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Undara Volcanic National Park
Undara Volcanic National Park Review
The lava tubes here are a fascinating geological oddity in the Outback. A volcanic outpouring 190,000 years ago created the hollow basalt, tubelike tunnels, many of which you can wander through on tours led by trained guides. Undara is the Aboriginal word for "a long way," and it's apt: one of the original lava tubes extended for 100 miles in total, and several sections of it can still be explored on guided tours. The lava tubes extend over an area of 580-odd square miles; some are 62 feet high and half a mile long.
Undara Experience. Vintage railway cars have been converted into comfortable (if compact) motel rooms (A$80–A$125) at the Undara Experience. You can also camp; unpowered or powered sites are A$20 and A$30 per night, respectively. The lodge, 275 km (171 mi) or a four-hour drive from Cairns, has 12 three-person dorm rooms (A$50 per person) and is set amid savanna and woodlands. It supplies the complete Outback experience: bush breakfasts, campfire activities, lava-tube tours (A$47.50–A$132), snake shows (A$22), and guided evening wildlife walks (A$47.50). Two- and three-night Outback Experience packages that incorporate tours, campfire activities, some meals, and accommodation cost A$356 (3 nights) or A$246 (2 nights) if you self-drive; pricing available from A$368 (two nights) if they arrange transportation (options include coach or Savannahlander train transfers to and from Cairns). You can also make various daytrips to Undara, including a lava tubes tour, by plane or helicopter from Cairns or Port Douglas for A$540–A$1,935, or by air (some include a GBR scenic flight en route. Alternatively, take a three-day photography tour for A$550, including meals and tours but not transfers or accommodation. Undara Volcanic Park, Savannah Way, Mt. Surprise, QLD, 4871. 07/4097–1900 or 1800/990–992. www.undara.com.au.
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