Undara Volcanic National Park
Flora and fauna
The huge variety and population of birds is seasonal, including cormorants, herons, egrets, ibis, spoonbills, kites, eagles, falcons, quails, emus, parrots, rosellas, cockatoos, galahs and cockatiels.
There are also a huge number and variety of reptiles (Snakes and lizards) as well as marsupials such as kangaroos, wallabies and wallaroos.
You can listen for and try to spot the dozens of frogs, mostly tree frogs, that make Undara their home.
At 700m above sea level Undara has a mostly cool dry climate interrupted by monsoon rains from November to March, when most of the annual 700mm of rain falls.
This site is not easy to get to, but now has a fully sealed road all the way.
About 7.5 hrs/510km drive north west of Townsville, some of it along rather rough outback roads.
4 hrs/275km from Cairns. Head north on National Route 1 to Smithfield, then turn west up the scenic Kennedy Highway to Kuranda, then west to Mareeba, Atherton, Herbert, Ravenshoe, Innot Hot Springs, and Mt Garnet then west towards Mt Surprise. The turn off to Undara is 18km along this road, with another 14km to Undara Lava Lodge.
Access to the Undara Volcanic National Park is by guided tour only. $55 for Adults, children half price. Family tickets available.
Bookings are essential, and tours are subject to weather and climatic conditions.
Undara Experience offers several tours, on foot, usually taking a couple of hours to complete
Undara Lava Tubes
The lava tubes are a unique geological formation - huge 10-30 m diameter hollow tubes, formed by lava, running for 20-30km from nearby Undara volcano.
Formed 190,000 years ago, it's one of the few places on the planet to have lava tubes..
They have been well researched and are well presented by the local groups. Allow about 2-3 hours to explore them. This may well mean an overnight stay in the area - book ahead.
Bayliss Cave, now 1.3 km long, is the remains of a lava tube that was once over 100 km long, and is classified as a bad air cave with high levels of carbon dioxide.
Camping is not permitted within the park.