Atherton or Udara

Aug 26th, 2005, 06:14 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 26
Atherton or Udara

We will have 3 days in Cairns in Sept. 1 will be Kuranda-Tjupukai, 1 Daintree and was wondering about a tour for the 3rd. Undara discription "Travel via the Palmerston Highway to the Great Dividing Range
and magnificent Undara Volcanic National Park. Join a guided tour of the Undara Lava Tubes. Formed by volcanic activity some 190 000 years ago, the park protects the extensive volcanic flows that are now breeding sanctuaries and nursery sites for the rainforest environment and animals. Passengers need to be independently mobile and sturdy footwear must be worn." or Atherton "C5+C-Dep. 7.30 a.m. Ret. 5.30 p.m.
Travel to the volcanic crater of Lake Barrine and enjoy an informative cruise and a delicious morning tea. See the Curtain Fig Tree, the stunning Millaa Millaa Falls and Millaa Millaa Lookout. View the unique Windy Hill Wind Farm Development at Ravenshoe. Stop at Woodleigh Cattle Station for lunch and a guided tour of the pioneer homestead. Visit the Mareeba Cultural and Heritage Museum (entry
fee included) before returning to Cairns via the scenic Kuranda Range." Which would give us a better "feel" for the area? Thanks

silkismom is offline  
Aug 26th, 2005, 11:48 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
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Don't go to Undara as a day trip unless by plane. It's WAY too far from Cairns.

Personally, I'm not much for tours so I'd opt to rent a car for the day and explore the Tablelands on my own. It's easy to get around up there. Most of the things you mentioned you don't need any kind of guide to do or appreciate. You can do the Lake Barrine cruise, eat at the tea house, see the waterfalls, curtain/cathedral fig trees, visit towns, do some walks and much more.

But what about visiting the GBR? That's usually top of the list.
pb_and_j is offline  
Aug 26th, 2005, 02:30 PM
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We will definitely be doing the GBR, in fact we're going to be on the Nimrod, dive liveaboard for 4 nts. So we're just looking for something to fill another day in Cairns.
silkismom is offline  
Aug 26th, 2005, 02:51 PM
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As pb_and_j said, do NOT go to Undara in a day. It is too far to do in one day.
For Undara you should at least have 2 days, staying overnight in their accommodation. If you go there you need time to really enjoy the area. It is absolutly stunning and worth the time.
You could also include the great Cobbold Gorge which is not know to a lot of people. It is further out west, but really beautiful.
myaustralia is offline  
Aug 26th, 2005, 05:17 PM
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Agree with the others, its a 4 hour drive each way Cairns-Undara (via Atherton Tableland) and you'd only have time for the shorter Lava Tube tour. If you self drive you can either stay overnight at Undara in converted railway carriage or break the journey half way and stay at somewhere like Ravenshoe. The Pond Cottage there, in heart of Misty Mountain Trails, has platypus and other abundant wildlife on site. Of course, self-drivers still need to take guided tour in the actual lava tubes, you'd want to anyway, as the Gulf Savannah guides are well trained and informative.

There's many a tour of the Tableland and am not familiar with the tour code you quoted, do you know the name of the tour company? As mentioned elsewhere its a very easy self-drive, if you do this don't miss Mareeba Wetlands (closed Monday and Tuesday though).

If you do choose Tableland as a tour, one which only takes 8 people, 4WD, with access to restricted access areas is Wilderness Eco Safaris. Steve is a "local" who knows his stuff and offers World Heritage Rainforest and Australian bush, with associated wildlife in areas not frequented by tourists, or anyone else for that matter.
pat_woolford is offline  
Aug 27th, 2005, 05:44 AM
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The tour co. is APT (Australian Pacific touring)I have 3 discount coupons, will use 2 in MEL for penguin parade & GOR and not sure where to use the other one.
silkismom is offline  
Aug 27th, 2005, 06:47 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
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I loved visiting the Atherton Tablelands and swimming in the lakes/waterfalls! It was awesome... I was the only one in the group to go swimming at each spot. And it was worth it!!! I remember that day as one of my faves of the holiday for that! The nice swimming spots!

December 20, 2004
Atherton Tablelands Tour, Waterfall Swims

And a few pictures...
christellefv is offline  
Aug 27th, 2005, 03:32 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 130
What you pay is what you get. APT is one of the big operators who drives people around in big busses and vehicles. You will get your discounted tours, but you also "get a discount on what you see".
I would rather spend more and go with Pat's advice. WES is definitely the way to go if you prefer a tour unless of course you prefer lots of people around you and less personalized service.
myaustralia is offline  
Aug 27th, 2005, 04:16 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 3,680
Yes, had a feeling it was APT - they do take large groups in large vehicles. I think the cost (undiscounted) is AU$120pp, Steve is AU$145, but offers so much more, and keeps away from touristed areas which APT visits.

But if you would like to include Lake Barrine and Paronella Park, Trek North does a small group trip - - under heading "Paronella Park" at a very reasonable AU$112pp
pat_woolford is offline  
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