus or Lumholtz tree-kangaroos. For a taste of local culture this evening you may like to get together for dinner and drinks Yungaburra’s iconic pub.
Included Activities
  • Lake Eacham - Campfire Dinner
  • Yungaburra - Group Lunch
Meals Included
  • Lunch
Special Information
Today’s total walking distance is approximately 2kms / 1.2miles.
Get your donkey friends saddled up this morning before walking from Yungaburra to Lake Eacham. Here you’ll take some time out to enjoy the lake and the surrounding Crater Lakes National Park. Perhaps take a refreshing dip in Lake Eacham’s clear blue waters, or head into the park to explore a series of walking tracks shaded by lush rainforest. Retire to your accommodation for the evening and sit down for drinks around the campfire followed by dinner.
Included Activities
  • Lake Eacham - Group Lunch
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Today’s total walking distance is approximately 10kms / 6.2miles (approximately 4 hours).
After breakfast this morning, set off for a walk along a network of country lanes and through diverse rainforest before eventually arriving at the Peeramon Hotel where you’ll sit down for a well-deserved lunch and soak in spectacular views of the Tablelands. After lunch, trek downhill towards the Malanda Hotel, and if time permits, continue to the Malanda Falls and swimming pool. Built in 1906, this heritage-listed swimming pool is surrounded by beautiful rainforest and the perfect spot to cool down after a long day of walking. If you’re not in the mood for a swim, you may prefer to explore the surrounding Malanda Falls Environment Park in search of tree kangaroos. Return to the Malanda Hotel and enjoy a classic Australian dinner in the grand dining room.
Included Activities
  • Malanda Falls - Group Lunch
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
Today’s total walking distance is approximately 11kms / 6.8miles (approximately 4.5 hours).
Wake up for a final fireside breakfast, bid farewell to your donkey friends then begin the journey back to Cairns, stopping en route in the scenic little mountain village of Kuranda. Your adventure will come to an end upon your arrival in Cairns.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast


3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 1 dinner


Private vehicle


Hotel (4 nights)

Included activities

  • Lake Eacham - Campfire Dinner
  • Yungaburra - Group Lunch
  • Lake Eacham - Group Lunch
  • Malanda Falls - Group Lunch

Dates & availability

Trip departures are unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Walk Queensland’s Atherton Tablelands with Donkeys trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

Prices may go up, so secure your trip today!
Jump to a departure month

Important notes

Travellers on Intrepid trips are required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. Read details here.

1. The below departure dates will run on a reverse itinerary. Your trip will still start and finish in Cairns, however itinerary days 2 - 4 will be reversed:

21st of July 2021
15th of September 2021
27th of October 2021
17th of November2021
1st of December 2021

2. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights of your trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View Essential Trip Information