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07 4095 8455 or 0407 695 685 International +61 740958455


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Just Relaxing !

Relax and take in the views, native wildlife, birds, and farm stay animals. Take a stroll on the property walking track to the private dam, or soak your worries away in the large double spa with a wine from the Gourmet Mini Bar. Veg out with a DVD and an afternoon snooze. Read a book on the back deck. Magazines and local Newspapers are provided for your enjoyment. Or capture some birds on camera as Barking Owl Retreat is the perfect base for Birdwatching on the Atherton Tablelands. Indulge in a relaxing massage or drop a line in the property dam. (See below) 


Catch and Release Fishing in the Private Dam

Our 41 acre Farm Stay has a large private dam at the back of the property which is a special place hidden away from our busy world. The dam has its own Jetty and Hut with an open fire place and picnic area. The dam is stocked with Black Bream also known as 'sooty grunter', Mouth All Mighty, and Barramundi. Fishing equipment and bait is supplied or you are welcome to bring your own. So come and join in the fun and try your hand at fishing and get your fishing catch photo's posted on our Facebook page. See the slideshow above showing some great catches! Even if you don't fish the dam is a special place to just relax, have a picnic hamper in the Dam Hut with some wine and cheese from the Gourmet Mini Bar, or to cozy up to the warm open fireplace while roasting marshmallows and nuts. Soak up the winter sun on the Jetty while listening to peaceful birdsong or enjoy the property dam with photography by capturing it's beauty or watching the sun set. 


Barking Owl Retreat offers you the opportunity of a rejuvenating Remedial Massage to be enjoyed on site in the privacy of your own cottage. Relaxing Massages are performed on the back deck while listening to natures sounds. On colder winter days massages are performed inside the heated cottages for warmth. Rejuvenate with body balance in peaceful bliss supporting the natural occurring mechanisms of the body with positional release techniques to allow the body to naturally re-balance itself. A combination of gentle movements and pressure points tone and realign energy flow, enhancing mind and body balance and wellness. This can be carried out fully clothed or incorporated along with a Swedish massage for a deeply relaxing treatment. Used as a regular maintenance therapy against the stress of the modern world, massage enables the body to start healing itself, relieving physical and emotional tension. A choice of aromatic oils addresses each individual’s needs.
INDULGENCE (90 mins) $130 for One or $230 for Two
This hour and a half session is the ultimate indulgence experience
FULL BODY (60 mins) $90 for One or $170 for Two
Relax and rejuvenate for this one hour session covering the whole body
BODY SPECIFIC (45 mins) $70 for One or $135 for Two
Massage your aches away with this 45 minute body specific massage.
(Choose specific areas to be massaged)
Select the treatment time that most appeals to you. Massages are to be paid direct to the Massage Therapist in cash on the day. Ensure to book direct with our Massage Therapist 'Robyne' on 07 4095 4864 as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. Should Robyne not be available please leave a message with your name and phone number and she will contact you as soon as possible.

Atherton Tablelands Activities

There are so many things to do and see on the Atherton Tablelands. Take a self drive scenic tour of the Atherton Tablelands and take in the beautiful countryside on the way to visit some of the special places on offer. Gather some local produce at the specialty stores or local markets to take back to your cottage. Choose from the many Atherton Tablelands Tours to do along the way. Or enjoy the many heritage listed rainforest bushwalking tracks or a refreshing swim at nearby Lake Eacham volcanic Crater Lake. Dine in one of the nearby Tablelands A-La-Carte Restaurants. The Atherton Tablelands if filled with many fantastic Tours and Attractions from Coffee Farms, Wineries, a Tea Plantation, Bush Walking, Wildlife Tours, Nature Park, Bird Watching, Nocturnal viewing, Chinese Temple, Museums, Warbird Adventure Flights, Hot Air Balloon Flights, Go Kart Action, Undara Experience, Cheese & Chocolate Factory, Milk Factory (Dairy Centre) , Biodynamic Organic Dairy, Barra Fishing, Boat Hire, Smokehouse and Fish Farm, Horse Riding, ATV'S, Microlights, Segways, Skyrail, Train Rides, Swimming, Waterfalls, Wakeboarding, Waterskiing, Water Sports, Crater Lake Boat Cruise, Antique Stores, 4WD Tours, A-La-Carte Restaurants, Historic Hotels, Strawberry Farm, Weekend Markets, Opal & Gem Gallery, Crystal Caves, Pottery, Tolga Woodworks Gallery, to Art Galleries.

