We've finally left the east coast and have set our course for the Top End.
We left Port Douglas to their "strong wind warnings" and hit the Savannah Way. We're getting into the free camping caper (read: tight-arse) and spent the night camped at a rest area along the side of the road. Our sleep was punctuated by trucks roaring past, but each time we were woken we reminded ourselves it was free! Hey, you get what you pay for.
The next day we arrived at Undara National Park, as we'd heard the lava tubes here were pretty spectacular. Set up in the campground near the lodge, its a great little spot with individual sites, and your own fire pit complete with barbie plate and billy holder. Spent the arvo poking around and checking out the lodge, there are lots of old railway carriages they use for accommodation.
After dinner we went to a campfire talk put on by the lodge - the topic was feral animals in Australia (and how best to kill them) - a topic right up Lee's alley.
On Wednesday we met our camping neighbours as they were packing up to leave - we got chatting and found out they not only great people, but were flyfisherpeople! What a shame we didn't chat to them the day before. ( Hi Ashley and Holly if you're reading this, hope Hinchinbrook was good!)
That afternoon we went on a half-day tour of the lava tubes, headed by our very entertaining guide Levi. The tubes were amazing, formed during an eruption 190,000 years ago that lasted 20 years, during which the outer surface of the lava cooled, but the inside just kept flowing, and flowing... We were impressed at their size, and the fact that you often couldn't see the entrance to them - the best way to spot them was by the collapsed sections of tube, where a different type of vegetation grew on the ground's surface.
Feeling geologically enlightened, we waved goodbye to Undara and hit the road west again the next day.
L & L