The Undara Lava Tubes were formed some 190,000 years ago when a
major volcano in the McBride volcanic province erupted, its molten
lava flowing down a dry river bed. As the top layer quickly cooled
and crusted, the fiery magma below continued to flow through the
tubes taking it further and further from the volcano.
As the eruption slowed and then stopped, the lava drained out of
the tubes leaving a series of long, hollow tunnels. Ancient roof
collapses created deep, dark and moist depressions where fertile
pockets of rainforest can now be seen. Rainforest plants and animals
thrive in this environment; with each tube offering a rare insight
into this unusual geological wonder. One of the lava flows from
Undara extends 160 km making it the longest lava flow from a single
volcano on earth. The original tube formed by the flow extended for approximately 100 km, and several sections are
accessible. During the eruption cycle, the Undara volcano spewed forth 23 cubic kilometres of lava covering 1550 square kilometres. So far, 68
separate sections of cave have been identified from over 300 lava
tube roof collapses.
Qualified Savannah Guides tours give a unique
insight into the geology and ecology of the Undara Volcanic National
Park, the local history and bushcraft of the Gulf Savannah region.
There is a range of
accommodation options at Undara and the surrounding region.