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07 4658 3000 [email protected]
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2022 Journey of the

Gulf Savannah (Reverse Itinerary)


Unforgettable Gulf Savannah region touring peppered with 5 iconic rail journeys - Kuranda Scenic Railway, Savannahlander, Gulflander, Spirit of the Outback and Tilt Train.

Day 1: Friday – Cairns

Your adventure begins with a Welcome Dinner at our tour hotel. Meet fellow travellers and hear all about the adventures ahead with a comprehensive tour orientation by your Savannah Guides Operator driver and host. **Please check-in after 2.00pm. Overnight Rydges Esplanade, Cairns

Day 2: Saturday – Mareeba

This morning you will experience one of Australia’s most unique rail journeys, the Kuranda Scenic Railway.  We’ll board in Cairns and travel through world heritage-listed rainforest to Kuranda in the Atherton Tablelands. This bucket-list rail tour winds its way through 15 tunnels and over 37 bridges and promises spectacular scenery. We’ll then drive to Dimbulah where we join the Savannahlander, a classic 1970s ‘Silver Bullet’ railmotor. It’s a wonderfully, relaxing way to explore the beautiful Atherton Tablelands region. Disembarking in Koah, we’ll drive to Mareeba.  Overnight Cape Gateway Motel, Mareeba

Day 3: Sunday – Mount Surprise

The icing on the cake for our Atherton Tablelands touring will be a visit to Lake Barrine, a natural lake nestled in World Heritage rainforest. Gain a close-up view of one of the most amazing rainforest ecosystems in the world as you enjoy morning tea. Next we’ll continue on to Woodleigh Station for a tour of the original homestead built in 1876. Take a stroll around their expansive gardens and enjoy lunch with a view to their giant 100 year-old bougainvillea. Then it’s westward we go along the Savannah Way where adventure and incredible landscapes await at the Undara Experience.  2 nights Undara Experience, Mount Surprise

Day 4: Monday – Mount Surprise

This morning, we get to explore the breathtaking  Undara Lava Tubes, part of the world’s longest lava flow from a single volcanic crater. These tubes were created when the Undara Volcano erupted over 190,000 years ago, pouring out enough lava to fill Sydney Harbour three times over.  Join a highly skilled Savannah Guide for amazing insights into the tubes’ environmental, geological and historical features.  You’ll have time to relax this afternoon in your unique accommodation at Undara Experience.

Day 5: Tuesday – Forsayth/Georgetown

More amazing geological discoveries await today when we visit the Talaroo Hot Springs in time for a tour and morning tea.  Formed over millions of years, Talaroo Hot Springs are unique in Australia. With water discharging at a scorching 62°C and flowing into pools and terraces across the mound, the springs are home to an extraordinary ecosystem with aquatic animals and plants found nowhere else on earth.  Next we will travel to the hidden outback oasis, Cobbold Gorge.  Enjoy a tour of the magnificent sandstone gorge on this privately owned cattle station. The gorge is stocked with a variety of native fish and freshwater crocodiles. On a guided cruise, you’ll glide silently between towering cliffs in a specially designed, battery powered punt. Join an optional walk to the top of the escarpment for awesome views of the gorge below from the glass bridge!  Overnight Finnigan’s Rest, Forsayth or Latara Motel, Georgetown

Day 6: Wednesday – Karumba

Our adventure along the Savannah Way today will take us to Croydon, a town born out of gold discoveries in 1885.  Meet the passionate locals at the True Blue Visitor Information Centre for some town stories. Then it’s west to Normanton for a nostalgic Gulflander rail journey. Affectionately called the ‘Tin Hare’, the Gulflander was built to connect the once bustling river port of Normanton with the rich gold fields of Croydon.  In Normanton, take a selfie with Krys the life-size statue of the largest saltwater crocodile ever caught. See the Purple Pub and Queensland’s earliest surviving and heritage-listed Burns Philp store.  Arrive in Karumba in time to capture your first memorable Gulf sunset.
2 nights End of the Road Motel or Ash’s Holiday Units, Karumba

Day 7: Thursday – Karumba

Discover the amazing secrets of the mighty barramundi at The Barramundi Discovery Centre, the only hatchery in the world to breed the Southern Gulf strain of this iconic fish.  Your tour of this state of the art Interpretive Centre includes the opportunity to feed a Barramundi.  Enjoy free time after lunch to explore the town or to simply relax and take in this beautiful location.  Late afternoon, we’ll toast the sunset and feast on fresh seafood as spectacular twilight hues colour the skies.

