The Undara Experience

I visited Undara during a geological field trip a few years back. I had no idea what to expect because I had never even heard of them before – how had I not?! Obviously I googled before I went and I learned that it was the largest known lava tube system in Australia; spanning over 90km to the north and over 160km to the northwest of the original volcano.

WOAH!

Needless to say I was pretty keen to get there. As I drove through the Far North Queensland countryside for the first time I was overwhelmed at how beautiful it was. We saw this outcrop on the way to the lava tubes and decided on the way home to stop in there and have a look (I was with a bus load of geologists so you can imagine their excitement at all things geology).

IMG_3482836488608

I am so glad we did stop though because I may not have ever seen this incredible view.

FNQ

When you drive through the entrance to Undara you can immediately tell why it is so popular. In addition to the amazing cave, the pristine Australian savannah covers the landscape and gives you a feeling like no other. The gorgeous refurbished railway carriages are set out near reception, which provide the unique eco-accommodation that Undara is now well known for.

Natural Heritage

The Undara lava lube system is Australia’s longest. This National Park was once an active shield volcano, until 190000 years ago when it had an incredibly large eruption. The lava flowed over 90km to the north and over 160km to the northwest; an estimated 23.3 km3 of lava. It was flowing from the volcano at a rate of about 1000 m3 every second, at a temperature of around 1200°c; large enough to have filled the Sydney Harbour with lava in six days. After this event, over 50 unique caves were found with specialised ecosystems, as well as well preserved craters, lava ponds and flows, and perennial springs.

IMG_3355981307631

Cultural Heritage

Undara Volcanic National Park, and most of the Etheridge Shire, is the traditional country of the Ewamian (pronounced yur-amin) Aboriginal people. The word Undara is aboriginal in origin, meaning long way. The Ewamian will always show their connection to country though involvement in a range of activities, including cultural heritage surveys and conservation, camping, hunting, gathering, ritual, and maintenance of their traditional land. Archaeological material discovered here includes stone artefacts and scarred trees which have been associated with caves, vine-thickets and springs.

The area was rediscovered in 1862 by the Collins family, who happened to be the first white settlers to the region. Undara was a part of a large pastoral station which was once known as Rosella Plains (names after the rosella plants which are found in the national park).

Being at the gateway to the Undara Volcano National Park gives you the best opportunity to see and experience the most.

Undara Volcanic Park

Undara Volcanic Parkinformation
Savannah Way, Queensland 4871
Phone: 07 4097 1955
Toll Free (Within Australia): 1800 990 992
Email: res@undara.com.au

Accommodation

At Undara there are a range of accommodation options to suit your budget and style. From the huts to the refurbished carriages, to sleeping under the stars – there is something for everyone. Our group opted to stay at the Safari Shelter as it is specifically designed for large groups. There is enough room for 30+ tents, and we easily had room to pitch our tents around the shelter which is used as the camp kitchen. The camp kitchen is undercover and comes with power points, hot and cold water, a free gas BBQ, and tables and chairs. This area is serviced by a separate amenities block from the other camping grounds. There is a fire pit for night time fires – and as we learned, the rock wallabies love to come up and steal your marshmallows! The other great thing about this area is that it has drive through access so there is no need to do any U-turns.

Pioneer Huts from $180 per night
Railway Carriages from $90 per night
Swags Tent Village from $47 per night
Safari Shelter (for groups with a minimum of 10 people) from $12.50 per night
Outback Caravan park and Camp Ground from $12.50 per night

Activities

There are so many activities to keep you busy whilst you visit Undara, whether it be for a day trip or longer.

Bush Walking – there are a variety of tracks available from easy to hard
Mountain Biking – there are a range of mountain biking tracks from easy to hard
Round the Campfire – free country entertainment at 8pm every night
Wildlife Spotting – there are tours available to spot the local wildlife, or you could head out on your own along one of the tracks

Food

There are a whole range of different ways to get your sustenance while out at Undara. From using your own camping gear, to the on site bistro, to the Bush Breakfast. Experience Undara however you please with so many things to choose from.

Bushmans Breakfast from $12 per child and $24 per adult
Fetler’s Iron Pot Bistro – open daily for lunch and dinner. Must try the chocolate volcano.

Tours

Tours are essential to gain access to Undara Volcanic National Park. Bookings are essential for these tours and they do depend on the weather at the time.

Archway Explorer Billys

Allow 2 hours | Easy
Departs 10:30am all year round; 8am, 1pm & 3:30pm departures are subject to availability.
This is an introductory tour in to the lava tubes and the areas history.

Adult $55.00
Child $27.50
Family (2 Adults and up to 4 Children) $165.00

Active Explorer

Allow 2 hours | Moderate
Departs  8am, 10:30am, 1pm & 3:30pm. Subject to availability from April to October.
This tour allows you to see more of the caves and history of the region.

Adult $55.00
Child $27.50
Family (2 Adults and up to 4 Children) $165.00

Lava Tubes Black & White

Mobility Impaired

Customised tours to be booked at least 72hours in advance.
Subject to availability.

Adult $55.00
Child $27.50
Family (2 Adults and up to 4 Children) $165.00

Wildlife at SunsetKangaroos at Undara

Allow 2 hours | Moderate
Departs between 5 & 6pm year round – confirm when booking
Enjoy the sunset and see some of the fabulous local wildlife.
Includes refreshments.

Adult $60.00
Child $30.00

If you like it you should pin it.

Undara Experience

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

twenty − sixteen =

CommentLuv badge