Tolga - Cities, Towns and Localities
Part of the tropical Atherton
Tablelands region the town of Tolga is located just
5 km north of its nearest neighbour, Atherton. Originally called Martintown,
that grew out of the Cobb and Co staging post at Rocky Creek, Tolga comes from
the local Aboriginal language for 'red mud'.
The town has some examples of
early Queensland architecture, as well as some heritage and timber displays that
showcase aspects of the regions rich heritage and Aboriginal culture.
Located in the Atherton Tableland, there are multiple road access to the region, from the coast via four major highways:
- the Palmerston Highway near Innisfail,
- the Gillies Highway near Gordonvale,
- the Kennedy Highway which passes through Tolga to Mareeba in the north, and south through Atherton and Ravenshoe, and
- the Mossman-Mt Molloy Road near Mossman, which joins and becomes the Peninsula Developmental Road near Mount Molloy.
There are many attractions in the region including the Waterfalls and Crater Lakes District
where visitors can enjoy rainforest, with bird watching and wildlife, such as
the platypus and musky rat-kangaroo. A leisurely drive leads to spectacular
lookouts and waterfalls, a highlights is Australia’s widest waterfall Millstream
Falls, the deep blue waters of extinct volcano crater lakes, Lake Barrine and
Lake Eacham (both volcanic crater lakes), the ancient Bromfield Swamp near
Malanda and Hypipamee National Park. There is Lake Tinaroo (which is three
quarters the size of Sydney Harbour), Millaa Millaa (Millaa Lookout), Innot Hot
Springs, Mungalli Falls, Davies Creek National Park, Chillagoe (home of the
Limestone Caves), Koombaloomba Dam, Mt Hypipamee Crater and much more.
Check out our listing of
Tolga accommodation and
Atherton and Atherton Tableland accommodation. In addition to our listed online travel guide information,
contact the local tourism visitor centre for your destination for more attractions,
tours, local maps and other information.
Tolga Bat Hospital
• Ph: 07 4091 2683 (please telephone to visit - bookings are
• Every year Tolga Bat Hospital
rescues, rehabilitates and releases hundreds of bats that might otherwise die.
We also provide lifetime sanctuary for many bats that are too severely injured
to return to the wild. While this makes a real difference to the individual
animal, and the volunteers who are privileged to interact with them, there is a
lot more to be done. We are therefore very actively engaged in education,
habitat restoration, research and advocacy.
A not-for-profit community group that is 100 percent staff by volunteers. Please
help us save these wonderful animals by becoming a member of Tolga Bat Hospital,
staying at the guesthouse, making a donation or shopping with us on-line.
The Bat Hospital Visitor Centre
• 134 Carrington Rd, TOLGA QLD 4882
• Open 3-6 pm - 1st June to 30th September - Wednesday to Sunday
BOOKINGS ESSENTIAL AT OTHER TIMES
• Visitors have a unique opportunity to
see the work of the internationally-renowned bat hospital and meet some
Australian bats. Learn what is special about these flying mammals. Why do they
hang upside down? Why are they so important for the environment?
Visitors have the best experience if they keep to the 3-6pm timeslot as it is
feeding time for the bats. They come down from their 6 metre roosting area and
are down at eye level, ready for dinner.
Tolga Woodworks Gallery & Cafe
Kennedy Hwy, TOLGA QLD 4882 •
Ph: +61 7 4095 4488 •
• Atherton Tablelands most prestigious woodworking centre, providing a showcase
collection of woodwork and craft by local artisans working in a range of
material such as timber, steel, glass, clay, precious metals, leather and
A visit here is a must if you appreciate stunning concepts and fine
craftsmanship. After you have viewed the pieces of art on display and maybe
purchase an item or two, relax in the cafe with a meal and refreshment.
Rocky Creek Memorial Park & Camping Grounds
• Kennedy Hwy, TOLGA
• Located a few kilometres north of
Tolga on the Kennedy Highway, the memorial park is situated on the 2/2
Australian General Hospital laundry and medical stores site.
During World War II the Tableland area became the largest military base in
Australia with camps at Tinaroo, Kairi, Atherton, Wongabel, Herberton, Wondecla,
Ravenshoe and Garnet. Rocky Creek was the site of the largest military hospital
in the Southern Hemisphere - a 3000 bed hospital which treated over 60,000
patients from 1943 to 1945.
The first plaques dedicated in the park occurred on VP Day in 1995. A special
wall of remembrance was erected in 2009. Every year on the Sunday closest to VP
Day, returned soldiers, their families and descendants gather to remember
‘Victory in the Pacific’ and to take part in a dedication and unveiling
The Tablelands Regional Council is custodian of the crown land and the park is
developed and maintained in collaboration with the Rocky Creek War Memorial Park
Entry to the park is free and camping sites are available throughout the year
for a gold coin donation.
Curtain Fig Tree
• Curtain Fig Rd, YUNGABURRA
• Located east of Atherton, just outside of the township
of Yungaburra is one of the largest trees in North Queensland. At over 800 years
and standing some 50 metres high with a spread of 39 metres wide, this amazing
and unusual attraction is a fine example of the natural world. The tree is part
of the genus Ficus ‘Strangler Fig’, a species known as Ficus virens, more
commonly called a ‘Curtain Fig’.
The curtain effect resulted from the first tree being strangled by the
developing Curtain Fig tree. The first tree then fell into a neighbouring tree
(which is a stage unique to the development of the Curtain Fig tree). Vertical
roots then grow down from the Curtain Fig tree to form the curtain-like
appearance. The host trees die and rots away, leaving the Curtain Fig tree
To protect the site and provide views from all angles, there is an elevated
boardwalk surrounds the Curtain Fig Tree. A story board at the site details the
‘Creation of the Curtain Fig’ with a welcome from the Traditional Owners of this
country, the Ngadjon-Jii.
Hypipamee National Park
• Situated approximately 25 km
south of Atherton on the Kennedy Highway, see the Crater formed as a result of
escaping gases blasting a vent hole clean through solid granite. The Crater is
some 120 metres deep with a 70 metre pool of still water. Also take the walking
track to Dinner Falls and enjoy a swim in the various swimming holes along the
way. The Falls become the Barron River which flows into the ocean at Cairns.
Distance to Tolga
• Following are some approximate distances by
road to Tolga:
Distances given are only approximation, they should be verified with the appropriate
Australian Automotive Motoring Associations also offer select access to travel trip planners.
Tablelands Regional Council
• Ph: 1300 362 242 •
• Council website with information
about the Tablelands region, history and heritage, towns, arts and culture,
markets, walking trials, and maps.