Day 77

Greenvale – Archer Creek rest area

Today we went to Undara Lava Tubes.  Very interesting.  Very dark, and so hard to take photos. But, as always, here’s a few anyway.

To see the tubes you have to go with a tour guide, on a bus to the site.  It was a very short walk from the bus to the tubes.  On the way we saw this tree, and the guide told us a little about it.

bottle_tree1Looks a lot like a boab tree (well we thought so anway), but it’s not.  It is a Queensland Bottle Tree.bottle_tree2The marks on the trunk of the tree are remnants from vines being tied around the tree to aid climbing up to get the fruit of the tree.

Then to the lava tubes.  The Undara tubes are basically one long tube that flowed from the volcano.  There are 69 known tubes still intact.  Between these are many that have broken and caved in.  These tend to be filled with rainforest.  Odd when the surrounding area is quite dry.

Here’s the entrance to the first section of tube we looked at.undara1The colours and textures, shapes and patterns of the walls and roof within the tubes is amazing.  The tubes are formed when the lava flows from the volcano; the outer layer cools and hardens, but inside the crust the lava continues to flow.  That is why they are hollow.undara2This is looking back out of the first tube, to the entrance.undara3This next tube section we visited is called The Arch.  Pretty obvious why.undara4Just inside the third, and final, tube we visited there was enough mositure and light to support some plant growth.  The moss looked awesome.  The dips and rises on the ground are caused by the drips coming down from the roof.undara5We had a really enjoyable time.  A pity that I can’t share more photos with you, but everything we saw was by torch light, and hard to take a good picture of.

We saw micro bats, and baby micro bats in a nursery.  So teeny tiny.  Back at the campground we saw this bird that looks a bit like a cross between a magpie and a crow, but not quite either one of those.  I asked one of the guides what it was – a Currawong. This particular one was a Pied.currawongThe accommodation for visitors in the park is old train carriages.  They were brought in to minimise damage to the surrounding environment.  This particular one is for the staff, but I took a photo of it because it dates from the 1800’s.undara_train_carriage

We didn’t stay at Undara.  We decided to keep driving.  There was a rest stop just outside of the National Park, but it turned out to be not too late in the afternoon, and we decided to push on and drive a little further.

And I’m so glad we did.   Our stop tonight is just gorgeous.  A huge area for vehicles to park.  Free firewood.  And a small section closed off to vehicles, but available to those with tents, down by the creek.  A swing in the tree.  Just beautiful.

The kids wanted to take advantage of the free firewood.  They built a fire.  I couldn’t get it lit. But we had help (paper) from one of our friendly neighbours.

archer_creek1archer_creek2I had purchased some marshmallows a while ago in anticipation of having a fire one night.  We put them to good use this evening.  The kids discovered the joy of setting their marshmallows on fire and then blowing them out.  We even put a marshmallow on a piece of wood in the fire to see what it would do.  Very interesting.  After this we had dinner, ate it around the fire in the fading light.  A bat or two flying around looking for their dinner too.archer_creek3

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