NOW: UNDARA LAVA TUBES
The Gulf Development Road took us from Karumba on the gulf to Georgetown which was a bustling mining town in the 1800s. The Cumberland Chimney is all that remains of the large mining township 20 kilometres west of Georgetown. Built by Cornish miners 200 years ago the chimney still stands tall and people still search for that elusive gold nugget in the Georgetown area.
After a night in Georgetown we arrived at Undara in time for an afternoon tour of the lava tubes. As we were driven into the national park we saw Bottle Trees and savannah woodlands with small patches of remnant rainforest.
The lava tubes are huge rounded caverns that extend for 160 kms from the Undara Volcano. In places the tunnel roof has collapsed and rainforest has grown up from the tunnel floor. From above the patches of rainforest show the path of the tunnel.
In places the lava has dropped over cliffs like a waterfall with rain then silting up the tube and blocking the tunnel. Bats make their homes in the tubes and rock wallabies live in the valleys and cliffs where the roof to the lava tubes has collapsed.
Guided tours of the volcano rim are also available but we took ourselves now that we understood the geological history and what we were looking at. On the Kalkani Crater Rim Walk we could see the Undara Crater in the distance. When this volcano erupted it oozed slowly and formed the lava tubes.
From Undara we stopped in at the Innot Hot Springs where we started to see green grass for the first time in months. We enjoyed a relaxing soak in the mineral waters but the hottest pool was too hot for us. It was a bit like the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears where the medium heat pool “was just right”.
NEXT: THE ATHERTON TABLELANDS
See you on the Emu Track
Cheryl and David