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Visiting the Curtain Fig Tree in Yungaburra, Tablelands

Visiting the Curtain Fig Tree in Yungaburra, Tablelands

Olly Gaspar

By Olly Gaspar, full-time traveler for 6 years. I visit every place I write about & share real tips, photos, & advice from my trips.

A quick guide to the popular Curtain Fig Tree, Yungaburra, in the Far North Queensland Tablelands Region. Explore this incredible natural wonder on a short pit stop near the Crater Lakes.

The incredible, 500-year-old Curtain Fig Tree in Yungaburra is one of the most underrated pitstops on any trip to the Tablelands. Located just a few kilometres from Yungaburra, the very small Curtain Fig National Park is truly a hidden gem unbeknownst to most visitors but a proud icon for Tablelands locals.

This is a stop that I usually make when driving around the Tablelands chasing waterfalls. In fact, I’ve been here over a dozen times. In this guide, I’ll give you a thorough rundown of everything you need to know about this awesome attraction and ancient tree in Far North Queensland, based on my visits.

Curtain fig tree yungaburra

Where is the Curtain Fig Tree?

You'll find this unique fig tree in the Curtain Fig National Park, just 2 km west from Yungaburra on the Gillies Highway. Look for signs to a turn-off to Fig Tree Road, where you'll find a roadside car park near the boardwalk.

Map showing the location of the curtain fig tree in far north queensland

How to Get to the Curtain Fig Tree From Cairns

If you're in Cairns and want to check out the awesome attractions in the Tablelands like this ancient tree, then it's best to have your own car. This gives you the freedom to explore more attractions up in this part of Far North Queensland.

If you don't have your own car, there is a tour that I've been on and can recommend if you want to see other waterfalls as well.

Josephine falls waterfall rock slide

Tablelands Waterfall Tour Top Pick

Explore Atherton Tableland's majestic waterfalls & rainforest, visiting some of my favourites including Millaa Millaa & Josephine Falls.

Travel tip: I recommend checking out the Crater Lakes nearby, and, if you're up for it, the Windin Falls hike offers one of my favourite views of the ancient rainforest!

Driving Directions to the Curtain Fig Tree

Heading out from the heart of Cairns, I take usually take Sheridan Street, before making my way towards the Bruce Highway/A1. It's a quick transition through Comport Street and onto Ray Jones Drive, which connects to the highway.

  • Join Bruce Hwy/A1: This is where the journey truly begins, and I'm on this for the next 60.9 kilometers.

Once on the Bruce Highway, the scenery shifts to a more rural landscape.

  • Take Gillies Range Road: After the stretch on the highway, turn onto State Route 52, known as Gillies Range Road. This climbs all the way up the mountain to the Atherton Tablelands.
  • Continue past Lake Barine: Following straight, pass the township of Yungaburra and then take a left turn onto Curtain Fig Tree Road. It's a narrow road, canopied by trees, which makes the final 1.4 kilometers feel like driving through a green tunnel.

The destination is on the left: the majestic Curtain Fig Tree. You won't see it form the car park (a cleared area) but there is a sign. Parking is free and the road is accessible for any vehicle.

Car in the rainforest near cairns

Car Rentals in Far North Queensland

Cairns is one of the most popular travel destinations in Australia and car rentals quickly book out!

I've missed out on cars before & recommend booking well in advance. I always use DiscoverCars as they compare the widest range of rentals across dealerships in the Far North.

What to Expect When Visiting the Curtain Fig Tree

From the car park, there is a short 180 m looping and elevated wooden boardwalk track that leads to the incredible Curtain Fig Tree. The boardwalk wraps around the tree, which means that you can get a good vantage point at nearly every angle.

Although this national park is very small, it seems as if you're transported into a prehistoric, Jurassic landscape nearly as soon as you enter. The sounds of tropical birds echo within a wide amphitheater of jungle vines and twisted roots

This truly is a magical spot worthy of a visit on a trip to the Tablelands.

This particular Fig Tree has been named the Curtain Fig due to the 15-metre heigh aerial roots that drop from the canopy to the rainforest floor. The tree is nearly 50 metres tall, with a circumference of 39 metres.

500 year old curtain fig tree in tablelands queensland

How Old is the Curtain Fig?

Although it's difficult to tell, most sources point to the Curtain Fig tree being around 500 years old.

Curtain fig strangler

How did it Form?

There is a very informative plaque just below the tree which does a better job of explaining the process than I can. But, basically, the Yungaburra Curtain Fig Tree was formed by germinating inside the bark of an existing tree and growing roots to the ground. Once rooted, the strangler fig grows rapidly, killing the host tree in the process.

Did you know? The Curtain Fig tree reserve safeguards a precious tract of mabi forest, a rare and threatened ecosystem. "Mabi" is the term used by the Ngadjon people, the local Indigenous custodians, to describe the habitat of the Lumholtz's tree-kangaroo.

Curtain fig tree yungaburra

Where to Stay in the Atherton Tablelands

With all of the epic things to do in the Atherton Tablelands, you're probably a little overwhelmed! Don't worry, below I've got recommendations for the three best places to stay here to help you plan your visit.

Atherton motel

1. Atherton Hinterland Motel Value

A convenient motel with clean rooms located just a 10-minute walk into Atherton town. Each room has a fridge, microwave, TV, and kitchenware

Chambers lodge in the tablelands

2. Chambers Wildlife Rainforest Lodges

Beautiful lodges set in the tropical rainforest near Lake Eacham. Features an on-site pool and great opportunities for wildlife spotting off the verandah!

Rainforest cottage in the tablelands

3. Crater Lakes Rainforest Cottages Top Pick

The best-rated accommodation in the Tablelands based on customer reviews. Located in a superb location in the rainforest. Each cottage has a spa bath & private deck with BBQ.

FAQ About Visiting the Tableland's Curtain Fig Tree

What are the opening hours for the Curtain Fig Tree area?

The park is open year-round, 24 hours a day. The best time to visit is during daylight hours to fully appreciate just how big this tree is!

Is there an entry fee to visit the Curtain Fig Tree?

No, visiting is free! Parking is also available near the start of the 180 m track and is also free.

How long does it typically take to visit the Curtain Fig Tree?

I usually make a stop here in the Tablelands and spend about 15 minutes walking around the tree on the boardwalk. However, if this is your first time visiting, I'd suggest spending at least 30 minutes here, listening to the birds and taking some photos.

Can I take photos or videos at the Curtain Fig Tree?

Definitely, all the photos on my blog are taken by me. Based on my experience, this tree is one of my favorite photography subjects in the region.

Is the Curtain Fig Tree accessible for visitors with mobility issues?

Yes, I saw a boardwalk around the tree that is wheelchair accessible since there is also a ramp.

Can I touch or climb the Curtain Fig Tree?

No, climbing the tree is prohibited. There is a small sign there telling people to not touch the tree.

More Queensland Travel Guides and Blogs

Hopefully, this quick guide to visiting the famous Yungaburra Curtain Fig tree in the incredible Tablelands has been helpful for you.

For more travel inspiration and guides, take a pick from the list below.

Thanks for Reading

I'm Olly Gaspar, adventure traveler from Australia. I’ve spent the last six years traveling the world full-time, sharing my first-hand experiences & photography in over 700 travel guides on We Seek Travel. I visit every destination I write about to bring you unique travel itineraries, epic hiking routes, fun tour ideas, travel & photography gear ideas, & interesting places to stay.

I only make genuine, worthwhile recommendations based on my experience, expertise, & research. If you buy through my links, I may get a commission, supporting this website at no extra cost to you. Read my Publishing Ethics Statement.