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Gulf Savannah Tours

Gulf Savannah Tours

Gulf Savannah Tours Darwin to Cairns or Cairns to Darwin

Gulf Savannah Tours travel the Savannah Way hugging the Gulf of Carpentaria in Australia far North, and include Lost City, Lawn Hill, Riversleigh Dinosaurs, Undara Lava Tubes Tours

Next Departures – Check Dates here or  Book Now

Depart May to October – Check Dates or Book Now

Darwin to Cairns via Lost City & Gulf Savannah Tours – EastboundDarwin to Cairns via Top End & Savannah Way tours include Mataranka Hot Springs and “We of the Never Never” homestead, Daly Waters famous pub and show), Cape Crawford, Lost City, (optional heli flight)  Caranbirini Nature Reserve, Hells Gate, Borroloola, Riversleigh Dinosaur Fossil Fields, Lawn Hill National Park, (now Boodjamulla National Park) Adel’s Grove (2 nights), Bourke & Wills Roadhouse, Normanton, Karumba Gulf Carpentaria sunset cruise, Undara Lava Tubes. Then Cairns. Optional Katherine Gorge &/or Kakadu Extend for Laura Dance Festival 3 days (alternate years) and optionally Cape York Peninsula & Thursday Island 8 days/7 nights. 

Departs usually 2nd and 4th Sundays Darwin to Cairns from June to October  Check Dates or Book Now

Cairns to Darwin via Lost City & Gulf Savannah Tours – Westbound Walk in the stunning Undara Lava Tubes, swim & marvel in Cobbold Gorge (2 nights), Normanton, Karumba (Gulf Carpentaria sunset cruise), Hells Gate, Borroloola, Lost City, Cape Crawford, Caranbirini Nature Reserve, Daly Waters pub, Mataranka Hot Springs and “We of the Never Never” homestead, Katherine Gorge option of extra night for cruise or helicopter flight over Gorge, Alligator River, to Darwin. 8 days/7 nights. Next Departures  – Cairns to DarwinCheck Dates here –  Book Now

Departs usually 1st, 3rd, 5th Sundays Cairns to Darwin from June to October. Check Dates or Book Now

Alice Springs to Cairns via Lost City & Gulf Savannah Tours – Eastbound –  via Devils Marbles, Tennant Creek & Savannah Way tours include Cape Crawford, Lost City, (optional heli flight)  Caranbirini Nature Reserve, Hells Gate, Borroloola, Riversleigh Dinosaur Fossil Fields, Lawn Hill National Park, (now Boodjamulla National Park) Adel’s Grove (2 nights), Bourke & Wills Roadhouse, Normanton, Karumba Gulf Carpentaria sunset cruise, Undara Lava Tubes. Then Cairns. Optional Katherine Gorge &/or Kakadu Extend for Laura Dance Festival 3 days (alternate years) and optionally Cape York Peninsula & Thursday Island 8 days/7 nights. Check Dates here – Book Now

OPTION  Alice Springs to Cairns via Plenty Highway – Diamantina National Park, Min Min Encounter, Dinosaur Trail to Cairns Tour. Extend for Laura Dance Festival and optionally Cape York Peninsula – If travelling to Cairns with Spirit Safaris to meet Cape York tour, you can travel from Alice Springs, explore the Plenty Highway on the edge of the Simpson Desert, the Min Min experience in Boulia, the mighty Diamantina River and the Dinosaur Trail as we travel on to Cloncurry (Qantas birthplace) Lava Tubes & Cairns – Please Ask   

Undara Volcanic National Park Tour Cairns to Darwin

Undara Lava Tubes – Volcanic lava has created a remarkable tunnel system that lies beneath the rich grasslands of Undara.

Gulf Savannah Tours incl.  Lost City, Lawn Hill, Riversleigh Dinosaurs, Undara Lava Tubes Tour

Cairns to Darwin (Westbound) itinerary shown below. Darwin to Cairns (Eastbound) is reverse itinerary except Westbound has 2 nights at Lawn Hill/Adel’s Grove instead of Cobbold Gorge, includes Riversleigh Dinosaurs tour but no Kurumba visit.

Days Prior – Cape York tour prior or Cairns / Kuranda options – Ask for details 

Day 1 – Gulf Savannah Way Tours Depart Cairns for the picturesque drive to the Atherton tablelands to tour through the Undara Lava Tubes. The Undara Lava Tubes were formed some 190,000 years ago when a major volcano erupted, its molten lava flowing down a dry river bed. As the top layer quickly cooled and crusted, the fiery magma below continued to flow through the tubes taking it further and further from the volcano. The Undara tubes are the world’s longest lava flow. The word Undara means ‘a long way’ in Aboriginal language. One of the lava flows from Undara extends over 160 kilometres (or 100 miles). This makes it one of the longest lava flows from a single volcano on our planet in modern geological time. The original tube formed by the flow extended for approximately 100 kilometres, and several sections are accessible. After our 2 hour tour and tasty lunch, we travel via historic gulf towns of Mt Surprise and Einasleigh to Cobbold Gorge on Robin Hood Cattle station, for overnight. LD

Day 2 – Cobbold Gorge is unique, hidden away within the rugged sandstone formations of North Queensland. This gorge is extremely narrow, closing to only two metres in places, with spectacular 30 metre cliffs on either side. The overall length of the gorge is about six kilometres and includes a series of water-holes and rock falls, with the the last 500 meters is accessible by flat bottom boat. Great walks, swimming and relaxing or optional canoeing. Overnight Cobbold Gorge. BLD

Day 3 – Travel via Georgetown and the multi award winning, Terrestrial – the Ted Elliott Mineral Collection, the largest minerals collection in the world. We follow the Gulflander Railway line via the Gulf Development Road through Croydon which in goldrush days had 7000 people and 122 pubs. On to Normanton, and view the old Burns Philp store, and the 1870 railway history from the goldrush days, plus the hot artesian bore. Arriving  Karumba on the edge of the Gulf of Carpentaria, we enjoy a sunset river cruise. Karumba is the base of the gulf Barramundi and prawning industry and home to many salt water crocodiles. Overnight Karumba BLD – Dinner at own expense in local restaurant – great fresh fish and prawns here !

