Following our overnight stay at Belyando Crossing (see following post) we headed north to Charters Towers for a two night stay in a caravan park. Apart from a fine collection of nicely maintained historic buildings, the highlight here is Tower Hill.
The summit of the lookout over the town is home to a thriving population of Allied Rock-Wallabies. The animals are readily found early in the morning around the carpark; it's gratifying indeed to see a population of rock-wallabies doing well in the centre of an urban area.
We continued north
for an overnight stay in the delightful caravan park in the strange
township of Greenvale. The nickel mine here for Clive Palmer's
refinery on the coast 200km distant closed long ago (the mineral has
been imported since from New Caledonia) but sporting and other
facilities in what is essentially a ghost town are maintained. Tree
change? A 3-bedroom home can be had for $78,000.
north to Undara Volcanic National Park. The park protects extensive
tracts of savannah woodland and basaltic rocky outcrops, along with
spectacular lava tubes - the longest of their kind in the world.
The downside to this
place is that you pay an arm and a leg for everything - including
entry to the park and lava tubes, and camping - because Queensland
Parks and Wildlife have leased all tourist operations to private
entrepreneurs. National parks are supposed to be for the people, not for wealthy graziers (the former leaseholders of the park) to exploit commercially.
|Camping at Greenvale|
|Savannah at Undara|
|Undara Lava Tube|
Macropods were in abundance in the park including Eastern Grey Kangaroo, Wallaroo and Pretty-face Wallaby.
|Eastern Horseshoe Bat|
During a lava tube inspection we saw several Eastern Horseshoe Bats hanging from the cave ceilings.
Squatter Pigeon is always a nice bird to encounter. They appeared to be quite common in the park. Diamond Doves were also present.
Other birds about included
Australian Hobby and Great Bowerbird. A full list of species seen in the park can be found here.