Getting ready for your road trip? Driving to Cobbold Gorge from Cairns is an adventure in itself. Set off 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, and 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. Welcome to the Gulf Savannah of outback Queensland.
Your drive to Cobbold Gorge from Cairns takes approximately six hours, although add a bit more time for some stops along the way to break up your trip and enjoy the towns along the way. It can be completed comfortably in most vehicles, and at Cobbold Village you’ll see everything from Commodores to Tiguans, Hilux and Patrols, utes, campers caravans and motorhomes.
It’s a great idea to leave Cairns relatively early to make the most of your time on the road. You can climb to the Tablelands either on 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 heading on a ‘short cut’ through Einasleigh. If you continue to Georgetown, there’s a section of single-lane highway bordered by wide dirt shoulders and frequented by cattle trucks, and it’s suitable for conventional vehicles. The ‘short cut’ through Einasleigh takes you through some lovely ranges, however this route is more suited to vehicles with high clearance as it has more unsealed roads.
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 fuel before driving to Cobbold Gorge Tours and Village.
From Forsayth to Cobbold Village is a 43km drive along formed gravel road. Take it easy and drive to conditions, be watchful for grazing cattle and horses plus slow down for the cattle grids. And of course, make the time to stop and take photos among the golden grasses and giant red termite mounds. After all, this is your Road Trip!
For latest details on road conditions, check Etheridge Shire Council website.
There’s signposting along the way and before you know, you’re driving underneath our gates and onto your next adventure. Are you ready for an amazing stay at Cobbold Village and to explore Cobbold Gorge and the surrounding savannah country?
Welcome to our piece of outback paradise. We hope you love it as much as we do.
© Cobbold Gorge 2023