Cairns and the Gulf Savannah Way

Cairns and the Gulf Savannah Way

Departure Dates:

May to October in 2017.
Tour Code: QLD05

Discover the best of Far North Queensland travelling along the incredible Savannah Way. Includes the Savannahlander and Gulflander trains

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Must See Holiday Highlights

  • Cairns Sightseeing
  • “Savannahlander” and “Gulflander” trains
  • Chillagoe Limestone Caves
  • Karumba sunset cruise
  • Burketown, Normanton, Georgetown, Forsayth & Ravenshoe
  • Burke and Wills Camp #119
  • Lawn Hill National Park
  • Riversleigh Fossil Fields
  • Cobbold Gorge Curise
  • Undara Lava Tubes Tour

Holiday Inclusions

  • Return flights to Cairns
  • 3 nights accommodation in Cairns with choice of hotel including daily breakfast
  • Half day Cairns sightseeing tour
  • 9 Day / 8 night Savannah Way 4WD Tour
  • Air-conditioned 4WD Vehicle with a maximum of 25 passengers
  • National Parks fees
  • Cobbold Gorge Cruise
  • Undara Lava Tubes Tour
  • Chillagoe Limestone Caves Guided tour
  • Savannahlander Train
  • Gulflander Train



12 day package*

Queens Court Twin Share

Pacific Cairns Twin Share

*Airfare Included in Package price

Adelaide from $4458 $4503 $528
Brisbane from $4287 $4332 $357
Canberra from $4555 $4600 $625
Hobart from $4559 $4604 $629
Launceston from $4565 $4610 $635
Melbourne from $4395 $4440 $465
Perth from $4627 $4672 $697
Sydney from $4380 $4425 $450
12 day land only cost $3930 $3975
9 day 4WD tour only cost $3600 $3600
Single supplement – 12 day land only (standard room) $915 $960
Single supplement – 9 day tour only $780 $780

*Twin share cost per person including return airfares. *The fares used in the package price are based on the best available instant purchase air fares at the time of print and are subject to change without notice and are also subject to availability. No guarantee can be given by Aussie Getaways that these fares will be available on any specified day and we will always offer the cheapest fare available for your nominated days of travel. Please use the airfares quoted as a guide only and ask your travel consultant for more details.

Tour Itinerary

2017 Tour Departs: May 22, & 29 June 5, 12, 19 & 26, July 3, 10, 17 & 31, August 7, 14, 21, & 28, September 4, 11, 18 & 25, October 2

Day 1: To Cairns
Join your flight to Cairns. On arrival you will be transferred to your Cairns hotel.
Overnight: Queens Court or Cairns Pacific, Cairns

Day 2: Cairns Sightseeing (B,AT)
Morning free. This afternoon enjoy a Cairns City tour including Cairns best scenic lookouts, flora and fauna, Professional guided walk in the Flecker Botanic Gardens, enjoy a delicious afternoon tea and a sunset stroll at Palm Cove.
Overnight: Queens Court or Cairns Pacific, Cairns

Day 3: Cairns – Chillagoe (B,L,D)
We start by winding our way up the Kuranda Range to climb on to the Atherton Tableland. We pass dense tropical rainforest and an agricultural landscape to Mareeba and beyond. Now we travel on to Chillagoe, an historic ore-smelting centre, better known today for its marble mining and limestone caves. We take a tour of the caves, the legacy of 350 million years old marine reef.
Overnight: Chillagoe (share facilites)

Day 4: Savannahlander train – Georgetown (B,L,D)
All aboard the “Savannahlander” train as it tracks the Ootann Road into Brahman cattle country. Geology continues to dominate and fascinate as we change from limestone to granite to basalt country and with each geological change, a change in vegetation. Lunch along the way in this vast landscape provides a “fair dinkum” Aussie day. Now we head west across the Newcastle Range to Georgetown.
Overnight: Georgetown

Day 5: Georgetown to Karumba (B,L,D)
Morning “smoko” at Croydon’s Lake Belmore before Normanton for lunch. Here you can absorb its famous landmarks, the “Purple Pub”, historic Burns Philp General Store and a replica of Krys, the 8.63m crocodile. Continue on to Karumba on the Gulf of Carpentaria. A leisurely afternoon before taking a cruise to enjoy a spectacular Gulf sunset.
Overnight: Karumba

Day 6: Karumba to Adel’s Grove (B,L,D)
On through Normanton to Burke & Wills Camp #119, the most northerly campsite of the ill-fated expedition of 1860. Across the vast “Plains of Promise” to Leichhardt Falls and Burketown. On to Adel’s Grove, a Savannah Guides Site, where we spend two glorious outback nights in permanent tent safari accommodation
Overnight: Adel’s Grove, permanent safari camp (share facilities)

