Driving to Cobbold Gorge from Cairns, is an adventure within itself. You go from the coastal plains, with cane fields and coffee shops, up the rainforest ranges, across the Tablelands and head west. Your path is along the iconic Savannah Way. Your landscape changes from lush and tropical, to dry and grassy. This is pioneering country. A place where hundreds and thousands of people came and crossed at various times, searching for gold and other precious minerals. A place which today, is largely populated by cattle and kangaroos. A place to breathe in the bush and breathe out the stress and hustle of daily life.
The drive to Cobbold Gorge from Cairns takes approximately 6 hours. It can be completed comfortably in most vehicles. Indeed, at Cobbold Village you’ll see everything from Commodores to Tiguans, Hilux and Patrols, utes, campers and caravans.
We suggest leaving Cairns relatively early, to make the most of your time on the road. You can climb to the Tablelands on either the Kuranda Range Road or Gillies Range, making your way up and over to Ravenshoe, before heading inland.
You’ll be surprised at how quickly the terrain outside your window becomes distinctly savannah. Golden grasses, dotted with termite mounds, and a range of native trees and flora. Trekking along you pass through Mount Garnet and Mount Surprise. If you have time, stop off at Mount Surprise to see their extensive range of semi-precious stones, which have all been fossicked from the local area.
Continuing, you have a choice of going to Georgetown or headed inland on a ‘short cut’ which will go through Einasleigh. If you head to Georgetown, there’s a section of single-lane highway bordered by wide dirt shoulders and frequented by cattle trucks. It’s suitable for conventional vehicles. The ‘short cut’ is better for vehicles with high clearance, this path has more unsealed roads and takes you through some lovely ranges.
Either way, you’ll end up at Forsayth which is a great place to have lunch, if you haven’t already. Forsayth’s Goldfields Hotel has been named the ‘Best Outback Pub in Queensland’ numerous times, at the Outback Queensland Tourism Awards. There’s indoor and outdoor seating, coffee, cakes and hearty home-style meals. It’s also the last place to get petrol before driving to Cobbold Gorge Tours and Village.
It’s a 43km drive from Forsayth to Cobbold Village, along formed gravel road. Take the time to stop and take photos amongst the golden grasses and giant red termite mounds. Be watchful for grazing cattle and horses and slow down for the cattle grids.
There’s signposting along the way and before you know, you’re driving underneath our gates and into your next adventure. An amazing stay at Cobbold Village and exploration of Cobbold Gorge and the surrounding savannah country. Welcome to our piece of outback paradise.
© Cobbold Gorge 2021