Gulf Savannah and Outback

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

Crocs, crabs and Cobbold Gorge

  • Discover Kurumba onboard a sunset croc and crab tour.
  • 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.

Walk this way 

  • Go back to the gold mining days in Croydon and visit explorers’ Burke and Wills Camp in Normanton
  • 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.
  • 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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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.

Undara Experience

Mount Surprise, Etheridge Area
From AU$58 - 60
Only three and a half hours from Cairns in Tropical North Queensland's Gulf Savannah lies a land so different in contrasts - the Undara Volcanic National Park. Undara is a pristine wilderness possessing one of the oldest and best preserved lava tube systems anywhere on Earth.

Gregory Downs

Gregory Downs, Burke Area
The old Gregory Downs Hotel holds court as the centre of town society. Originally built to serve passengers on the coach run from Burketown, the hotel is in the historic village of Gregory Downs which accesses the perennially-flowing Gregory River.

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.

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.

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.

Chillagoe-Mungana Caves National Park

Chillagoe, Mareeba Area
From AU$27.20 - 68.20
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.

Pormpuraaw

Pormpuraaw,
Visitors come from all over Australia to enjoy the excellent fishing at Pormpuraaw, on the west coast of Queensland. Situated between two rivers, Pormpuraaw features terrific estuary fishing for barramundi, threadfin salmon, grunter, bream, and others.

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.
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I know just the place: Bram Collins at Undara Volcanic National Park