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“Difficult not to feel ripped off”
Review of Undara Experience

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Undara Experience
Certificate of Excellence
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Difficult not to feel ripped off”
Reviewed January 7, 2011

Stayed one night on the 7th Jan 2010. Having read some negative reviews we thought we had realistic expectations and overall some things were better and some worse. The $46 2 hour tour was great until we realised how much we had paid. We understand there are some national park fees but difficult to believe another tube or view could not be included at minimal cost to the owners. Or perhaps a discount on the evening tour if you have done a pm/am tour. If you have seen scores of limestone caves you might be underwhelmed. Having been warned off the overpriced railway carriages we opted for a permanent tent which was fine for those used to camping. Tents were cool and comfortable but for the money perhaps the fly screens could get fixed. When asking about linen we were told it was provided (but not that it was an extra $8 a head). Amenities block was ok but less clean than a typical caravan park. After a week in cairns and warnings on TA you might think it would be hard to be disappointed by the food but Undarra managed that too - $30 for a pub counter tea-standard steak. Kids meals were better value and the kangaroo was apparently good. 4 and 6 person tents have fridges so byo. Walks around the lodge are well worth doing and the crater walk has great views - might even be worth a dawn visit. Staff were all helpful and freindly. Overall not a must see unless you this is your only chance to get a taste of inland Australia.

  • Stayed January 2011
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Helpful?
1 Thank Sleep-less-from-aus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Lancashire, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
189 reviews
99 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed November 21, 2010

If you want to experience a taste of the Outback, Undara is the place to go. It's about 4 hours' drive from Cairms. When we arrived, the noise from the ciradas was deafening but you did soon get used to it! Accommodation was in an old railway carriage - an odd experience. Food is in plentiful supply. Cooked breakfast, mid morning tea, lunch and evening meal - too much for me, but appreciated by my husband. The guided tours were very good and Steve and Chris made excellent guides Wildlife was in plentiful supply. An experience not to be missed.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Brixham23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stuttgart
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed September 6, 2010

We spend one night in and old railway car. It was something special and we enjoyed it, but we think that you have to pay a little bit too much for this experience. The Undara Experience is a so called "keyless resort". That was new to us and we didn't feel well knowing that the room is always open and everybody would have been able to get into our room. Unfortunately there is only one restaurant where you have to eat.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Achim02
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed August 31, 2010

We were glad to have stayed at Undara as we wanted to see more of the Aussie outback and visit the lava tubes, but that said, we were glad we didn't stay for more than one night.

The service was friendly although they seemed understaffed, especially in the dining area. The trips from here were very well organised and run. We did a half-day lava tubes tour although the two-hour one would probably be enough. The wildlife tour at sunset was lovely - great for anyone who wants to spot a few wallabies! The meals were a bit average, including an incredibly peppery pumpkin soup one night and an inedible pasta salad the following day, but that said, there was enough there to choose from to make sure you were still full. In the evening they had singing around the camp fire with a charming man who knew the words to dozens of old songs. He was a real character and had everyone singing (and dancing with actions!) and really made our night. This was definitely a very genuine Aussie experience!

We stayed in a railway carriage which also was full of character, however it really was a bit on the cramped side. My partner is 185cm and his feet were hanging off the end of the bed, and the mattress could have been more supportive, so he slept terribly but I still had a great nights sleep. There are other types of cheaper accommodation there that are probably worth considering instead.

The setting is spectacular - true Australian bush in a very remote location. Do some of the well-marked bush walks if you have the chance. We enjoyed the walk we went on and had wished we had time for more. That said, after one night we were ready to leave. Definitely worth a visit but I probably wouldn't plan to stay more than a day or two.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank alligorms
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level 6 Contributor
215 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
Reviewed August 14, 2010

We went without a reservation and they were able to give us a double swag tent although we only needed one- they were not able to give us only one. But at least we had a place to stay after the long drive. The swag tent was remarkable comfortable. Fun to go to the show at night around the fire pit and listen to info about local animals/ bugs...Lava tube tour was great. Excellent food in their restaurant- must try the kangaroo/ Emu/ Croc trio- really good.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank punkiepam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Schlangenbad, Germany
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed July 25, 2010

Been there during the Undara Country,Rock an Blues Festival which was fantastic.
It is in fact a unique place where you can see the Undara Volcanic Caves under guidance of professional Rangers. The Lodge is pretty with its carriages, Outdoor-Brekkies and different festivals during the year.
We have been there with a 6 months old baby which wasnt a problem at all. We did some bushwalking, cave tours and joined the concerts. Everybody was keen to help and to make us a good stay .although it was fully booked due to the rock festival ist was a calm and recreational stay. absolutely worth to go there!

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank KaiKursatz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Townsville, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
53 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
Reviewed April 11, 2010

Pretty well set out, with bitumen road all the way in. Reception has a good variety of supplies if you forget something. We camped at a powered site, our only gripe was walk up hill to amenities, and bollard lights everywhere! We come west for darkness and to see the stars, not to have 500 lights shining at each site through out the park.

Had dinner at the lodge on one night which was nice australian fare and not too overpriced. And had the bush brekki which was very lovely setting and good variety really.

Not much in park to do for kids, just the undersized pool, a;although it was Easter weekend and they were at capacity. No playground.

Did a tour to the lava tubes, just the 2 hour and this was enough to see what we needed.

Looked at the fixed tents they looked cool, but by no means sealed and bug/mozzie proof, and the train carriages looked nice but I wouldnt pay the dollars they wanted for that.
Glad we did it and don't have to go back :)

Stayed April 2010, traveled with family
Helpful?
2 Thank Ang C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Undara Experience

Property: Undara Experience
Address: Savannah Way | Savannah Way. Qld, 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 EXPERIENCE – AUSTRALIA’S ACCESSIBLE OUTBACK! Only 3½ hours drive from Cairns & 4 hours from Townsville in Tropical North Queensland, Undara is easily accessed via the Savannah Way by conventional vehicle and sits right on the edge of the Undara Volcanic National Park. The Undara Lava Tubes are a world class natural geological phenomenon. Huge tubes formed approximately 190,000 years ago; molten lava drained out under a thick cooler crust, leaving a series of long, hollow tubes. Today, Undara’s highly trained Savannah Guides conduct small group tours from the resort into the lava tubes where visitors marvel at this incredible geological wonder. Winner of “Unique Accommodation” at the Australian Tourism Awards, Undara Experience offers a variety of accommodation options from restored turn-of-the-century railway carriages to beautifully appointed Pioneers Huts. Budget options include the Swags Tent Village. Shady camping and powered sites are available. Bookings Essential ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Undara Experience Australia/Undara Volcanic National Park, Queensland

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