Day 7: Lawn Hill National Park (B,L,D)
A relaxed day enjoying Lawn Hill National Park, a spectacular oasis set amid the spinifex clad Constance Range. Enjoy a one hour cruise that offers an up close look at the Lawn Hill gorge and a stunning view of the Indarri falls. The gorge is a haven for an abundance of wildlife and a birdwatcher’s paradise. Swimming or paddling a canoe (optional) up the gorge is highly recommended.
Overnight: Adel’s Grove, permanent safari camp (share facilities)

Day 8: Adel’s Grove to Normanton (B,L,D)
Visit the World Heritage listed Riversleigh Fossil Fields, a rare treasure house of palaeontology recording the history of Australia’s fauna of 20 million years ago. Lunch at Gregory and a short break at the remote Burke & Wills Roadhouse before travelling onto Normanton
Overnight: Normanton

Day 9: Normanton to Cobbold Gorge  (B,L,D)
All aboard the historic “Gulflander RM39” train for a ride through the savannah landscape across the Norman River to Critters Camp. On to Black Bull Siding then the old gold mining town of Croydon and its Historic Precinct. This afternoon we visit Georgetown and Forsayth on our way to Cobbold Gorge a Savannah Guides Station
Overnight: Cobbold Gorge

Day 10: Undara Lava Tubes  (B,L,D)
Cruise on Cobbold Gorge’s secluded waterway surrounded by135 million year old Hampstead sandstone. Travel on to the famous Undara Lava Tubes. Campfire entertainment after dinner
Overnight: Undara restored railway carriages (share facilities)

Day 11:   To  Cairns  (B,L)
After breakfast in the Australian bush, an experienced Savannah Guide will meet you for an informative tour of the world’s largest, longest and most accessible lava tube system. We continue on our scenic and leisurely drive over the Tropical Tablelands past the Wind Turbines at Ravenshoe, stopping off at the magnificent Curtain Fig Tree, before making our way back to Cairns.
Overnight: Queens Court or Cairns Pacific, Cairns

Day 12: To Home  (B)
Free until time for your transfer to the Cairns Airport for your flight home.

Please limit your luggage to one small soft travel bag (preferably without wheels) and a small daypack (cabin baggage) per person. Definitely no hard bags or suitcases. If you are travelling as a couple, please bring two smaller bags as opposed to one large one. Maximum weight limit of 10kg per person is permitted due to space/weight limitations and Workplace Health Safety requirements.

Any excess luggage can usually be stored at your hotel until you return. If your pre and post safari accommodation differs, please arrange for your luggage to be transferred to your post-safari accommodation while you are on tour.

Sun Palm Transport offers this service (Tel: 07 4087 2900) for approximately $20.00 per bag.

*Meal Code: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner


The Gulf Savannah Way

The Gulf Savannah – a land of real outback characters, bush pubs and wild yarns, wedge-tailed eagles and wallaroos, hot springs and cool rivers. Discover a rich history of Aboriginal culture, of explorers and pioneers, of gold rushes and railways. With an area of 425,000 square kilometres, it is the region of northern Australia which is drained by its mighty seasonal rivers into the Gulf of Carpentaria. It’s bounded in the east by the Great Dividing Range and in the west by the Arnhem Land escarpment, some 1400kms across, and represents about half of northern  Australia’s tropical savannahs.

The dry savannah landscape, typified by vast grass plains, open eucalypt forest and the ever present acacia (wattle), abounds with    wildlife and is the epitome of the classic Australian scene. Apart from the diversity of environments, the Gulf Savannah cradles many significant natural and cultural features. The well known Undara Lava Tubes are the world’s longest and largest, Cobbold Gorge’s 135 million year old history etched in sedimentary sandstone continues to fascinate geologists, the historic “Gulflander” train and its Normanton Railway Station delights train-buffs and passers-by, while spectacular Lawn Hill Gorge is rapidly becoming the new “must do” for seekers of soft adventure. The region’s economy has been predominantly based in cattle along with prawn fishing on the Gulf of Carpentaria and gold in bygone years. Mining is continuing its influence with the multi-million dollar Century Zinc mine south west of Burketown.  These days tourism is playing an ever increasing economic role with many pastoralists opening their cattle properties to tourists. So come to the Gulf Savannah to capture the emotion and romance, tragedies and triumphs of Australia’s amazing outback.

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