"In the beginning"


The views expressed in this blog are not necessarily the views of the blog management, (on the other hand, they are not necessarily not the views of the blog management).

No effort has been made to stay within the bounds of the truth in this blog as it has always been the view of the management that the truth should never be allowed to stand in the way of a good story.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Undara Lava Tubes

One of the wonders of Australia, the Undara Lava Tubes are reputedly the largest lava tubes in the world. Located in bushland south-west of Cairns, they can be inspected only by taking conducted tours which are organised by an eco-tourism organisation known as the Undara Experience.The tour offers a unique insight into the flora and fauna of the Australian tropics as well as allowing visitors to enter the Lava Tubes.

The tubes were formed about 190 000 years ago when 23 cubic kilometres of lava from a volcano spilled out over the land and travelled along a river bed. It is estimated that the whole process took between 2-3 weeks with the lava flowing at a rate of around 500 metres per hour. The water in the river ensured that the lava formed a vast cylindrical tunnel. It is believed that 'The Wall', the name of a section of the lava tube near Mount Surprise, is similar to the lunar ridges on the moon.

There are two branches to the Undara Lava Tubes - one runs for 16 km and the other for possibly as much as 28 km. At various points the tubes have collapsed and these can be seen from the air as dark depressions which have become heavily vegetated.

The caves are vast with maximum widths of 21.2 metres and heights of up to 10 metres. They tend to be relatively straight and only terminate where the roof has caved in.

There is a unique visitors centre consisting of a restaurant and cabins made from old Queensland Railways rolling stock in the middle of the bush, making this a spectacular spot to enjoy your visit from.

Please click on photos to enbiggen

The main reception area which has been built to compliment the rail cars that form the bulk of the complex.

The rail cars on the left are luxurious sleeping accommodation while on the right is the restaurant.

The restaurant interior is very well set out and both the service and meals are excellent.

The kitchen area is surrounded by an outdoor eating area which lends itself beautifully to the traditional Aussie Barbecue.

All paths lead to the complex through natural bushland making Undara a very special destination.


WT said...

Great stuff Pete! I've heard of the lava tubes, but I didn't know about the carriages, I love 'em!!

WT said...

PS. I think you've found your niche in the blogosphere, keep it up - I'm learning stuff all the time.

Cliff said...

Yeah, you need to slow all of this info down a bit. I didn't get this dumb learning at this rate. Good lesson. I had not heard of the tubes. Thanks again Peter.

kenju said...

There's another good reason to visit Australia! I hope I'll be born there in my next life, since that is probably the only way I'll get to see it!

Pamela said...

there are some lava tubes south of us in the Cascade range in central Oregon.

All these travelogue's are giving me itchy feet. you read that right Itchy... not B*tchy. Stop that!

karisma said...

Looks lovely! I agree, I am loving all this Aussie "culture" you are sharing with us! I could send the boys to your blog when I give them an assignment your posts are so easy to understand and enjoy! (So much more fun than boring old school!)

Look! Even WT is learning something! Says a lot for our "Catholic School" Educations! Home school Rocks!

Big hugs to you and Vicki and Rex and the cute dog and the kids and everyone else! Hehe! How many and's in that one? Sorry its the church that did it to me! I was NOT home schooled! Comma, comma, comma! (Exclamation mark!)

Dave said...

I learn something new every time I come here Peter! I never knew Australia was volcanic. Never really thought of it.

Great post bud..!

Walker said...

I love the restaurant.
We have something likeit here and it create a relaxing atmospher.
The lava tubes look cool too.
I am amazed at some of the things i see around the world through people blogs and on TV

Jack K. said...

Peter, great photos. What a beautiful area. I needed to see then because of the cold and promised snow this weekend.

Puss-in-Boots said...

Hi Peter, I've heard of the Undara tubes and now it's great to read about them via your blog. I wouln't go in them though...claustrophobia. Give me the willies just to think of it.

Those train carriages remind me of my trip to Toowoomba on the old steam train. They really did in style in those days.

Merle said...

Hi Peter ~ ~ It took a devil of a time to get the comments opened her today. I just want to let you know that I have passed an award on to you. Hope you enjoy the Lemonade one.
Sorry, no Riccadonna. How is Vicki going ~ ~is she getting used to the exercises or are they still torture?
Take care, Love to you both, Merle.