New Residents

Welcome to the Tablelands!

Venture up to where the landscape is a tapestry of colours and let the mountain air and village atmosphere carry you away. Lose and find yourself in world heritage-listed forests, rich in biodiversity and breath-taking natural beauty. Feel the spray as waterfalls plunge into clear pools and wander through picturesque towns and villages filled with a tempting array of award-winning cafes, restaurants, galleries and museums. Explore on two wheels along our Rail Trail and through our mountain bike park. Meet our friendly community and marvel at the rich and fertile agricultural lands and abundant harvests — from flowers to blueberries, sugar cane to beef, and avocadoes to eggs.

Find out more from the Bureau of Meteorology.

Find out all you need to know about our walking trails, biking routes, history, art and culture from our information centres and Explore pages.

Remember to take your friends and family to all the best places, and share and hashtag your photos!

#explore tnq | #athertontablelands

Our community is a vibrant diverse mix of nationalities, cultures and ethnicities. We are committed to developing and celebrating a diverse, vibrant and inclusive community that fosters respect and a sense of belonging.

Our Inclusion Advisory Committee provides strategic advice to help create an accessible and inclusive community where everyone is valued and recognised for  their contribution.

Cultural Connections

We recognise nine Native Title parties across our region and acknowledge other family  groups who are the Traditional Custodians of this land.

  • Bar Barrum of the area around the Walsh River and to the west of the Wild River.
  • Dulabed and Malanbarra Yidinji of the Gillies Range area.
  • Girramay of the Kirrama area.
  • Gugu Badhun of the Wairuna/Lamonds Lagoon area.
  • Jirrbal of the Koombooloomba, Ravenshoe and Herberton areas.
  • Mamu of the Millaa Millaa area.
  • Ngadjon-Jii of the Malanda and Topaz areas.
  • Tableland Yidinji of the Kairi, Tolga, Tinaroo and Lake Barrine areas.
  • Wurrungu of the Gunnawarra/Goshen area.

Find out more.

Rich History

Irish-born explorer and prospector James Mulligan was the first European to visit the region in 1875, followed by John Atherton in 1877. The area was first recognised for its tin deposits but harvesting red cedar and other rainforest trees became one of the longest-standing industries.

Chinese were early settlers and are considered the pioneers of agriculture, including dairying, in the region. They established market gardens and support services for the new settlements and their influence is considered a cornerstone of the region’s development.

During World War II the Tablelands became the largest military base in Australia and camps were scattered across the region. Rocky Creek was the site of the largest military hospital in the Southern Hemisphere — a 3000-bed hospital that treated over 60,000 patients between 1943 and 1945. The region was ideal because it was close to South-East Asia and the South-West Pacific, provided a safe tropical environment for jungle warfare training and was free of malaria.

Find out more.

The Tablelands has units and apartments in vibrant town centres, traditional family homes in quiet residential streets and villages, contemporary homes in new suburbs, waterfront properties and acreages of farmland or forests.

Close To Everything

While living on the Tablelands allows you to escape from the crowds and humidity of the coast, the close proximity of locations like Cairns does have its advantages. In just over an hour you can be at an international airport, theatres, large hospitals, specialist medical attention and on the doorstep of the Great Barrier Reef and its islands.

The Tablelands region is one of the most exciting places in North Queensland to do business. Our varied climate, rich agricultural soils and plentiful water play a leading role in providing agricultural commodities to Australia and the world, particularly the growing markets of Asia.

Our diverse natural features, enviable lifestyle and sound economic base make the Tablelands extremely attractive for new investment and opportunities. We  support the development of a strong, competitive and diverse economy  throughout the region and work collaboratively with community and business groups to help businesses launch and grow.

Work With Us

We are a forward-thinking, progressive and inclusive organisation that has a highly skilled and innovative workforce. We seek and recruit people who are passionate about the region, work well in a team environment and have the skills and abilities to produce quality outcomes. We encourage applicants from all backgrounds including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, people from different cultural backgrounds and people with disabilities. See our current vacancies and subscribe to our Careers @ TRC e-newsletter at

We have a range of initiatives to upskill and support business owners and staff, connect the business community, grow the economy and create more jobs and economic opportunities. We seek out and support supplies and services from our local businesses and encourage you to shop local for your needs.

Business Matters

Subscribe to receive Business Matters — our e-newsletter for the business  community that keeps you up-to-date with local programs, initiatives, events and training, funding, networking and opportunities for business growth.


