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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Almaden

Almaden,
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.

Karumba

Karumba, Carpentaria Area
Situated on the mouth of the Norman River, Karumba is already well known as a recreational fishing mecca and birdwatchers paradise. Today however, being so accessible, Karumba is fast becoming a must do destination for travellers looking for an experience with a difference.

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.

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.

Pormpuraaw

Pormpuraaw, Pormpuraaw Area
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.

Burketown

Burketown, Burke Area
The Gulf Savannah is an interesting region to visit all year. However during the monsoon season, transportation methods must be carefully considered, as some parts of the Gulf Savannah region suffer from a lack of road infrastructure.

Chillagoe

Chillagoe,
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.

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.

Undara Experience

Mount Surprise, Etheridge Area
From AU$60 - 185
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.

Undara Volcanic National Park

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