If this 102 year old lady could speak she would fill volumes with her tales, her patrons and lodgers (characters that they were) worked to build a railway to connect the Atherton Tableland with the coastal centre of Cairns. Step inside and the grandness of the Malanda hotel remains, just imagine a bygone era of pioneer settlers, timber cutters, railway gangs, graziers, farmers, and their ladies, dancing a jig and waltzing on the beautiful timber floors in the ballroom. The heritage listed Malanda hotel was built in 1911, and it is claimed to be the largest single timber structure in Queensland, the hotel’s huge ballroom was filled to capacity on many a night, and most of the original features of the hotel can still be enjoyed by visitors today. Malanda was originally named Tutamonlin; it was surveyed for closer settlement farms in 1906 and is in close proximity to the small town of Tumoulin on the Evelyn Tableland. Malanda’s first school, opened in 1913.It is thought that Malanda is derived from an aboriginal word used to describe the upper Johnstone River or a place on the river. For camera buffs and for your holiday memories, the Malanda waterfalls is only minutes from the main street, and a conveniently located, council operated, pet friendly, caravan park is adjacent to the falls, just follow the path from your cabin or caravan to the swimming pool at the base of the falls, and enjoy a refreshing swim, or continue your walk in the tropical rainforest to photograph the elusive tree kangaroo, or perhaps a Boyd forest dragon, remember to look up and be quiet for your chance to sight this amazing wildlife. Malanda is the home of the Malanda Milk factory, once the headquarters of the longest and largest milk run in the world, servicing towns from Mt Isa in the west to Weipa and Darwin in the Northern Territory, and exported to Indonesia and Malaysia, starting from humble beginnings, fresh milk on the Tableland became a reality, when in 1908 James English and James Emerson, along with other settlers walked their dairy herds 2,000 klms from the Northern Rivers of NSW to Malanda, a long and hard journey, causalities were high and half the stock was lost before they reached the settlement. Malanda owes its existence to the dairy and timber industries, the discovery of tin and copper in nearby Herberton also played a major role in the development of Malanda, today the Malanda milk company no longer exists, the factory is now named ‘Dairy Farmers’ the history and wonderful displays of the early dairy industry may be viewed at the Malanda Dairy Centre, Udder Experience and Information Centre all located in one complex, with ample parking for large RV’s and caravans beside the centre, at the entrance to the centre marvel at the sculptures of a dairy farmer and his family, the farmer is loading milk cans onto his tractor and his children are standing on the fence rails watching, a typical day in the life of a dairy farmer. In the centre there is an old Malanda railway carriage, black and white Friesian dairy cows and various farm animals, the timber, dairy and railway history are on display at the museum inside the centre, entry to the museum is a gold coin. With a variety of delicious refreshments and hot and cold drinks, take the time to share the experience, reflect on a time gone by and feel at ease beside life size mannequins of an army nurse and American soldier sitting at one of the tables, a reminder of the 300,000 Australian and American soldiers who were stationed or hospitalised on the Atherton Tableland during World War 2.
Arrange a tour to see the working Malanda milk ‘Dairy Farmers” factory. For an “udder experience.” a visit to this centre is recommended. Malanda is only 17 minutes (20 klms) from Atherton on the Atherton Tablelands.