Sunday, March 11, 2007

Undara part II

The road from Charters Towers north to Undara is pretty featureless. If you were dropped off just about anywhere on the route, you wouldn't be able to tell where you were. One stretch of about 100km was just trees, grass, termite mounds, and a narrow, one lane sealed road. Numerous oncoming 4-trailer road trains ensured alertness, though. These guys do not swerve off the sealed bit - you do!

The first evening at Undara, I went out to one of the lava tubes, where roosting bats emerge at dusk to catch insects. The photo was taken in almost complete darkness, although that never bothered the bats. They fly so close to your face that you feel the wind from their wings. On the trees around the tube mouth, tree pythons curl around branches, ready to catch dinner.

A caved-in section of lava tube, with a pocket of rainforest sheltering from the heat of day.

The dark line shows the track of a collapsed lava tube, with wetter forest growing in the trough.

Undara lodge hides in the bush. Seen here from a granite bluff behind the camp. It's a great place, with restaurant, bar, and accommodation in converted railway carriages, permanent tents or people's own tents and caravans. It can pack in around 400 people, but when I was there, they had less than ten. Everyone stays away in summer, even though it never got over 35!


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