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Visiting Undara safely
Undara Volcanic National Park is about 300km by road south-west of Cairns. From Cairns, drive south along the Bruce Highway to Gordonvale. Turn right and follow the signs to the Atherton Tableland, up the Gillies Range. The range road is 19km long and very winding. Once at the top of the range, continue on to Ravenshoe and then follow the signs to Mount Garnet. Continue towards Mount Surprise, passing through Forty Mile Scrub National Park (Savannah Way). The turn-off to Undara is 17km along the Gulf Developmental Road. Travel a further 6km to a fork in the road. Undara Experience is 9km along the road on the right-hand side. To reach the Kalkani day-use area, turn left at the fork and travel 6km on an all-weather gravel road. All roads are suitable for conventional vehicles although the roads can be corrugated.
If travelling from Townsville head north along the Hervey Range Developmental Road for approximately 130 km, then turn right onto the Gregory Developmental Road. Travel a further 174km through Greenvale to the Lynd Junction. From here, take the Kennedy Highway towards Mount Garnet and turn left at the Gulf Developmental Road (Savannah Way). Continue on as above.
Access to the lava tubes is only by guided tour. Concealed holes where the tubes have collapsed, a confusing landscape, and high carbon dioxide levels in some tubes, make the lava tube area dangerous for visitors without an experienced guide. The Kalkani Crater rim is accessible to the public without a tour guide.
The Kalkani day-use area has wheelchair-accessible toilets. Road Cave has ramps and a lift that can be accessed as part of a guided tour. For more information, see the tourism information links.
Make safety a priority when visiting this national park.
- Wear sunscreen, a hat, protective clothing and sturdy footwear.
- Always carry water and try to walk in the cooler part of the day.
- Take a track map from the lodge on all walks and stay on the walking tracks and trails provided.
- Walk in daylight hours only.
- In an emergency phone Triple Zero (000). If you have difficulty connecting to 000 from your mobile phone, try dialling 112.
For more information, please read the general guidelines on safety in parks and forests.
Essentials to bring
Preparation is key to a safe and enjoyable visit. Make sure you bring:
- drinking water
- sunscreen, enclosed footwear, hat and sunglasses
- insect repellent and suitable clothing to protect against insect bites
- rubbish bags.
Undara Volcanic National Park is open 24 hours a day. Temporary seasonal closures may be encountered. In very wet periods, sections of caves may be flooded and closed to visitors. To protect breeding bats, access to the Wind Tunnel Complex and Barkers Cave is restricted from November–February. See park alerts for up-to-date information.
Permits and fees
Permits are required for commercial or organised group activities.
Domestic animals are not permitted in Undara Volcanic National Park.
Climate and weather
The weather at Undara Volcanic National Park is hot, humid and can be very wet from late October through to late March. September and early October are generally dry and hot. The drier, cooler months of April to August are considered the preferred time to visit. For more information see the tourism information links.
Weather forecasts are available from the Bureau of Meteorology.
Fuel and supplies
- Visitor update, accomodation and tours: Undara Volcanic National Park 1 November 2020 to 21 March 2021