Best Buys

Gulf Savannah Wanderer

9 Day Guided Vacation | Cairns Return

Travel Period

Explore spectacular Gulf Country! Take the Savannahlander train into cattle country, see historic Normanton, enjoy a Gulf of Carpentaria sunset cruise and explore Burke & Wills’ infamous Camp #119. Then relax in Lawn Hill National Park and marvel at the Undara lava tubes.

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Gulf Savannah Wanderer

Best Buys

9 Day Guided Vacation

Cairns Return

Explore spectacular Gulf Country! Take the Savannahlander train into cattle country, see historic Normanton, enjoy a Gulf of Carpentaria sunset cruise and explore Burke & Wills’ infamous Camp #119. Then relax in Lawn Hill National Park and marvel at the Undara lava tubes.

This holiday is operated by Heritage Tours.

Highlights

Flexible Vacations

Discover the vastness and beauty of Cobbold Gorge when seen from a different view on an optional experience scenic helicopter flight.

Iconic Sites

Journey on the famous Savannahlander from Mount Surprise to Forsayth and cruise on the Gulf of Carpentaria.

Time For You

Explore the Historic Village Herberton, where you can live the folklore and romance of yesterday’s Australia.

Sustainable Travel

Explore the Undara Lava Tubes, formed when rivers of lava confined to a valley crusted over and formed a roof.

Itinerary

image map

After an early morning departure from selected accommodation, your holiday begins, travelling up the Kuranda Range to the Atherton Tableland and on to Herberton. We stop off at Lake Barrine for a short walk to the Twin Kauri Pines, before travelling on to Herberton. Today we explore the Historic Village of Herberton, where you can live the folklore and romance of yesterday’s Australia in every piece of this eye-opening collection. Sit in the schoolhouse. Stand at the bar of the pub. Enjoy a latte in the Bakerville Tearooms. The award-winning attraction is more than a vintage precinct – it’s a tangible buzz of things past with over 50 original buildings with intact interior displays, original machinery and vehicles, plus thousands of antique items and period memorabilia. Late afternoon we settle in the Malanda Lodge, situated on 11 acres of manicured tropical gardens. All rooms have ground level balconies and views to enjoy the tranquillity, or maybe spot their resident platypus family in the large pond.

Hotel: Malanda Lodge Motel

An early start sees us travelling west on the Kennedy Highway towards Mount Surprise, where we enjoy lunch with a snake show. After lunch, you travel aboard the “Savannahlander” train as it tracks towards Einasleigh. There is enough time to have a beer in the pub or head down and check out Copperfield Gorge, before the train departs for Forsayth. From here we travel on to Georgetown where we stay overnight.

Hotel: Latara Motel

Enjoy a morning "smoko" on the shore of Croydon’s Lake Belmore before arriving to 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 for a cruise to enjoy a spectacular Gulf sunset. We overnight in Karumba.

Hotel: Karumba Lodge, 2 nights

After a leisurely breakfast we enjoy a cruise on the Gulf of Carpentaria. This afternoon we spend time at the Barramundi Centre with a guided Feed-A-Barra tour and hand-feeding will take you into the brand-new hatchery of for an educational, entertaining and engaging experience! This afternoon we head out to sunset point for happy hour. 

After breakfast we visit Burke & Wills Camp #119, the most northerly campsite of the ill-fated expedition of 1860 on our way back to Normanton for lunch. This afternoon we visit the Mutton hole Wetlands for croc- and bird watching.

Hotel: Gulfland Motel

This morning we depart from Normanton’s famous Victorian architecture Railway Station. All aboard the historic “Gulflander RM93” train, a Savannah Guides Site, 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.

Hotel: Cobbold Gorge Cabins, or Finnigans Rest, 2 nights

This morning we cruise on Cobbold Gorge’s beautiful and secluded waterway surrounded by spectacular carved Hampstead sandstone, 135 million years old. We have ample time to enjoy this beautiful area.

After a leisurely morning we travel to Forsayth for lunch. Travel on to the famous Undara Lava Tubes, a Savannah Guides Station. There's campfire entertainment after dinner before retiring to your accommodation in faithfully restored antique railway carriages.

