Mount Surprise is a nice but really small town in the north outback of Queensland, in Australia's northeast part. The town has amazing landscapes, as it is on the edge of the Undara lava field -- carved by ancient eruptions -- and is also set on the banks of Elizabeth Creek. This mixture creates astonishing views that together with the small number of inhabitants of the town gives you the idea of isolation and the real feel about Australia's Outback -- you are definitely there!
The town itself hasn't much to see, but is a good base to explore the surroundings. Mount Surprise is an historic railway town and nowadays is a center for gem fossicking -- mostly topaz, quartz, and aquamarine. You can find open forest rich in animals and plants -- many of them endangered or listed as rare. In the east, you can find a national park where you have the biggest, thickest vine in Australia, with bottle trees and giant fig trees as well as possums, wallabies, and a large number of birds usually associated with rainforests. The Mount Surprise area is full of wildlife, so you can see a lot of lizards, birds; this area is known for having more species of mammals than any other place in Australia –- they have the biggest population of rat kangaroo and there are fourteen species of bats, some of them very rare. Fifty-four kilometers west, you can find Undara Volcanic National Park -- if you have enough time, you should visit.
Mount Surprise is just over two hundred kilometers from the Atherton tablelands, and a fair distance from the main cities –- Cairns is nearest at just over three hundred kilometers away. There aren't regular national coaches going to Mount Surprise, but it is possible to find some local buses that stop in town.
The hostels in Mount Surprise are very few (there are only a few dozens of inhabitants in town), but they will be the best places for you to ask about this area and the places to meet locals and their particular style of life.
Hi, I'm CoffeeMarks,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Mount Surprise hostels. Welcome.