Hot Air Balloon Rides

Barking Owl Retreat is the perfect Luxury accommodation location to fulfill that bucket list activity of Balloon Riding. We get many guests staying here to do the Balloon Ride which is located in Mareeba just 25 minutes away. Many guests highly recommend the thrilling Balloon Ride and champagne breakfast. What a way to start the day! The hot air balloons can be seen on the horizon from your cottage's back deck bright and early in the morning.

Waterfalls Circuit

Cairns Highlands Atherton Tablelands Attractions are breathtaking and beautiful. From the many photographic Waterfalls - Malanda Falls, Millaa Millaa Falls, Zillie Falls, Ellinjaa Falls, Mungalli Falls, Dinner Falls & more, Dairy Farms with rolling green hills and dams, Lake Tinaroo Dam, Volcanic Crater Lakes - Lake Eacham & Lake Barrine, Mt Hypipamee Crater, Lookout's - Halloran’s Hill & Millaa Millaa, Lava Tubes and Limestone Caves - Undara National Park & Chillagoe-Mungana National Park, Granite Gorge, Tropical Wetlands, Windy Hill Wind Farm, to Heritage listed Forest with famous ancient rainforest trees. The Millaa Millaa Waterfalls circuit is located on Theresa Road just 1 km east of Millaa Millaa on the Palmerston Highway. The circuit is made up of Millaa Millaa Falls, Zillie Falls, and Ellinjaa Falls. Millaa Millaa Falls (pictured) is one of the most photographed waterfalls in Australia. You can swim in the cool waterhole below the falls in the picturesque setting of fern trees and surrounding rainforest. You may even spot turtles or platypus and should certainly see the native bush turkeys on the drive in. Zillie Falls is located just 7.5 kms from Millaa Millaa Falls and a further 3 kms on is Ellinjaa Falls. All Falls are worth the drive although Millaa Millaa is the most popular.


Atherton Tablelands Dairy Country

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The beautiful drive to the waterfalls circuit through Malanda, Tarzali, and Millaa Millaa entails dairy farms with lush rolling green hills. Tarzali Lakes is a fishing attraction along the way. See the laid back country life in the slide show above with the dairy cows crossing the road to return to the paddocks after milking. Milking can also be seen at Gallo's Cheese and Chocolate Factory along with baby farm animals and cheese making. Malanda is home to Dairy Farmers Milk and The Malanda Dairy Centre. The Malanda Falls are situated near the town centre and has a swimming area and rainforest walking tracks. Millaa Millaa on the Palmerston Highway is home to Mungalli Creek Dairy which is Biodynamic and has an Organic Café. They make mouthwatering cheesecakes, marinated feta, cheeses, yoghurts, gelato and not to mention Milk! Mungalli Creek Dairy is just 10 minutes from Mamu Tropical Skywalk another special place to visit providing spectacular panoramic views of World Heritage rainforest landscapes.

Platypus Spotting

Top hot spots for Platypus viewing are the Malanda Falls. Take the walking track at the right of the falls to view Platypus along the creek.  Many guests highly recommend this spot.  The famous Yungaburra Platypus viewing Platform at Peterson's creek in the township also reports many sightings. See the native Platypus at play in their natural habitat. Peterson Creek is located at the bridge entrance to Yungaburra on the road in from Atherton. There is also a 2km walking track with abundant beautiful birdlife along the way. This great platypus photo was taken by our guest Richard in Winter 2011. Look out for the tell tale bubbles on the water but be quick they could pop up anywhere at any moment!

Famous Heritage Listed Rainforest Trees

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There are many walking tracks on the Atherton Tablelands in the Heritage listed rainforest and also many famous rainforest trees to see. The Curtain Fig Tree is an enormous strangler fig tree over 500 years old and is located in The Curtain Fig National Park just a short drive out of Yungaburra. The aerial roots hanging down resemble curtains and there is a short boardwalk surrounding the tree. The bird songs amongst the tall rainforest giants are a must to be heard! The Twin Kauri Pines are located at Lake Barrine just 150 metres from the Teahouse on the 5km walking track. These 1000 year old giants give us a glimpse of what the first forests on earth were like. Before the Tablelands were logged there were vast numbers of Kauri trees throughout the rainforest. The Cathedral Fig Tree is also a gigantic 500 year old strangler fig tree located in the Danbulla State Forest around Lake Tinaroo Dam. It also has a boardwalk. The Gadgarra Giant Red Cedar was unfortunately blown down in cyclone Larry but you can see the stump of the massive tree which is a reminder of the logging timber days and is located off the Gillies highway near Lake Eacham.

