Leaving Undara Lava Tubes we drove towards the Atherton Tablelands through flat, dry country generously sprinkled with volcanic cones (we counted nine from the car at one point). The change between Mount Garnet and Ravenshoe was dramatic: hills! and rain! and big trees!
Ravenshoe prides itself on being the highest town in Queensland and one of its pubs, naturally, claims the title of Queensland’s highest hotel.
Undara is very similar to Cobbold Gorge (last post but one) in that it is a privately-owned tourist operation showcasing a spectacular geological formation in the middle of what was once a cattle station in the Gulf country. We had two nights at each and would have been happy with longer.
Cobbold Gorge is young and very beautiful. It was born about 10,000 years ago when a creek in Western Queensland was blocked and needed to find another way down into the Robertson River.
This is sandstone country so erosion proceeds quickly and the gorge is now many metres deep – although still very narrow – and fantastically carved by floodwaters and the debris they carry. The creek water is some metres deep, we were told, and is darkened to a rich jade green by sediments it carries.
But let’s start a bit further back, for context, and zoom in from far above…