Register with Tenderlink to receive requests for quotations and tenders, and expressions of interest.


Grants are available for eligible organisations and groups to conduct projects, activities and events that will help grow business, investment and employment in the Tablelands region.

Tablelands Business Excellence Awards

Each year we celebrate our region’s outstanding business operators and not-for-profit entities at our Tablelands Business Excellence Awards. The awards recognise and showcase exceptional local service providers across a number of categories.


We subscribe our region to Economy id — a source of economic and social data that profiles the characteristics of our local economy and population, how they compare to other areas, and how they are changing. It is extremely useful in making business and investment decisions, and for providing answers to frequently asked questions about industries, workforce profiles, demography and the housing market.

Supporting Ongoing Economic Growth & Development

Our strong economic and population growth is continuing and we are working to support this growth while  encouraging job creation, new investment and additional housing options. It’s a priority to find ways to remove barriers to development, support housing for our community, and to secure opportunities and options for our young people to stay in our region.

These three policies that show our commitment to these outcomes — Infrastructure Charges (Bulk Goods) Policy, Investment Incentive Policy and Infrastructure Charge Deferrals Policy.

Tableland University Centre
A regional university study hub supports students so they can continue their education without leaving the community.

Home Schooling

The Tablelands has a strong home school network and a range of kindergartens, day-care centres and home care providers. Some schools also have before/after school care programs.

Training & Upskilling

Tafe Queensland and various community groups and organisations provide training and upskilling opportunities.

Learning Libraries

We have seven libraries across the region that are more than centres for borrowing books. They are community hubs with a range of services, facilities and programs. Membership is free.

The Tablelands has an active volunteer movement and a widespread desire to learn and share. More than 200 organisations, incorporations, groups,  committees and classes offer opportunities to become involved in sport,  recreation, arts, religion, tourism, youth, history, culture, education, environmental preservation and rehabilitation, wildlife protection, advisory committees and community support.

Volunteers and helpers are always wanted, needed and appreciated. They are integral to the running of our information centres, galleries, libraries, museum and community nursery. All community groups and committees operate on the generosity of volunteers so follow your passion by volunteering with a group that supports your interests.

Find your place in a group or organisation in our community group database.

Atherton Hospital is the largest hospital on the Tablelands and services the surrounding areas. The hospital offers emergency, general medical, surgical, aged care and low risk maternity services, as well as visiting specialist services in paediatrics, gastroenterology, psychiatry and women’s health. It is supported by a range of private and government health and wellbeing services, clinics, specialists and programs including physiotherapy, podiatry, optometry, chiropractic, occupational therapy, dentistry, naturopathy, massage and more.

Connect with our region’s health services.

Atherton Hospital recently underwent a major upgrade to improve access, facilities and services.

Choose Your Adventure

Many of the national parks and state forests on the Tablelands are part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area — recognised for its exceptional biodiversity, evolutionary history and superb scenic beauty. It has a diverse landscape peppered with volcanic features, crater lakes, historical locations, world-famous waterfalls and lush rainforest through to stark savannah landscapes. There is so much to see and do, and so many ways to see and do it! Walk, run, ride, paddle, hike, swim, boat … whatever! Head to one of our information centres for personal advice and more information.

On Two Wheels

The Tablelands has a range of great cycling and mountain biking opportunities and there’s something to suit riders of all skills, interests and abilities. In Atherton we have the renowned, purpose-built Atherton Forest Mountain Bike Park. From the trail head at the bottom of Vernon Street, ride the easy track to more than 50km of single trails that dip into rocky gullies and clear creeks, climb forest-clad valleys and ridge lines that offer awe-inspiring views of the surrounding landscape.

The Atherton Tablelands Rail Trail is a dedicated recreational trail that winds along the decommissioned railway corridor from Walkamin to Platypus Park in Atherton. Stop at the points of interest and interpretive signs along the way. Hone your skills at one of the many pump tracks across the region.

Find your sport and recreation group and club.

Mark your calendar with the line-up of Tablelands events. People come from far and wide to take part.

