Smithsdownunder
Our journeys around Australia

16-May-2005
   

We stopped at the Undara Volcanic National Park for a couple of nights. This area has 164 extinct (or dormant if you believe the guide) volcanoes. One of them, 'Undara' erupted about 190,000 years ago and spewed out 23 cubic kilometres of lava. Some of this lava flowed along riverbeds and as it did so, the lava on the outside solidified but inside it kept flowing. After about a year, the lava stopped flowing and left empty tubes. These tubes are quite extensive and some stretch for 160kms. We went on a tour inside a couple of these tubes, which are the biggest of their kind in the world.

Lava Tube at Undara Volcanic National Park

Lava Tube
View from Mount Kilkani

We climbed to the top of one of the volcanoes, Mount Kilkani, just to take a picture to show you what the surrounding countryside looks like. Here is the view from the crater rim.

Well it was only 60mtrs high but it was a very hot day.

This area is called the Gulf Savannah and it stretches like this for hundreds of miles, short trees and lots of grassland. The land is used to farm cattle and several of the road trains we saw were hauling cattle trucks. I stopped to take some pictures of a round up where they were loading some trucks but when I asked if it was OK to take some pictures, I was told politely that it would not be possible. Think they were a bit sensitive about animal liberation people. It's a shame because there were some great photo opportunities. The cattle had been rounded up from a one million square acre paddock using helicopters.
Camping at Undarra

The campsite at Undara was good with plenty of space and we had a pitch that looked out into the bush.

The caravan at Undara

There was plenty of wildlife around. These wallabies just went about their business ignoring the campers and the kookaburras woke us up in the morning.

Campsite Wallaby and the morning alarm clock

Wallaby at UndarraKookaburra
Tawny Frogmouth Owl I was lucky enough to spot some Tawny Frogmouth owls sat in a low tree not far from the caravan. I think it must have been a mum and two youngsters. As you can see, their camouflage is almost perfect.

I got with a couple of metres of them to take the photos but they didn't move at all, just slight peep out of one eyelid.

Tawny Frogmouth Owl Chicks.

Tawny Frogmouth Owl chicks