It is impossible to see or learn about the unique wildlife of North Queensland's Gulf Savannah region from behind the tinted windows of a fast-moving air-conditioned vehicle.
The best introduction to outback wildlife is to take a guided tour at Cobbold Gorge. Walk the land, experience nature and discover wildlife. Take time to look and listen — you will be rewarded.
The open savannah, riverine environment, sandstone escarpment and dams around Cobbold Gorge are magnets to Gulf Savannah wildlife!
Around 20 species of native mammals have been recorded around Cobbold Gorge including koalas, short-beaked echidnas, brush tail possums, red kangaroos and swamp wallabies. Most commonly-seen are grey kangaroos and wallaroos.
Reptiles are often spotted sunning themselves in the winter months including skinks, geckos, dragons, monitors and snakes. The deadliest species are the northern death adders and eastern brown snakes; while the orange-naped snakes, black-headed pythons, keelbacks and tree snakes are harmless.
Large populations of freshwater crocodiles and turtles can be found in the gorge and other permanent waterholes, as are many fish species such as archer fish, banded grunter, eel-tailed catfish, sleepy cod and black bream. Other aquatic species include freshwater prawns and redclaw yabbies.
Amphibians are less plentiful in the predominately dry Gulf Savannah. Even so, five species of native frog inhabit the Cobbold Gorge area, including green tree frogs, red tree frogs and ornate burrowing frogs, as well as (unfortunately) the introduced cane toad.
Spot the large, tombstone-like mounds which are a dominant feature of the Gulf Savannah landscape. They are home to the most common insect species of them all: the termite!
Common crow butterflies also are present in large numbers in the sandstone escarpment.
Gulf Savannah region can be very rewarding for North Queensland birdwatchers, particularly in the dry season when birds congregate around water holes in the early morning and late afternoon. More than 100 bird species have been recorded at Cobbold Gorge. These include a variety of birds of prey, herons, ibis, honeyeaters, cormorants, flycatchers, cockatoos, pigeons, finches, ducks, parrots and many more.