From Townsville via The Palmerston Highway
The drive from Townsville to Undara via the Palmerston Hwy is 493km and takes approximately 6 hours, excluding scenic detours. Travelling north along the Bruce Highway from Townsville to Innisfail, you pass through a number of small towns. The first of these is Ingham (approx 109km) then Cardwell (another 53km) and then Tully (a further 43km).
Tully Gorge: There is a 42km scenic drive through Lower Tully Gorge, which begins at the town and has lookouts and walks to the river. You may wish to do some white water rafting if spending a day or two here. Continue on from Tully to Innisfail along the Bruce Hwy approx 52km.
Innisfail: One of the wettest towns in Australia, so its no surprise to find the area a brilliant green. This charming multicultural town is a good base for excursions into the surrounding country. Stay the night if you wish and visit the Joss House, Warrina Lakes, Paronella Park, Flying Fish Point and Johnstone River Crocodile Farm. Travel from Innisfail to Millaa Millaa along the Palmerston Hwy, approximately 65km.
Palmerston Highway: After leaving Innisfail you travel along the Palmerston Highway, named after bushman Christie Palmerston. You can obtain maps from the Innisfail Tourism Information Centre before you leave and everything is very well signed. This scenic rainforest drive takes you up to the Atherton Tablelands. Along the way, visit the many lookouts, waterfalls and picnic spots. Stop at the Nerada Tea Plantation, Australia’s most successful tea plantation set in lovely country around the Palmerston National Park.
Millaa Millaa: Dairy farms dominate this region and there are some beautiful waterfalls, cool streams and rock pools. Follow the Waterfall Circuit to visit Millaa Millaa Falls, Zillie Falls and Elinjaa Falls. Nearby are the towns of Malanda, Yungaburra and Atherton, offering many scenic drives, walking tracks and attractions. Continue from Millaa Milla along the Palmerston Hwy, and on to the Kennedy Hwy following the signs for Ravenshoe. Approximately 26km.
Ravenshoe: This is the highest town in Queensland and has been an important centre in the timber industry. While in Ravenshoe we suggest a visit to Banggarra to see the local handcrafted pottery. The Millstream and Little Millstream Falls, close to Ravenshoe are great swimming and picnic spots. Spilling over a basalt flow, these are the widest falls in Australia. Take a dip at Innot Hot Springs 32km west of Ravenshoe to really unwind.
Innot Hot Springs is a natural mineral springs located between Ravenshoe and Mt Garnet on the Kennedy Highway. The hot springs of Nettle Creek have long been established as rejuvenating and healing. Throughout the sandy creek bed bubbles hot water and many locals and visitors come here to sit in the shallows of the creek and enjoy the healthy properties of the hot springs.
Next door is the spas and pools of the Hot Springs Village. There are seven pools to enjoy all at different temperatures. The water of the springs gets up to 75 degrees Celsius. Go to www.innothotspringspark.com
Travel from Ravenshoe to Mt Garnet along the Kennedy Hwy approximately 47km.
Mt Garnet: The popular Mt Garnet annual races & rodeo attract large crowds in May. Mt Garnet is also known as ‘Gem Stone Country’. Continue on from Mt Garnet along the Kennedy Hwy. 53km out of Mt Garnet is a sign advising that the Undara Lava Lodge is a further 45km.
Forty Mile Scrub National Park: After you pass through the Forty Mile Scrub National Park, you will see signs to Undara. Turn here onto the Gulf Development Rd and head towards Mount Surprise. Eighteen km along the Gulf Development Rd, turn left at the Undara Experience signpost.
Travel 14kms along a sealed road through the Whitewater cattle station. PLEASE DRIVE CAREFULLY!
See more self-drive itineraries on our Undara Maps page.