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Savannah Way

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Go from the bush to the beach with this epic outback road trip adventure. Queensland is home to some of the world's most amazing natural wonders. This road trip will take you through historic towns, dinosaur centres and spectacularly unique landscapes. Over the days of your trip, you will be presented with very different landscapes that build up the Queensland state. Although this journey will feel like an outback adventure, the roads here are sealed, so no 4WD is needed to partake in this epic adventure.

Travel

7 days


Route

Mount Isa to Cairns

km


Best Time of the Year

May to October

Highlights

  • Chinaman Creek Dam
  • Lake Moondarra
  • Talaroo
  • Riversleigh Fossil Centre
  • Norman River

The Journey

Days

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

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Day 1
Mount Isa

Begin your day in Mount Isa by heading to the Riversleigh Fossil Centre. This destination might make you forget you are in the outback with incredible interactive displays, lighting, and a plethora of activities for all ages. Riversleigh is home to one of the most significant fossil deposits worldwide that tells a special story of the evolution of Australia's wildlife. Head to Lake Moondarra to watch the incredibly picturesque sunset and enjoy a peaceful night under a blanket of twinkling stars.

Where to stay: Lake Moondarra Caravan Park

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Day 2
Mount Isa to Cloncurry

Just a short drive out of town, head to Chinaman Creek Dam for the day and soak in the incredibly ‘Australian’ landscape. The scenery surrounding the dam is distinctively made up of red craggy rock formations and termite hills that stick up from the surrounding low-lying hills. Spend the day swimming, canoeing, fishing or merely soaking up the incredible tranquility of this destination. Home to a vast collection of Australian birds, keen birdwatchers will not be disappointed. With plenty of picnic tables and barbecues around, this is the perfect place to set up for the day and enjoy lunch.

Where to stay: Cloncurry Discovery Park

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Day 3
Cloncurry to Normanton

Distance 320km - Driving Time About 4 hours

Breaking up the trip between Cloncurry and Normanton along the Matilda Highway is the Burke and Wills Roadhouse. This spot is the perfect place to stop for a break from driving and enjoy some lunch. Spend your afternoon taking a journey aboard the legendary Gulflander for an epic rail journey. From wetlands and grasslands to the arid Savannah, the Gulflander ventures through spectacular countryside that many people would never see. This experience will allow you to step back in time and should be a must-see for everyone exploring the Queensland outback.

Where to stay: Gulfland Motel & Caravan Park

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Day 4
Normanton to Karumba

Distance 80km - Driving Time About 1 hour

Spend your morning at the Les Wilson Barramundi Discovery Centre. Here you will discover the only hatchery in the world to breed the Southern Gulf strain of this iconic fish. Discover the wetlands and mangroves whilst you learn about the incredible birdlife and stunning Gulf flora. Spend your afternoon on a sunset cruise over the Norman River. The gulf region is renowned for its spectacular sunsets and what better way to see them than floating atop the river.

Where to stay: Sunset Point Caravan Park

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Day 5
Karumba to Talaroo

Distance 400km - Driving Time About 5 hpurs

Queensland's newest tourism experience is 65 million years old. Located 360km west of Cairns along the Savannah way in the outback of Tropical North Queensland, the Talaroo Hot Springs is the only known tiered thermal hot spring in Australia. This awe-inspiring landscape is significant to its traditional owners, the Ewamiam people. Hot springs are important to their culture as they represent an aspiration to show Ewamian hospitality and share a reconciliation between people, culture, and place. There will be three different guided activities at various times across the day as well as the option to book a private soaking pool fed by the springs.

Where to stay: Talaroo Hot Springs Campground

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Day 6
Talaroo to Undara Experience

Distance 120km - Driving Time About 1 hour 30 minutes

Set in the Gulf Savannah country in Tropical North Queensland, Undara is as ancient and alluring as the continent itself. Enjoy the Undara experience and allow yourself to explore natural geological wonders in a unique outback setting where the local wildlife is abundant. Undara Experience delivers the essence of the Australian outback. From rolling savannah plains to ancient lava tubes, make sure you add seeing a golden sunset here to your bucket list. Spend your morning here exploring the lava tubes on an Archway explorer tour and unwind in the afternoon at the wildlife at sunset tour. Enjoy a big sky sunset whilst seeing iconic Australian wildlife in their natural environment.

Where to stay: Undara Caravan Park and Campground

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Day 7
Undara to Cairns

Distance 260km - Driving Time About 4 hours

Enjoy a leisurely drive from Undara to Cairns as the final leg of your trip.