Day 8: Friday – Richmond

We travel south along the Matilda Way to the Burke & Wills Roadhouse, so named after the route taken by the ill-fated explorers.  After Smoko, we head down State Route 84 to Julia Creek, then follow the Overlanders Way to Richmond.  Once part of Australia’s vast Inland Sea, Richmond is best known for its marine fossil discoveries.  Enjoy twilight drinks and nibbles at the Kronosaurus Korner, Australia’s premier marine fossil museum.  You’ll see the remains of ancient marine reptiles, fishes, ammonites and squids that once dominated Australia’s ancient inland sea. These fossils date back some 100-115 million years! Dinner tonight at your accommodation. Overnight Ammonite Inn, Richmond

Day 9: Saturday – Longreach

We continue along the Overlanders Way to Hughenden before turning south onto State Route 19 to Muttaburra, home of the Muttaburrasaurus Langdoni dinosaur.  Take a trip down memory lane with a visit to the restored Cassimatis General Store. This exceptional collection provides a fascinating insight into outback life during the early 1900s.  Arrive in Longreach late afternoon with time to check-in and refresh. Tonight  unwind on the Drover’s Sunset Cruise with tasty onboard nibbles, then take your seat at Smithy’s Outback Dinner & Show. Relax under the stars savouring a table service two-course camp oven themed dinner, as our talented outback entertainer performs live on the river stage.
2 nights Saltbush Retreat Outback Cabins or Longreach Motor Inn, Longreach

Day 10: Sunday – Longreach

This morning, we will explore the themed galleries of the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame.  The newly revamped displays create an engaging and immersive experience for contemporary audiences by using digital technologies to help tell the epic stories of our outback heroes. Enjoy some free time back at your accommodation to relax. Visit the world-class Qantas Founders Museum, eloquently telling the story of the founding of Qantas. View interpretive displays, interactive exhibits, original and replica aircraft, and an impressive collection of genuine artefacts. Dinner tonight will be at Harry’s Restaurant.

Day 11: Monday – Emerald

This morning, we are in for a treat.  We get to enjoy the best section of the Spirit of the Outback in daylight hours.  Settle in to your comfortable, reclining seat and enjoy the spectacular scenery on the full day rail adventure to Emerald.  You’ll pass through Barcaldine, Jericho and Alpha as well as the gem field town of Anakie.  Arrive relaxed and recharged in Emerald  in time for dinner at your accommodation. Overnight Emerald Maraboon Motel, Emerald

Day 12: Tuesday – Rockhampton

Today we will take a short drive to Rubyvale for an underground tour of the famous Bobby Dazzler Sapphire mine.  Learn the techniques used by pioneering gem miners to extract prize Sapphires buried in hard rock.  Next, we’ll visit Lake Maraboon, Queensland’s second largest lake and a popular freshwater fishing destination. Continuing our drive east to Rockhampton, we’ll call in to the Blackwater International Coal Centre for an insight into this billion dollar industry and to see oversized machinery navigating massive open cut pits.  Tonight in Rockhampton, we’ll celebrate our incredible journey with a farewell dinner in Rockhampton’s newest hotel (also our accommodation). Overnight Korte’s Resort, Rockhampton

Day 13: Wednesday – Brisbane

And so, we reach the last sector of our journey and the last of our iconic rail tours.  After breakfast, you’ll board the Tilt Train, the most modern passenger train in Australia. This is the fastest narrow gauge train in the world, a world class standard of travel.  As you journey east, enjoy some of the most beautiful scenery in Southern Queensland before arriving in Brisbane mid afternoon.



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Prices (per person)

2022 Tour PricesTwin ShareSingle
Cairns - Brisbane
Includes One Way Spirit of the Outback & Tilt Train daylight rail services

Minimum tour numbers apply.  Itinerary subject to change.  Conditions apply.

*Subject to availability. Rail subject to availability.

Prices do not include:  travel insurance; meals not specified in the itinerary; drinks; laundry; optional activities; and items of a personal nature.

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Tour Highlights

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Plan Ahead & Save

Book early and take advantage of our following saving options

Passenger Savings*

Past passengers save $200* per person on all Guided Holiday departures of 6 nights or more if booked at least two months prior to departure.

with Friends & Save*

Book and travel with four or more of your favourite people and you will receive $200*pp off your tour price.

Tour Discount*

Book two or more of our Guided Holidays at the same time and received a 10% discount on the tour of lesser value. Discount applies to tour only.

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*Offers valid on new bookings for our 2023 Guided Holiday Program only and may not be combined. Conditions apply.
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