It is located west to south-south-west inland from Cairns. Although it is in the tropical latitudes, its elevated position provides a climate suitable for dairy farming. It has an area of around 32,000 km2 with an altitude ranging between 500 and 1,280 m (1,640 and 4,200 ft).
The fertility of the soils in the region can be attributed to the volcanic origins of the land.
The principal river flowing across the plateau is the Barron River. It was dammed to form an irrigation reservoir named Lake Tinaroo. Tinaroo Hydro, a small 1.6MW Hydroelectric power station is located near the spillway.