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Chillagoe, Lawn Hill burketown & normanton

Explore Queensland’s scenic Gulf Savannah Country, taking in world heritage rainforests, savannah grasslands and famous towns, including journeys on the iconic Gulflander and the historic Savannahlander.

The trip starts with an overnight stay in Cairns on Tuesday, 10th October, with a chartered coach departing the following morning for the Great Dividing Range and west to Chillagoe, which was once a thriving mining town.

Just outside of Chilagoe are the famous limestone caves of Chillagoe-Mungana Caves National Park and the coach stops here for a tour of the Royal Arch Cave, with the option of visiting the Donna Cave too.

Guests overnight at Chillagoe before traveling across the Atherton Tablelands, via Herberton, Ravenshoe (the highest town in Queensland, at 920m) and Mt. Garnet, taking in lush World Heritage rainforests before stopping in Mt. Surprise for the second night. Mt Surprise is a historic rail town on the cusp of the Gulf Savannah.

The next day it’s westwards to Georgetown, Croydon and Normanton for an overnight stay. Normanton, an old gold rush town with preserved Victorian architecture, is just located 30km from Burke and Wills’ most northerly camp.

From there, via golden savannah grasslands, it’s off to the famous Gulf outpost of Burketown and on to the historic Gregory Downs Hotel (originally built to serve passengers on the coach run from Burketown) for a refreshing drink.

Next stop is Adel’s Grove, adjacent to the beautiful Lawn Hill Gorge for a 2 night stay. On the middle day guests pay a visit to the famed Riversleigh Fossil Fields where there is evidence that this area was once under the sea and in the afternoon there will be a chance to swim or hire a canoe at Lawn Hill Gorge.

From there’s it’s back east, with a visit to the well-known Burke & Wills Roadhouse for lunch before continuing to Karumba, situated right on the Gulf of Carpentaria, for a memorable sunset cruise on the Gulf.

Next day the tour returns to Normanton for a trip on the iconic Gulflander to Croydon before continuing on to overnight accommodation in Georgetown.

The next destination is the gorgeous Cobbold Gorge with a stunning cruise on electrically powered boats so as not to disturb the wildlife. Following this there’s an overnight stop at Forsayth, the end of the railway from Cairns.

The historic Savannahlander will then bring guests back to Cairns where the tour disbands.

Nice to know - This trip is organized by the Australian Railway Historical Society.

Need to know - Guests are free to make their own way to Cairns and return, checking in at the designated Cairns hotel on Tuesday October 10th. Bookings close on September 1.

*Call 3252 1759 from Tue-Thu 10am-3pm.