Beginning 190,000 years ago, Undara Volcano in far north Queensland erupted, not with a bang but a long, seething gush of lava. Undara disgorged a colossal 23 cu.km of molten mayhem. It spread across the plains and filled ancient river valleys to the brim. Over time, the lava atop these deeper valleys cooled to form a dark, hard crust. Meanwhile, below decks, the liquid lava kept surging downstream. In essence, as it moved on, the lava fabricated its own insulated pipeline. By the time Undara was a spent force its farthest run had travelled 160km. In recent geology, no other single volcano on Earth has a longer lava flow. Visitors can see the remnants of the lava pipeline at Undara Volcanic National Park. Nearby the limestone formations of Chillagoe-Mungana Caves National Park and the distinct sandstone ravines of the region are also a delight to geology lovers.
Australian Geographic OUTDOOR Editor, Justin Walker, visited Tropical North Queensland recently as part of Tourism TNQ’s “Paradise Through Your Lens” competition, in his role as judge and mentor. Justin followed some of the 10 finalists around the region as they shot footage for their short film entries. During his four days up north, Justin mentored these finalists and also photographed some of the area’s spectacular locations and residents.