Gillies Highway

The Gillies Range and Gillies Highway

Gillies HighwayThere is no avoiding it – if you want to travel to the Tablelands, you must go up the range. The Gillies Range is a chain of summits south of Cairns that separate the Far North Queensland coastal plain from the Atherton Tableland. When I created my Outback tour, I was concerned about this winding road, famous for its 263 corners and 800 m elevation change in only 19 km of road but solved this issue by climbing the range at the commencement of the tour rather than at the end. The Gillies Highway and range were named after William N Gillies, a former Premier of Queensland. This is the route often taken by Perentie Tours and the quickest way from Cairns to access attractions such as the Curtain and Cathedral Figs, Lake Barrine, Eacham, the Crater  and the Herberton Historic Village.

 A Scenic but Winding Drive

The Gillies Highway

One of many views from the Gillies Highway

This drive is considered one of the most scenic mountainous drives in Queensland offering many visually exciting views. At the summit the area immediately opens up to rich grazing and crop producing landscape with spectacular panoramic views.

Be warned that if you are prone to motion sickness, you may need to take precautions.


The sceanic Atherton Tablelands

The scenic Atherton Tablelands


 More information can be found at

or have a look at the Perentie Tours home page


About Gary Bondeson

Gary has been directly involved in tourism in Far North Queensland since the 1990’s. His passion for the area was inspired by the rich history and many points of interest concentrated in the region and felt a strong desire to share this with others. Gary is heavily involved with tourism development and even co-hosted an episode of the popular travel show 'The Great Outdoors’ with Tom Williams showing the limestone caves of Chillagoe located 200kms west of Cairns. After being away for 5 years, Gary has now returned to the area that he holds so dear to his heart to share his knowledge and experience with those who wish to have a Fair Dinkum Ozzy experience.

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