Okay folks lets play a game of hide and seek.
Hidden deep within the Gulf Savannah, in the north-east pocket of Outback Queensland, between Normanton and Townsville, sits sandstone structures that create an outback oasis.
It’s hiding. And it’s calling you to seek.
Cobbold Gorge is one of Outback Queensland’s best kept secrets – and is unmissable with its untamed beauty, emerald waters, and towering arches that stand more than 30m tall.
Although this natural wonder is 135 million years old, Cobbold still wears the label of Queensland’s youngest gorge as well as the narrowest.
What are you waiting for? Unearth the wilderness wonderland that is Cobbold Gorge with this 48 hour guide.
3pm: Arrive in the Gorge
Only accessible by road, get ready to burn some serious rubber driving from these cities and towns to reach Cobbold Gorge:
- Cairns: 462km (6 hours)
- Townsville: 497km (6 hours)
- Normanton: 387km (4 hours)
3.15pm: Settle in
Whether you’re looking to rough it or relax, you can choose your own outback adventure with ensuite cabins, camping and caravanning options available at Cobbold Village.
7pm: Dinner followed by stories around the campfire
With an onsite restaurant, there’s no worrying about where to eat or how to get there. Take advantage of the three course dinner meal and full breakfast combo-deal to get more bang for your buck during your stay.
Enjoy the classic outback hospitality and after dinner make a few new mates as you swap stories of your outback experiences around the campfire.
9am: Experience Cobbold Gorge
Access to the gorge is by guided tour only, however there’s a range of tours to suit how you prefer to experience this natural wonder and become a part of Outback Queensland’s geological history.
For an all-round taste of this outback oasis, see the gorge from both foot and the water with a three-hour tour.
The tour includes a bushwalk to the top of the escarpments for breath-taking views of the cascading sandstone meeting with placid, mirroring waters. After the walk, see the calming eeriness of the gorge from below with a boat cruise through its cavernous walls.
For a further insight into the natural wonder, book into the Ultimate Outback Adventure and Cobbold Gorge Cruise. Here you’ll spend a full day exploring deeper into the towering sandstone arches with an informative session on the gorge’s history, a visit to the grave of pioneer John Corbett, and a boat cruise through the tranquil waters.
If you’re up for more adventure, try stand up paddling through the gorge, with nothing but you, your board, a paddle, and some serious serenity.
Keen to see the gorge from a different perspective? Try a birds-eye-view of the gorge with a scenic helicopter flight over the vast sandstone structures. From 15-minute flights to tailored tours, you can create your own personalised Cobbold Gorge experience.
8pm: A beer or two at the bar
With a licenced bar on site, there’s no questions as to what to do once the sun goes down.
The property even has Outback Queensland’s first swim up bar attached to the pool!
9am: Relax and explore the Gulf Savannah
Although experiencing the gorge is a must-do, there’re plenty of other activities to keep you busy between tours.
Take advantage of the remote location and take to one of the bushwalking trails to discover the untamed wilderness of the outback.
Don’t forget to take your camera on the walk as there’s an abundance of wildlife to spot and birdwatching stations to capture one of the 100 bird species recorded at Cobbold Gorge (p.s. – want to know more birds to spot and where to find them? Check out this guide).
The best spot for spotting water birds is by the large dam on the property. Here you can also canoe the calm waters, try your hand at fishing or even play a round or two of aqua golf (a water version of the sport).
For more adventure, make your way approximately 40km south along a bush track (Cobb Road) to Agate Creek Gemfields where you can fossick for gems and try to dust off something you could fund your retirement from.
On your way back, be sure to stop by and snap a picture of Quartz Blow, a breath-taking mammoth white quartz extrusion.
If you’d rather take it easy than take off, we suggest you relax by the pool (and its bar), kick back and soak up the views of the wildlife and the rugged outback landscape before heading home.
Have you been to Cobbold Gorge? Tell us about your favourite experience in the comments below.