  • Australia Day commemorations
  • Anzac Day commemorations
  • Mount Garnet Rodeo
  • Atherton Maize Festival
  • National Reconciliation Week
  • Atherton and Malanda Agricultural Shows
  • NAIDOC Week
  • Victory in the Pacific (VP) Day commemorations
  • Tinaroo Barra Bash
  • Tablelands Folk Festival
  • Tolga Scarecrow Festival
  • Torimba Festival
  • Christmas carols and markets
  • Mountain biking events
  • Tolga Races

Check out our events calendar and add your own event!

Event Sponsorship

We provide in-kind and cash support for events in our region. Applications are due on 28 February each year to be considered in the budget for the following financial year. Find out more and apply.

We manage five information centres in Atherton, Herberton, Malanda, Ravenshoe and Yungaburra, creating an information network and community hubs for locals and visitors. Each centre tells its own story that reflects the heritage and culture of the surrounding community. Friendly staff and volunteers offer expert local advice, free regional information, tour and accommodation bookings, and special offers. Stop in to pick up brochures and browse the range of arts and crafts, boutique produce, books, souvenirs and more.

In this clean mountain air, a rich arts community thrives and shares their talents. Artists, potters, photographers, sculptors and teachers create artworks that capture the true heart of the Tablelands. Take home your own piece from one of the many studios and shops across the region.

We operate three galleries — Tableland Regional Gallery, Old Post Office Gallery and Foyer Gallery, all in Atherton. Exhibitions in the galleries are constantly changing and include artworks from local artists, travelling exhibitions, and school and community groups.

Keep up-to-date with all the arts and cultural information, opportunities and events in the region by subscribing to our monthly Arts on Track e-newsletter.

Explore the Tablelands Arts and Culture Map and discover creative businesses, cultural organisations, festivals, public art, visual and  performing artists, historical sites and so much more.

Support our community by shopping locally in our wide range of businesses and service organisations. By buying from our local businesses you are injecting money back into our economy and ensuring the dollars stay in our region. This creates new jobs and provides security for business owners, employees and their families.

Support our community by shopping locally in our wide range of businesses and service organisations. By buying from our local businesses you are injecting money back into our economy and ensuring the dollars stay in our region. This creates new jobs and provides security for business owners, employees and their families.

The Tablelands has a range of shopping experiences from large chain outlets and supermarkets, to boutique and locally owned shops.

The region is a mecca for markets and you don’t have to travel far to find one. From handmade furniture, cakes and  soaps to gourmet sausages, plants and artworks. Find out what market is on this weekend.

Shop Tablelands Gift Card

Looking for the perfect gift? Purchase a Shop Tablelands gift card in your preferred value for use in participating businesses across the region. From groceries to clothing, giftware to restaurants — it’s a great way to support local businesses.

Community Grants

Our Grant Program supports youth excellence and activities that create improved community, economic and environmental outcomes for our community and region, and support quality arts and cultural experiences.

Celebrate Success

There is so much to celebrate in our region and we are proud to honour and recognise the successes and achievements of our community.

Our region spans six local electoral divisions. Every four years residents democratically elect a Mayor and Councillors as community representatives. The next local government elections will be in 2028.

Subscribe to receive our regular e-newsletters straight to your inbox:

  • Local Matters — latest TRC and community news.
  • Arts on Track — arts and culture in our region.
  • Business Matters — news on grants and opportunities to support local businesses.
  • Careers@TRC — our latest vacancies.

Council Meetings

Ordinary Council meetings are generally held on the fourth Thursday of the month  held on the second Thursday of the month. The meetings start at 9am in the Coordination Centre at 15 Vernon Street, Atherton. Meetings are live streamed and recorded. See the agendas, minutes, recordings and live stream links.

Request A Service

Is there something we can do to help, or a problem we need to know about? Let us know by:


Rate notices are issued twice a year and their payment assists with providing services, infrastructure and facilities to our community. You can register to receive your rates by email.

Payments can be made via BPay, Australia Post, EFTPOS, cash, cheque and money order. Instalments can be made on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis, provided the full amount is paid by the agreed date. You don’t have to wait for your rate notice to start making payments — advance payments can be made at any time.

Pensioners who reside on their property and hold a current eligible Queensland Pensioner Concession Card or Repatriation Health Care (Gold) Card may be entitled to Council and State rate concessions.

Priors Creek Development

Work commenced in 2023 on the development of the Priors Creek area (adjacent to Railway Lane in Atherton) to create a family-oriented, mixed-use and leisure area and commercial and retail space, with a unique sense of place. The development includes
public art, picnic facilities, parking, amphitheatre, improved access, landscaping, streetscaping, feature lighting and improved safety, accessibility and connectivity. The project is regionally significant and is being completed over a number of stages.


