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“AMERICANS: COME SEE THIS!!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Undara Experience

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Undara Experience
3.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Savannah Way, Undara Volcanic National Park, Queensland 4870, Australia   |  
Hotel amenities
Phoenix, AZ
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“AMERICANS: COME SEE THIS!!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 6, 2012

This was the one place we went in Australia that people were surprised to hear an American accent. Most visitors were Aussies or Europeans, and the GM told us that they just don't get much press in the US - so this is my shout out! It is a bit pricey, but the wildlife in the area is very abundant. Kangaroos, Wallabies, Busstards (Australian Turkey's), Bats, etc., and there are some cool elevated vantage points with view of the outback going for miles. This was the only place where we saw australia widlife in a setting in where neither we nor the wildlife was in an enclosure. We really felt like we got a taste of the outback. We even came within about 5 feet of a large kangaroo sitting in the shade while out on a walk on one of their trails.

We went for an overnight, including a bus ride to/from Cairns, a widllife tour, a lava tube tour, and our meals. Some of the other reviewers were upset that you couldn't go see the lava tubes by yourself, so if you know that up-front & are willing to pay for it, you won't be dissapointed.

We stayed in one of the railway cars with a full size bed. The room was quaint, but as rooms go, it was adequate. A full size bed is not really big enough for 2 people. They also use non-potable captured rainwater in the bathroom sink. Very eco-friendly, but the sink has a funny smell to it when it's open, although the basin folds up to close it when not in use.

The point of the side-trip from Cairns though is the activities, not the rooms. We found the guides interesting & accomodating. The evening tour the first night includes champagne or juice & hor dourves & the morning tour the next day includes mid-morning tea/coffie & scones (of course), which was a nice touch. The bush breakfast was also very good.

Be aware that the tours include walking over some rough terrain, and that some of the older folks struggled a bit. You don't need to be an olympic athlete, but don't do this if you are frail.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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176 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    55
    77
    27
    12
    5
See reviews for
47
86
5
Business
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (48)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Melbourne, Australia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2012

After reading about the Lava Tubes at Undara, my wife and I wanted to go. Nowhere were we told that we couldnt walk through on our own or the price of a guided tour $50 pp. We drove from Normanton to find this out. As Pensioners we couldnt afford this. What a waste of time Money and effort. Please tell us your prices in your brochures (or are you too embrassed by them) This is in a National Park made by Nature, You have priced yourself out of the market We will never return and will let ev everyone we talk to know what you intend to rip off us.

Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Airlie Beach, Australia
Top Contributor
110 reviews 110 reviews
74 hotel reviews
Reviews in 80 cities Reviews in 80 cities
72 helpful votes 72 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2012

We stayed overnight in a railway carriage just for the experience of it. We'd visited the lava tubes before and were fascinated by them so decided to take our visiting English friends there too. The carriages were quite roomy enough but also cosy. The common bathroom was close by and very clean. We bought our evening meal in the restaurant and it was good food at a reasonable price. We brought our own breakfast supplies and ate it outside our carriage room, accompanied by some currawongs. We all loved the peaceful bush surroundings and fresh air and, of course, the lovely walks and the lava tubes themselves. It was a unique experience.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Newcastle, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
98 reviews 98 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2012

We did a tour in the lava tubes and loved it. It was worth every penny. Our guide was fantastic; very enthusiastic and informative. The campsite was ok too, a bit basic and spread out but the activities on offer give the site a nice feeling. The ladies in reception were very friendly and helpful too. The tour of the lava tubes has been one of the highlights of our trip so far. Definitely do it!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2012

This was our third trip to Undarra, this time we thought we would stay in the railway carriages as we noticed them on our previous trips and thought this would be a novel thing to do, what a mistake, they were cramped, and very tied, not worth the money, it was so disappointing especially when we travelled for three days just to get there. We decided to go for the bush breakfast, this was very disappointing as well, the cooked breakfast was served just warm, not hot and the eggs were so over cooked the whites were brittle, definately not worth the money. It is such a shame as the concept of this lodge is amazing. The tour is a must do.The staff were very friendly, dinner in the restaurant was great.

Room Tip: There are about 4 brand new self contained cabins, they are in a great bush setting, I would recomme...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong, China
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2012

I wanted to see lava tubes in Australia and was prepared to go the extra mile paying over 400$ for a half day tour with my family of 5 (2 of my children were considered to be adults) with an additional 1.5% charge for using a credit card (the only time this happened during my 2-week trip around Australia). The tour (by the way you HAVE to book a tour as you are not allowed to enter the site by yourself) will take you to 2 lava tubes which would take minutes to visit if not for the long (slow) bus drive (stop for kangaroos!) and the talk of the guide (the only pleasant person we met working for this place). We stayed one night in a cabin which also proved to be very poor value compared to the great places we had visited before and visited afterwards. I will absolutely discourage my friends to go there; a waste of time and money given the outstanding alternatives the area has to offer...

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newcastle, Australia
Top Contributor
104 reviews 104 reviews
41 hotel reviews
Reviews in 67 cities Reviews in 67 cities
109 helpful votes 109 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2012

We have just enjoyed 2 nights camping in a powered site at the Undara Experience. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at this unique part of Australia. We have 2 small children who loved camping in the bush and the chance to have a campfire at night. We did two tours while we were there (Archway Explorer and Wildlife at Sunset). The tours were both excellent and we had the same guide (Lorina) for both. Lorina was very professional, friendly and extremely knowledgeable about the lava tubes and with wildlife and geography of this area.

We did not eat at the restaurant and did not stay in the accommodation, so I can't comment on these things. The amenity blocks in the camping area where reasonably clean and tidy given that the campground was almost full on each night of our stay.

We would be more than happy to recommend Undara Experience to other travellers. As the lava tubes can only be seen on a guided tour, I would say that a guided tour of the lava tubes is essential to maximise your enjoyment of this interesting place.

Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Undara Experience

Address: Savannah Way, Undara Volcanic National Park, Queensland 4870, Australia
Location: Australia > Queensland > Undara Volcanic National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in Undara Volcanic National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Undara Experience 3*
Number of rooms: 45
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Undara is a place where you can explore natural geological wonders, enjoy the comforts and hospitality of a unique outback setting and where the local wildlife are as abundant as they are at home in their surroundings. In short, Undara needs to be experienced! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Undara Experience Australia/Undara Volcanic National Park, Queensland

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