national park in Australia
Oceania > Australia > Queensland > Far North Queensland > Undara Volcanic National Park

Undara Volcanic National Park is in the Far North Queensland region of Australia.

Understand edit

History edit

Undara is an Aboriginal word for 'a long way'. The Ewamian (pronounced your-amin) Aboriginal people are the traditional owners of the national park.

European people moved into the area in the 1860s and prior the national park being declared the area was used for cattle grazing. The lava tubes were well recognised by 1891 and had unmanaged intermittent visits. Guided tours commenced in 1989.

Prior to the formation of the national park the area was owned by the Collins Family who settled in the region in 1862. The family had developed infrastructure (known now as the Undara Experience) before the park formation and they were given a special business lease to continue the tourist operation after the national park was declared.

In 2009 as part of the Q150 celebrations, the Undara Volcanic National Park was announced as one of the Q150 Icons of Queensland for its role as a "Natural attraction". The park management plan has a focus of protecting the geological values and enhancing visitor service and facilities.

Landscape edit

Flora and fauna edit

There are more than 120 species of bird including the vulnerable Red Goshawk, per Queensland Parks and Wildlife Services, but E-bird has recorded 132 species at Undara Experience just on the northern edge of the park.

The park is home to four insectivorous or microbats of which provide food for various snakes and birds of prey. One of the caves in the park, Bayllis Cave is one of the world’s most biologically diverse caves which recorded 52 resident species including the most diverse assemblage of arthropods found in a cave in Far North Queensland.

The park is also home to a wide range of macroropods including the Common Wallaroos, the Antilopine Wallaroo and the Northern Quoll.

Much of the national park is dry savanna woodland but the lava tubes and collapse areas now provide an environment for other vegetation to flourish in the damp interiors. The lava tubes show up as rich green vine thickets that have strong affinities with Gondwana species. The rare white-flowered onion vine occurs within the park's vine thickets.

Climate edit

Get in edit

This site is not very easy to get to. About 5 hours drive northwest of Townsville, some of it along rather rough outback roads. Or about 3 hours from Cairns via the Atherton Tablelands. Access is off the Savannah Way (Highway 1).

Fees and permits edit

Get around edit

You can only get around via a guided tour.

See edit

  • Undara Lava Tubes. The lava tubes are a unique geological formation - huge hollow tubes caused by lava run off from a nearby volcano. It's one of the few places on the planet to have lava tubes. The lava tubes at Undara are huge, running for 20-30 km from their origin, and 10-30 metres in diameter. 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.

Do edit

Buy edit

Eat edit

There are no cafes or restaurants in Undara Volcanic National Park. Bring your own food.

Drink edit

Sleep edit

Lodging edit

Camping edit

Camping is not permitted within the park.

Stay safe edit

Go next edit

This park travel guide to Undara Volcanic National Park is a usable article. It has information about the park, for getting in, about a few attractions, and about accommodations in the park. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.