Lake Tinaroo Dam

Lake Tinaroo Dam was created by damming the Barron River, and is now a multi-purpose storage dam providing water to tableland towns, power generation, crop irrigation, stock watering and recreation. Many water sports are enjoyed on the Lake including Barra fishing, sailing, skiing, wake boarding, knee boarding, canoeing, paddle boarding, jet boating, and swimming all year round. The scenic drive around the Lake is beautiful and worth the drive. Danbulla State Forest borders Lake Tinaroo and includes Eucalypt & Acacia forests, Pine plantations and Wet Topics World Heritage listed[u] [/u]rainforest. Kauri Creek, located amongst the camping areas in the Danbulla National Park around the Lake is a beautiful spot for swimming with crystal clear water and a sandy bottom. There is also a fantastic rainforest walking track with magnificent flora and forna. You can also catch a big Barramundi with Tinaroo Barra Sportsfishing who do full and half day tours on Lake Tinaroo.

Volcanic Crater Lakes - Lake Eacham and Lake Barrine

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Lake Eacham and Lake Barrine near Yungaburra are also known as the lakes district. Lake Eacham a volcanic crater lake, is a popular swimming spot for locals and tourists with great BBQ and picnic facilities and crystal clear water. Lake Eacham has a 3km walking track around the lake. Nearby crater lake, Lake Barrine, has a cruise boat trip around the lake to view it's beauty and nature, and a tea house restaurant with a gift shop that overlooks the crater lake and rainforest. Lake Barrine has a 5km walking track around the lake.

Mt Hypipamee Crater and Dinner Falls

The Mt Hypipamee Crater and Dinner Falls are located about 30km from Atherton on the Kennedy Highway towards Ravenshoe just past the Barron river. The Mt Hypipamee Crater is a huge diatreme otherwise known as a volcanic pipe. The pipe was opened upward through surface rocks by gas produced from molten rock below and as a result of tremendous pressure, the vent exploded sending volcanic bombs far across the landscape. It is 6 meters in diameter and 82 metres deep. There are walking tracks to both the falls and the crater. Dinner Falls are the headwaters of the Barron river. This area is also home to the Golden Bowerbird. Guests that stayed here in 2014 informed us of a nest near the falls.

Hasties Swamp and The Bromfield Swamp

Hastie's Swamp in Atherton is home to more than 200 bird species and is located just a few kms out of Atherton. Follow Herberton Road through Atherton past The Chinese Temple and the Mt Baldy walking tracks where you can also see more birds. Then just a few kms on the left is Hastie Road. Just a couple of hundred meters on the right is Hasties Swamp and has a magnificent public bird hide. A bird lovers paradise and one of my personal Atherton Tablelands must see places. See the list of [u]Hastie's Swamp bird species.[/u] See a video of hundreds of whistling ducks at Hasties Swamp on our [u] [/u] Facebook Page. The Bromfield Swamp is located just past the Malanda Falls about 3 km's on Upper Barron Road. The Swamp is a large volcanic crater that has subsided one side to create a swamp. Between the months of July to January, the Sarus Cranes can be spotted each night returning to their nests. There is also a viewing platform handy for taking magnificent photos.
See more info in our Local Guide


Atherton Tablelands Markets

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Barking Owl Retreat is also a central position for all of the Atherton Tablelands Markets.

  • Yungaburra Markets 4th Saturday Bruce Jones Grounds, Yungaburra
  • Atherton Markets 1st Saturday Platypus Park, Herberton Rd, Atherton
  • Tolga Markets 1st Sunday Morrow Racecourse, Tolga
  • Malanda Markets 3rd Saturday Malanda Show Grounds
  • Mareeba Markets 2nd & 5th Saturday Centenary Park, Mareeba
  • Ravenshoe Markets 4th Sunday Railway Station, Ravenshoe
  • Herberton Markets 3rd Sunday Sports ground, Wondecla
  • Kairi Markets 2nd Sunday Grounds across from Kairi Hotel
  • Walkamin Markets 2nd Sunday next to Walkamin Sports Complex
  • Kuranda Markets 7 Days

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