When I was invited to Tropical North Queensland for four days alongside two of my favourite photographers Andrew Pavlidis, William Patino and the lovely Amy as our guide I was more than excited. I’ve explored along the Southern side of the East Coast of Australia quite a bit but have never had the chance to get any higher than the Sunshine Coast! As you can imagine the images that came to mind first were sparkling flat beaches filled with coral islands but what we were about to explore could not have been more different and like nothing I have ever seen before.
From Cairns we headed west on the Savannah Way, a series of highways that cuts through the middle of Australia linking Cairns to Broome. Any time you head inland in Australia you tend to expect dry red soil, but up in the tropics in green season, well its definitely green! The smells from the Eucalypt forests and the humming crickets welcomed us as we entered the Chillagoe – Mungana Caves National Park. Bouncing along the corrugated dirt roads you can see these amazing limestone structures plunging out of the earth around you but we had no idea what was underneath them until we were greated by Mick from Queensland Parks. Mick guided us through the labyrinths and the beautifully lit walls of the caves in the area. It was like stepping down into another world.
We then headed South to Undara with many stops to let cattle meander off the roads. Undara has an incredible volcanic history and the evidence can be seen today through the series of underground lava tubes. Undara was a volcano that existed millions of years ago and when it erupted the top layers of lava cooled enough to insulate a tube of lava flowing away from the volcano. When all the lava flowed out it left a tube over 100km in length. Now broken up and home to thousands of cheeky bats, you can explore the sections on the tubes via the Undara Experience. As apart of this experience the lovely staff put on a ‘bush breaky’ under the gumtrees complete with freshly brewed billy tea and toast on the fire. I wish this is what I woke up to every morning!
The last section of our trip was spent exploring the amazing waterfalls in the Atherton Tablelands. With our windscreen wipers on high speed and our raincoats on it was the perfect day to see the Milla Milla, Millstream and Nandroya falls at their best! After a long day we were greeted by possum friends at the Canopy Tree Houses, five incredible rainforest structures set high over a winding stream. I wish Amy and the boys had forgotten me there.
Links to get more information about these amazing places:
And make sure you check out Will and Andrew’s blogs!