Hotel: Undara Lava Lodge

Breakfast in the Australian bush before enjoying a guided tour of the fascinating 190,000 years old lava tubes, a geological spectacle said to be the largest in the world. 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 to end your adventure in the remarkable Gulf Savannah region.

Please note: This itinerary may be subject to change.

This holiday is operated by Heritage Tours.


Accommodation

Your Guided Holiday includes a range of quality accommodation for your comfort.
The accommodation you will enjoy on this tour includes:

 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

The most central location to all of the Atherton Tablelands attractions. Restaurant, bar and pool on 11 acres of landscaped grounds, WIFI and air-con. Complimentary continental breakfast box.

    Features

  • WiFi
  • Air Conditioning
  • Tea & Coffee making facilities
  • Fridge
  • Microwave
  • Toaster
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

Latara Motel is located in Georgetown in the heart of the Savannah Way. It is the perfect base to explore the surrounding area and unique attractions. The Motel is spread over seven acres of natural bushland gardens and sweeping lawns, creating an oasis in the desert.

    Features

  • Air-conditioning
  • Refrigerator
  • Tea & Coffee Facilities
  • TV
  • Ensuite
  • ISD/STD phone
  • Room service
  • Guest Laundry
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

The Karumba Lodge reflects all of the excitement and adventure the gulf country has to offer. Situated on absolute river frontage, the Karumba Lodge overlooks the Norman River in the centre of the main township of Karumba. This provides easy access to all the town’s facilities including the post office, bank, supermarket, fishing charters and river cruises.

    Features

  • Air-conditioning
  • Refrigerator
  • Ensuite
  • Shower and toilet facilities
  • Shared self-service laundry facilities
  • TV
  • Barbecue facilities
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

Gulfland Hotel is ideally positioned on the outskirts of Normanton in a quiet location only a short drive/walk to town. Noramnton is the second oldest town in the Gulf and serves as the main business centre for Gulf of Carpentaria with services such as Westpac bank, Post Office, Centrelink, Medical Centre, Hospital, Airport , Bus Service just to mention a few. As the town is bordered by the Norman River it is also a great birdwatching base with a vast aray of species in our local area.

    Features

  • Air Conditioning
  • TV
  • Ensuite
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

Discovering the spirit of the outback no longer means giving up the creature comforts of home.

By day, immerse yourself in the natural wonders of the Gulf Savannah; by night, unwind and rest up in privacy and comfort.

    Features

  • Ensuite
  • Air-conditioning
  • TV
  • Phone
  • Internet Access
  • Bathroom Amenities
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

Unlike any other hotel or resort, Undara is a wilderness experience totally in contrast to today’s modern accommodation. It’s a place where you can explore natural geological wonders, enjoy the comforts and hospitality of a unique outback setting and where the local wildlife are as abundant as they are at home in their surroundings.
Stay in either restored turn-of the century railway carriages or pioneer hunts.

    Features

  • Toilet facilities
  • Linen
Need accommodation before or after your tour?

Our special discounted rates make booking accommodation with us during your holiday both easy and affordable at selected AAT Kings hotels and resorts. Ask our friendly reservations at the time of booking.

Trip Details

What's included

  • • Highly experienced Travel Director/Driver
  • • Accomodation
  • • National Park entrance fees

What to Bring

  • • Sunglasses, sunscreen and hat
  • • Water bottle
  • • Warm layers in cooler months
  • • Camera
  • • Comfortable walking shoes
  • • Limit luggage to one small soft travel bag (approximately 300mm x 300mm x 700mm and preferably without wheels) and a small daypack (cabin baggage) per person. Definitely no hard bags or suitcases. Couples bring two smaller bags as opposed to one large one

Fitness Requirements

  • • Heritage Tours - High level of fitness required
    If you have any mobility issues or over 80 years of age, it is a requirement to complete the “Fit to Travel & Mobility Questionnaire” and return these to Heritage Tours. A doctor’s clearance may be required before booking can be confirmed.

Dining

  • • 8 Breakfasts
  • • 9 Lunches
  • • 8 Dinners

Flight Information

  • • Day prior – flights to arrive anytime into Cairns Airport
  • • Day 9 – We recommend guests to fly out the day after the tour returns to Cairns, as the tour may be delayed getting back to Cairns. We cannot drop off guests at the airport.

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