Arriga Park Farmstay's Location

Hot Air Balooning Balloons over Mareeba Mareeba Wetlands Mareeba Wetlands Hot Air Ballooning Hot Air Ballooning Skyrail Rainforest Cableway Skyrail Rainforest Cableway Rock Wallaby Feeding at Granite Gorge Granite Gorge Curtain Fig Tree Curtain Fig Tree Millaa Millaa Falls Millaa Millaa Falls

If you are looking for a visit to the tropical north with a difference, why not visit the outback of Cairns. Mareeba shire is one of the largest in Queensland and blends from the lush rainforests of the coast behind Cairns, to the wide brown savanna plains of the outback. The town of Mareeba is located just an hour west of Cairns on the northern tablelands, and is the gateway for travellers going north and west into Cape York and the Gulf.

Our colourful history of the area is interpreted at our local Heritage Museum, where displays of early settler artefacts and the mining, tin and timber industries can be enjoyed by visitors.

Mareeba is at the heart of a thriving tropical fruit and coffee industry. Fast becoming a foodies paradise, a number of tours now incorporate the tastes of the tropics, and several wineries and distilleries have been developed to cater for the increase in food tourism. From the Golden Pride mango & De Brueys Boutique wineries to numberous coffee plantations and The Coffee Works, treats such as coffee liqueur, macadamia flavoured coffee, chocolate coated macadamia nuts or mango wine tempt the travellers taste buds!

Mareeba is also the heart of the Cape York cattle industry, and each week the cattle sale yards are filled with cattle brought in from outlying cattle stations to the north and west. In July, the town really takes on the cowboy theme, with the famous annual Mareeba Rodeo. Close enough to the action of the bull rides and bucking broncos, tourists and locals alike can smell the dirt and feel the dust of the pounding hooves and laugh with the rodeo clowns!

Wildlife of the savannas abounds, and the famous Mareeba Tropical Savanna and Wetland Reserve, known locally as the Mareeba Wetlands, provides wonderful photographic opportunities for a film crew. For the tourist the highlight is the Twilight Safari, which takes visitors on a tour by electric boat on the lagoons, into the heart of the Reserve for wildlife spotting and billy tea, and back to the award winning visitor centre for an outback sunset and cheese and wine. In the winter several hundred brolgas and sarus cranes fly in to roost at the wetlands, a real wildlife extravaganza.

Other local wildlife hotspots include Granite Gorge, a privately operated nature park just outside Mareeba. Here the endangered Mareeba Rock Wallaby has a stronghold, and visitors are treated to excellent views every afternoon when the owner puts out food for them. The strange shaped granite boulders of the gorge offer great opportunities to explore, and picnic sites and overnight camping are also available here.

Take the ‘Wheelbarrow Way’ west from Mareeba and the history of the gold rushes comes to life. Tyrconnell Mine has been lovingly restored by a young couple, who offer overnight accommodation in heritage cabins, catering, and tours of the mine which includes bringing the old stamper battery back to life. Panning for gold adds to the excitement of this trip back in time to the end of the nineteenth century.

Mareeba is the ballooning capital of Australia for, with its ideal climate and more than 300 sunny days a year, the conditions are ideal to enjoy an early morning balloon flight over the dramatic landscape. For those with a taste for speed, the international MakoTrack go kart track offers an exciting alternative. For animal lovers, there are plenty of opportunities to take to the saddle and live out those dreams of becoming a jackaroo.