Savannah Way

3700 kilometre route linking 15 National Parks and five World Heritage areas from Cairns to Broome.

The Gulf Development Road is a sealed road and links the Cairns and Normanton regions. Near Mount Surprise, this road joins the Kennedy Highway (National route 1), bringing the visitor into the Atherton Tablelands through Mount Garnet and Ravenshoe.

The Savannah Way is a themed adventure drive from Cairns to Broome through Katherine. The route traverses some of Australia’s most spectacular scenery including four World Heritage-listed areas and over 15 National Parks and covers almost 3700km. All in all, it’s an excellent length for a 14 day adventure across Northern Australia!

People tend to think the roads of the Gulf are only for seasoned adventurers, but this is no longer the case with the road sealed from Cairns to Karumba. 4WDs, motorhomes, caravans and the family car all travel far and well on the highways here. The best time to visit is year round – the two seasons of the Wet and the Dry have their unique aspects and the ‘green’ season of rains is surprisingly comfortable, uncrowded and has abundant wildlife and waterways. It’s always advisable to check all road conditions and acquire current reports before undertaking your journey.

Attractions

At Undara Volcanic National Park, stop and marvel at the 160km lava tube system – the world’s longest lava flow from a single volcano. Savannah Guides, a network of professionals across the Top End, lead tours into the caves here. At Undara Experience, guests have the choice of camping or staying in the Lava Lodge’s authentic turn-of-the-century restored railway carriages. A 1960 rail motor, the Savannahlander train, comes from Cairns to Forsayth once a week and can be combined with the Undara tour. Another famous train, the Gulflander, is celebrating its 120th anniversary this year and tracks from Croydon to Normanton each week.

At Mt Surprise Gems, try sieving and learn how faceting is done. Georgetown (with a caravan park, motel, hotel and museum) features the TerrEstrial Centre; home to a collection of over 4,500 minerals, gemstones and fossils. Cobbold Gorge is a spectacular oasis and wildlife habitat accessible by guided tours. Croydon was famous for its gold rush, but the port for the gold was Normanton which is now the major service centre in the Gulf Savannah. Spend time absorbing the history and scenery here and do go fishing!

Karumba, at the Norman rivermouth, is the centre of prawning and barramundi – don’t miss the Barramundi Discovery Centre here or the spectacular sunsets at Karumba Point. Beyond Karumba and Normanton lies Burketown, Gregory, and Boodjamulla National Park’s spectacular Lawn Hill Gorge and the World Heritage-listed Riversleigh Fossil Fields.

More information:

Directory

Find More  

Travel Tips

Find More  

5 Family Friendly Things To Do With Kids

The Atherton Tablelands are a brilliant place to holiday with kids with a big choice of both indoor and outdoor activities and some true “wow” moments. Here are a couple of ideas: Rainforestation Rainforestation is great for kids because it is three attractions in one. On the outskirts of Kuranda, the park has a mini zoo, a cultural experience and …

Continue reading  

Rail Travel

Let someone else do the driving on a train journey through jungle or savannah.  Kuranda Scenic Rail  This may be one of the loveliest stretches of rail in the world and every morning and afternoon Kuranda Scenic Rail takes passengers along this amazing 37km route. Setting out from Cairns the train ascends the Great Dividing Range to Kuranda at the …

Continue reading  

Pet Friendly Holidays on the Atherton Tablelands

If you want to take your four-legged friend on holiday with you here are some pet friendly places: Loads of Character  The Curtain Fig Motel in Yungaburra in the heart of this character village is an oasis for both you and your pet. The owners have two little dogs and yours are welcome to join the fun. There’s plenty of …

Continue reading