TravellingStrom

Riding to the end of the world, and beyond!

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Day 10 – August 28

Posted by TravellingStrom on August 28, 2008

I woke to the sound of my neighbourly shetland pony rubbing against a pipe, looking for a scratch 🙂

A leisurely breakfast, did some washing. I had booked a spot on the lava tube tour and did not have to be there until 10.30am. It was only 50km down the road, back towards the coast. I made it in good time and Coral the tour guide drove a group of us to the site. There was two groups, I picked the bus that had no kids as there was walking involved

After a short 10 minute drive we got out and walked through some savannah country

Until we came to some boardwalk steps and pathways, this is where the $50 entry fee goes to, adding and maintaining the walkways, to preserve the site and to make it more accessible to tourists. Prior to these being built only 3,000 visitors managed it per year, now they get around 43,000 per year. Here you can see the rainforest habitat at the entrance to a lava tube

And then the entrance from the inside at the bottom of a set of stairs, this tube was about 15m high inside

If you look closely you can see the boardwalks, they used to have to walk on the dirt which is built up silt, you can also see in the foreground the roots of the trees up there at the entrance

These are only young tubes, only 190,000 years old, also there is no lime or enough constant water or time enough to form any stalagmites/tites etc, what they do have though is calcium cabbages, the white crustations on the walls that have leached out

After exiting that tube we walked a small distance to another site and on the way we saw this scrub turkey sitting on a branch, he is bottom centre with his back to us and a red head. He is watching his nest, very hard to spot as it is just a big pile of leaves in top centre. He looks after the eggs and sticks his head in the nest to check the temperature, if it is too hot, he scratches some leaves away, or too cold he puts more on.

These tubes of lava were only found because the roofs caved in and allowed a habitat to form. The actual volcano is about 80km away and these tubes are the longest in the world and carry on for about 160km. Not all the tubes are exposed, just some of them. Undara is an aboriginal word meaning ‘Long Way’ which was given to the lava fields by an explorer. The aboriginals have no history or any interest in these sites, except that there is food here which they can gather. So we headed to another section which is just a small archway, open at both ends where the roof collapsed, that is Coral on the left with the hat

You can see a great Fig tree on the pile of rocks, then down inside about 60m away you can see the roots of the same tree. Apparently Fig tree roots can go up to 500m, so don’t put one in your backyard or you will have strife!

Here you can see the mottled effect of the original lava walls and the brown line at the bottom is like a tide mark as the level went down and the lava cooled

Then on the way out after a 2 hour tour we spotted this rock wallaby sitting in the sun, amongst the rocks of course

The resort made use of a whole stack of old railway carriges as they were long and thin, ideal to fit amongst the trees without chopping to many out, good idea 🙂

I had come prepared with a salad roll from the caravan park as out here it is full restaurant meals only, no fast food. So I am sitting chewing away when I noticed that I had been noticed right above me, you got to watch out for these cheeky buggers, they can rip the food from your mouth if you don’t watch out 🙂

Coaral had told us that there was a turnoff to a Kalkani volcano on the way out, it would be a 1 1/2 hour walk around the rim. I was interested and the road was dirt, about 6km long

As I had left all my camping gear and tank bag at the van site, the bike handled so much better and I was quite enjoying the dirt ride. I eventually found a park

The read some info and started the walk

The dark green line is right in the middle of the frame

All the hills around here are volcanos, inactive hopefully

There not many people who can say they climbed a volcano and walked its rim in 40minutes, but I can now say, I have done it 🙂

Putting my riding boots back on and was being watched again, what is it with these avians?

I had a bit more fun in the dirt going back, getting some dirt confidance back after my recent scares up north. You have to watch out for the locals though

I had spotted this bush/plant on the way past the other day and grabbed this photo. It seemed out of place as it was the only one I saw, it was mostly gums out here. I have no idea what it is, maybe someone else can ID it

I also spotted these things on the side of the road, I though termites at first but no mounds around here, on closer inspection, they looked like spores of some type, maybe a puff ball?

And then back to Mount Surprise where I had a relaxing arvo, a few beers and a feed while deciding what to do next.

Day – 120km
Trip – 2966km
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One Response to “Day 10 – August 28”

  1. 43,000 tourists x $50 = $2.15 million per year! How much does it take to keep those board walks updated???

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