We have 1870km of TRC-controlled roads, bridges, footpaths, drains and culverts. We conduct regular routine inspections and investigate problems reported by the community. Defects are measured and recorded in our asset management system against intervention levels, which in turn inform our maintenance, renewals and upgrades. Our regular road maintenance includes street sweeping, sealed and unsealed road repairs, roadside slashing and spraying and maintenance of kerbs, culverts, pipes, drains, bollards, signs and  guideposts. Find out where we are currently working.

Planning Assistance

If you want to build more than one house on a property, or start, move or expand a business, we can discuss your plans to check they comply with planning, building and health requirements. We are available during business hours. Contact us for an informal discussion and free advice.

Building & Renovating

You need to submit an application with plans before beginning any work on buildings or structures including new builds, demolishing, relocating, and adding garages, carports, swimming pools and awnings.


We have 15 water intakes, 16 water bores and more than 450km of pipes criss-crossing the region. In recent years we have committed millions of dollars to planning and improving water supply, quality and reliability issues. Despite this, some water supply schemes are affected by excessive rainfall and are subject to boil water notices. We are continuing our improvement work in this area. Find out where your water comes from, how it is treated, what work  we have done and what we plan to do.

The demand for water is very high in parts of our region and water restrictions are often in place to ensure our water use is sensible and sustainable. Keep an eye out on our website and media for the current water use requirements.


We provide a kerbside bin collection service to most parts of the region. General waste (red lid) is collected weekly, and recycling (yellow lid) fortnightly. Find out when your bin needs to go out. We are committed to increasing the level of recycling within the region and reducing the amount of waste going to landfill.

Our transfer stations receive domestic self-hauled waste and recycling that can be separated into various waste streams for transfer to recycling facilities. There are transfer stations at Atherton, Herberton, Innot Hot Springs, Malanda, Millaa Millaa, Ravenshoe and Yungaburra.

Facilities For Hire

We have a range of facilities available for regular or casual hire. From conference rooms and hot desks, to halls and community buildings, the venues vary in size and have a range of furnishings and equipment. Find out more and book a facility.

Responsible Pet Ownership

All dogs, regardless of where they are kept, must be registered. All cats and dogs over 12-weeks-old must be microchipped. Registering and microchipping is the best way to ensure animals are reunited with their owners. We use lifetime tags and registrations are due for payment on 30 June each year.

All pets, including dogs, cats, livestock and poultry, must be kept in a proper enclosure that prevents them from escaping and wandering. Enclosures must be safe and cleaned regularly, and pets must receive adequate food, clean water and space.

Check our animal management facility and socials if your pet is missing. Impounded animals can be collected by calling us before 4pm on weekdays.


Everyone has a role to play in biosecurity and our Biosecurity Plan outlines your obligations for plant and animal management. The plan includes action plans for 20 pest species in our region.

Rural & Urban House Numbering

Legible house numbers are essential for emergency services to locate your property. They should not be overgrown with vegetation or obscured by a fence or letterbox.

If you don’t have a rural number, or your rural number is damaged, you can purchase a new number sleeve, numbers and replacement posts at our Atherton Customer Service Centre.

We value your input and feedback and are committed to meaningful community engagement. If you would like to be involved in shaping the decisions we make you can:

Despite our almost idyllic lifestyle, our region experiences its fair share of hazards and disasters. Our tightknit and resilient community works hard to stay prepared and informed and we always look out for each other. By being prepared and informed you can reduce the impacts of a disaster on you, your family and your property. Ensure you have an emergency kit ready and an emergency plan in case a disaster impacts you or your family.

We Are There For You

  • Our Emergency Management Dashboard provides up-to-date information on road closures, power outages, evacuation centres and links to key sites.
  • You can subscribe to our Early Warning Network to receive alerts for severe weather and other emergency events by email, text and voice.
  • Follow our Facebook page to see the latest warnings and update, and other disaster information.
  • Read our detailed and extensive information on hazards and disasters, and how you can prepare for and recover from them.
  • We have a Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG) that addresses disaster mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. We conduct regular training and exercises to make sure our skills and experience are well-honed.
  • We have a state-of-the-art Coordination Centre. The LDMG works from here to prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters.
  • Our community works with us to develop community disaster plans.