Best Buys

Gulf Savannah Wanderer

9 Day Guided Vacation | Cairns Return

This Cairns tour transports you back in time – in more ways than one. Over the course of a week’s looping journey, there are villages that remind you what life was like in the Queensland outback in early colonial times. Trains that nod to yesteryear. Monuments that speak of pioneering explorers. And natural wonders that wind back the clock millennia: steel yourself for epic Undara Lava Tubes tour and a visit to Cobbold Gorge.      

Prices From Code: QGS

$3527

Adult Twin i A person 16 years and over (note a person 16–17 years must be accompanied by a person 18 years and over). All prices are per person, land only.

$4273

Single i A person, who must be 18 years and over, travelling alone, must pay the single room price. All prices are per person, land only.
Prices above are per person in USD

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Gulf Savannah Wanderer

Best Buys

9 Day Guided Vacation

Cairns Return

This Cairns tour transports you back in time – in more ways than one. Over the course of a week’s looping journey, there are villages that remind you what life was like in the Queensland outback in early colonial times. Trains that nod to yesteryear. Monuments that speak of pioneering explorers. And natural wonders that wind back the clock millennia: steel yourself for epic Undara Lava Tubes tour and a visit to Cobbold Gorge.      

Highlights

Time For You

The Historic Village Herberton is like a movie set. Explore more than 50 restored period buildings at your leisure, and re-live the romance of yesteryear.

Iconic Sites

One of Australia’s great rail journeys, the Savannahlander traverses the Wet Tropics region of the Kuranda Range. The 1960’s ‘silver bullet’ cuts a striking form en route to Forsayth.

Sustainable Travel

Plastic, what? We’re on a mission to reduce waste and leave no trace, with reusable crockery, utensils and cups all the rage when you dine outdoors.

Natural Wonders

Feel your spirit soar gazing at the striated sandstone cliffs of Cobbold Gorge, an ancient geological landform carved by rivers more than 10,000 years ago.

Itinerary

image map

Your North Queensland tour begins on a high – quite literally – as you depart Cairns along the Kuranda Range road, weaving upwards into the rainforest-shrouded Atherton Tableland. One of the key features of these dramatic highlands is Lake Barrine, its mirror-like expanse set in an ancient volcanic mar. As pretty as the waterway is, the stars of the show are the soaring ‘twin kauri pines’, these giants of the forest thought to be more than 1,000 years old and one of the earliest known species of rainforest tree. Talking of stepping back in time, Historic Village Herberton is a recreated tin mining town replete with shops, a pub, grocer, school and garage. There are more than 50 restored period buildings making this outdoor museum, all decked out with antiques and memorabilia. And you can visit them at your leisure – be sure to order a coffee in the Bakerville Tearooms.

  Hotel: Malanda Lodge Motel

  Included Meals: Lunch, Dinner

If you’re looking for a reason to get up early this morning, make it a journey toward Mount Surprise. All aboard the 1960s Savannahlander train as it tracks towards Einasleigh in the Wet Tropics area of the Kuranda Range. You linger here with sufficient time to enjoy a cold one at the pub or visit Copperfield Gorge – remnants of an ancient lava flow that spewed from a now extinct volcano thousands of years ago – before the ‘silver bullet’ chugs on toward Forsayth, continuing northwest toward the sleepy village of Georgetown. 

  Hotel: Latara Motel

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

The aquatic jewel of your Gulf Savannah tour, Croydon’s Lake Belmore is the region’s largest body of water, stocked with a mind-boggling variety of fish. Stretch your legs here before reaching Normanton, a delightfully quirky town with old-world charm to spare. Have your camera poised to snap shots of the legendary ‘Purple Pub’, historic Burns Philp General Store and a replica of Krys, the (late) 8.63-metre crocodile. More fish await at Karumba, at the mouth of the Norman River on the Gulf of Carpentaria. This pocket of tropical paradise is also a twitchers delight, as you’ll discover on a fiery sunset cruise. 

  Hotel: Karumba Lodge, 2 Nights

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Spanning 310,000 square kilometres, the Gulf of Carpentaria is a rare modern example of a shallow sea on top of a continent – a feature much commoner at earlier times of the Earth’s geologic history. It’s a unique marine ecosystem that fosters all manner of fish, including barra, as you’ll learn at the Les Wilson Barramundi Discovery Centre & Hatchery. The interactive and interpretive centre provides the history, stories, lifecycle and habits of these fish, and is the only place in the world to breed and hatch them. Feeling thirsty? Let’s head to Point Sunset for happy hour. Cheeers!

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

The Far North Queensland touring outback is beautiful. But 160+ years ago it was also harsh. Explorers Burke and Wills came through this part of the world while surveying the gulf. Campsite 119 was their most northerly post during their 1861 expedition. They didn’t make it to Mutton Hole Wetlands Regional Park, but you will, with time for croc- and bird-watching in this part of the largest continuous wetland in northern Queensland.

  Hotel: Gulfland Motel

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

When the journey matters just as much as the destination, jump aboard the historic Gulflander RM93 train at Normanton’s handsome Victorian-era railway station. Your adventure through the savannah landscape crosses the Norman River to Critters Camp and on to Black Bull Siding before arriving in the old gold mining town of Croydon. As locals like to say, the train “travels from nowhere to nowhere”. But it sure is fun. Call in again at Georgetown and Forsayth en route to Cobbold Gorge.

  Hotel: Cobbold Gorge Cabins, 2 Nights

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Cobbold Gorge is the place to visit to put life in perspective – in the best possible way. This ancient geological landform is distinguished by its narrow, striated sandstone formations and humbling 10-metre cliffs. Waterways carved the gorge some 10,000 years ago, channelling through 135-million-year-old sandstone. Cruising here, the only sounds you’ll hear are the wind, wildlife and quiet hum of your boat. 

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

The outdoor antics of yesterday were likely draining. Sleep in – we’re in no rush today. Forsayth for lunch, then campfire entertainment before retiring to your accommodation in faithfully restored antique railway carriages.

  Hotel: Undara Lava Lodge

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

The Undara Lava Tubes were created 190,000 years ago when a staggering 23 cubic kilometers of lava flowed into a river bed and kept flowing for 160 kilometers, making it the world’s longest lava flow from a single volcano. The result today? Huge caves, some over 21-metres wide and 10-metres high, have formed along the tubes; they’re never dark because they are gaping holes which can be entered by visitors on Undara Lava Tubes tours, accompanied by guides. It’s like falling down the proverbial rabbit hole, so surreal is this underground world. It’s a hard act to follow, but the heritage Curtain Fig Tree in the Atherton region puts up a good fight. Time to say see-ya-later to the Savannah. Make no mistake – this siren is one that will continually call you back for yet another Cairns tour.    

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Please note: This itinerary may be subject to change.


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

  • • 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
  • • Camera
  • • Comfortable walking shoes
  • • Sunglasses, sunscreen and hat
  • • Water bottle
  • • Warm layers in cooler months

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 Full Breakfasts
  • • 9 Lunches
  • • 8 Dinners

Flight Information

  • • Day 1: Flights to arrive day prior into Cairns Airport
  • • Day 9: Flights to depart after 9:00pm from Cairns Airport (recommended next day)

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

  Included Meals: Lunch, Dinner

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

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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. 

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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.

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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.

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

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

  • • 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
  • • Sunglasses, sunscreen and hat
  • • Water bottle
  • • Warm layers in cooler months
  • • Camera

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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