Gulf Savannah and Outback | Queensland.com

Gulf Savannah and Outback

Fish, fossick, and toast rich, red sunsets across the flat grasslands and coastal landscapes of the Gulf Savannah and Outback. 

Things to do

Discover Karumba onboard a sunset croc and crab tour or silently creep through the sandstone escarpments of Cobbold Gorge on a solar-powered boat. 

Watch the sky transform into a rolling, cigar-shaped cloud formation during the annual Morning Glory and bird migration in September.

You can go back to the gold mining days in Croydon and visit explorers’ Burke and Wills Camp in Normanton or walk into the world’s longest volcanic lava tubes formed 190,000 years ago at Undara National Park, and overnight in a restored railway carriage.

If you're after a fishing adventure, hop on the Savannahlander or Gulflander trains or join a guided four-wheel-drive or luxury coach tour to a secluded fishing hole in search of barramundi.


Plan your holiday

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Undara Volcanic National Park

Mount Surprise, Etheridge Area
Free Entry
On the western slopes of the McBride Plateau, open woodlands give way to the vast open spaces of the savanna. Here in Undara Volcanic National Park, rich volcanic basalt soils, covered in a sea of seasonal grasses, conceal the Undara lava tube.

Croydon

Croydon, Croydon Area
Croydon, situated in the heart of the Gulf Savannah country (Savannah Way), is a small town with a big history that started with the discovery of gold in 1885. Start at Croydon's True Blue Visitor Information Centre which houses significant collections of heritage items, information displays, an audio visual in its theatre and an internet service.

Mount Surprise

Mount Surprise, Etheridge Area
Mount Surprise is a railway town on the Cairns to Forsayth Railway and is the first town within the Gulf Savannah encountered by visitors approaching from the east. It is a centre for gem fossicking, with quantities of topaz, quartz, spinel, garnet, cairngorm and aquamarine to be found.

Chillagoe

Chillagoe, Mareeba Area
Head into the accessible outback west of Cairns and discover the underground wonders of the former mining town of Chillagoe. Just 140 kilometres west of Mareeba along the Wheelbarrow Way, Chillagoe was once an ancient coral reef which has been transformed into spectacular limestone bluffs with a network of some 560 caves, while early volcanic activity has created rich marble and mineral deposits.

Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park

Lawn Hill, Burke Area
Free Entry
Boodjamulla is one of Queensland's most exceptional parks, boasting spectacular gorge scenery, diverse wildlife, exhilarating walking and canoeing, and fossils deposits dating back 25 million years. Here, Lawn Hill Gorge carves a serpentine ribbon of green through the dry savannah landscape, creating an oasis in the outback.

Forsayth

Forsayth, Etheridge Area
Sometimes history is more bizarre than fiction. Forsayth was once paved in gold - in a manner of speaking. Part of the Etheridge Goldfield, this area was known as 'Poor Man's Goldfield' as a prospector did not need expensive equipment to search for gold.

Chillagoe-Mungana Caves National Park

Chillagoe, Mareeba Area
From AU$28.15 - 70.55
Featuring spectacular limestone caves, small galleries of Aboriginal rock art, jagged limestone outcrops and an historically significant mining site, this park is rich in natural and cultural heritage.

Lawn Hill

Lawn Hill, Burke Area
Every year, thousands of visitors are drawn to Lawn Hill National Park to experience the true Outback. Encompassing the spectacular Lawn Hill Gorge with its imposing sandstone cliffs, and cool pristine waterways, the area is most famous for the World Heritage-listed Riversleigh fossil fields.

Einasleigh

Einasleigh, Etheridge Area
Einasleigh in the 21st century is only a small community - there are no shops however there is a hotel where you can purchase food. You can also top up fuel here or get food from the roadside caravan takeway, under a massive tamarind tree thought to be more than a century old.

Almaden

Almaden, Mareeba Area
Train buffs take note. The Savannahlander is one of tropical North Queensland's unusual rail journeys. It runs from Cairns to Forsayth overnighting in Almaden. It traces an important railway system that was developed by John Moffat as part of his vast mining empire in the late 1800s.
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