Day 4 – Travelling westward and parallel to the coastline of the Gulf of Carpentaria in this spectacular savannah country, we cross numerous rivers including the Leichardt River, named after Ludwig Leichardt who walked this country in 1845. We check out the Leichardt Falls before travelling across the “Plains of Promise” named when H M Brig Beagle (the famous ship which had carried Charles Darwin on his voyage) visited here in 1841. Enjoy a break in the frontier town of Burketown, named after Burke of the Burke and Wills Expedition of 1860 who reached the gulf near here in February 1861. Burketown was established in 1865 to service new pastoral holdings established in the region. We travel by the large Aboriginal community of Doomadgee, before turning off the Savannah Way to arrive at Kingfisher camp, beside the Nicholson River for a swim and yarn by the campfire and overnight. BLD


Day 5 – There’s time for a morning dip and cooling off before Corinda, where police were stationed to provide escorts for settlers to the escarpments of Hell’s Gate, beyond which the Aboriginals were considered fierce. Hells Gate is the routes most western settlement in Queensland and now is a popular stopover with a grassy oasis and refreshments, nearby Aboriginal rock art and caves. We travel via Westmoreland (uranium deposits) and enter the Northern Territory, passing the Redbank (copper) Mine and arrive at Borroloola with time permitting to view the museum and history of this once wild frontier town, now a popular fishing destination. Population is around 800 (about 200 whites and 600 Aboriginal), with Aborigines living in camps around the town. Borroloola has some very different Aboriginal cultures ie the Yanyuwa and Mara are ‘saltwater people’ from the nearby islands while the Kurdanji and Karawa people are ‘mainland people’. We visit Caranbirini Nature Reserve to walk amongst the Lost City through sandstone towers overlooking a billabong and across the escarpment country of the Gulf Region. Its now less than an hour to Cape Crawford for overnight. BLD

Day 6 – The Lost City can this morning be explored by helicopter from base at the Heartbreak Hotel at Cape Crawford, with an amazing 15 or optional 30 minute flight over these ancient sandstone pillars, formed when all this area was underwater. After morning tea we head off on the Carpentaria Highway for historic Daly Waters, and here enjoy lunch amongst the amusing Daly Waters Pub and township adornments, including an old helicopter and the thong tree. We take a short tour of the WWII airbase and aircraft hanger here – with a fascinating historic display of WWII equipment, aircraft images and life here at that time. Onwards for a swim at Mataranka Hot Springs and connect with the famous classic outback Australian story of “We of the Never Never” and Elsey’s homestead from the film. Overnight Mataranka. BLD

Day 7 – After a relaxing walk and swim, we head north to the NTs 3rd largest town, Katherine and nearby Nitmiluk National Park, at Katherine Gorge. Here relax on an Aboriginal guided gorge and river cruise – a fabulous introduction to this spectacular and historic area. Optionally take a helicopter flight to the top gorges – that’s a thrill ! Consider the optional Jawoyn Rock Art Tour – turn back the clock as you depart Nitmiluk helipad for a unique travel and outback experience. Destination: 40,000 years ago. Fly deep into the heart of the Dreamtime to an amazing Jawoyn rock art site. Fly over the rugged stone country and all 13 gorges on your return. Alternatively simply relax or take a swim by this beautiful peaceful river. In the afternoon we take the 3 hour drive to Darwin, passing through Pine Creek (old gold town) and Alligator River, home of the famous & retired water buffalo downed by Crocodile Dundee (test your hypnotic skills). Overnight Darwin BLD.

Optionally tour by Kakadu National Park for 1 or 2 nights from Katherine, or do Kakadu in a day or more from Darwin. Ask for details.

Day 8 – A free day to celebrate your journey. Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and the many sights or activities Darwin has to offer. Options include a trip to Kakadu or Litchfield National Parks, or simply shop or relax in Darwin’s balmy climate. Tour ends after breakfast. Home Flights depart from Darwin or consider travelling with us to Alice Springswith options including Kakadu, Katherine Gorge (optional), Lost City & Devils Marbles. B

Kakadu Options available

Visit the incredible Nourlangie rock art gallery and enjoy a Yellow Waters wetlands boat cruise, visit to the cultural centre, Jabiru and wetlands viewing area. Ask for details

Cairns to Darwin via Lost City, Undara Lava Tubes, Cobbold Gorge, Adels Grove, Lawn Hill, Savannah Way Tour

Darwin to Cairns or Reverse Cairns to Darwin

8 days / 7 nights

$ 4,995 comfy camping. Add $995 per room (twin or double) for 7 nights motel style accommodation

Check Dates or Book Now

Next Departures – Check dates here or Book Now