Cobbold Gorge – 5 Reasons to Explore this Outback Oasis

Hopping into a car to set off on a road trip into Outback Queensland is a serious undertaking – particularly when you know there’s a good 6-hours of driving time ahead of you and you have two very active kids sitting in the backseat. The good news is that our destination was Cobbold Gorge and there was lots to love about heading out west to this spot….

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This Outback Oasis is worth the trip

1. This Road Trip is seriously COOL

Travelling west of Cairns isn’t really ‘outback’ as most people know it. First thing you’ll pass through are the green rolling hills and farmland of the Atherton Tablelands, which is interspersed with pockets of rainforest.

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A BIG road trip but lots to See & Do along the way

When you do meet the red soil of the Savannah Way, its a mish-mash of low lying trees and scrub, termite mounds, BIG creek beds (often still full of water) and volcanic ranges sitting on the horizon. Long straight roads with nothing to see for miles doesn’t really occur on this journey.

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We love that there’s places to get wet at this campsite

2. An Outback OASIS

Often our biggest fear when we leave the coast is finding a spot to get wet. Fortunately at the Cobbold Gorge camping ground getting wet is still very much on the cards. With an infinity pool that seems to spill straight out into the nearby dam, plus the gorge itself, this place is definitely an Outback Oasis.

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Spoilt for choices to get wet out at Cobbold Gorge

Despite the wintery temperatures when we visited – in the low 20’s (you can see we’ve lived in the tropical north too long) – the kids headed straight out on the sit on kayaks to explore the dam and later took a dip in the infinity pool.

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Sit on Kayaks are FREE to use on the Dam

AS tempting as the swim-up bar was I opted to stay dry this time but its obvious this spot would get a lot of action in the warmer months (particularly that cocktail list).

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Nibblies & chats at the Pool Bar – next time I’ll be in the pool enjoying their cocktails 😉

3. Totally GORGE-ous

It’s hard to believe that this little pocket of wilderness lay undiscovered up to 25 years ago. The Terry family are cattle graziers and this sandstone country lay out of bounds for their herd until a camping adventure lead them to explore the territory a little bit more.

Cobbold Gorge - 5 Things to Love via @AdventureMumma

The gorge is 30m high & gets narrower the further up you go

As you silently motor your way into the narrow gorge and look upwards, you start to get an idea as to how much water must force its way through this narrow chasm during the wet season.

Cobbold Gorge - 5 Things to Love via @AdventureMumma

Our Savannah Guide Will, points out how smooth the walls have become

The gorge’s sides have been worn smooth thanks to the water’s actions. Down below schools of fish swim past, turtles pop their heads up and the odd freshwater crocodile can be seen basking on the rocks and sandy banks nearby.

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Hard to spot the actual gorge & all the water down there

Later we meander upwards to view the sandstone structures from above. The sandstone outcrops dominate the landscape and you start to get an understanding how this narrow watercourse and oasis remained hidden for so long.

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Bush Tucker taste test on the tour

4. LUXURY additions

When you head into the outback to camp you don’t really expect too many other dining options but one of the highlights of the Cobbold Gorge campground was the infinity pool, its swim-up bar (and cocktail list) and the outdoor dining deck.

Cobbold Gorge - 5 Things to Love via @AdventureMumma

The Outdoor dining deck proved a popular meeting spot

It was a great place to chill and meet fellow travellers, plus the restaurant offered a good alternative to cooking duties. And lets not forget the real barista style coffee on offer and FREE nibblies each night at the pool bar.

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The outback sunrises are of course FREE for anyone to enjoy

5. STACKS to do in the region

If you are travelling 6-7 hours to explore a gorge and camp then you’re probably wondering if there’ll be enough to keep you and the kids entertained. The best thing is that volcanic activity has helped shape this region and there are plenty of ‘attractions’ that sit side by side along the journey.

Cobbold Gorge - 5 Things to Love via @AdventureMumma

Fossicking on the nearby river bed & we found plenty of Agate

There’s fossicking at Agate Creek, camping and swimming at Einasleigh’s Gorge and of course, the opportunity to explore Undara and the Lava Tubes.

Cobbold Gorge - 5 Things to Love via @AdventureMumma

Had to visit Copperfield Gorge at Einasleigh too

You can even pull over for a road-side dip at Innot Hot Springs and soak those ‘driving’ muscles in the thermal springs located in the nearby river bed.

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Exploring Quartz Blow near the Cobbold Gorge Village

Ultimately, its a region that needs exploring to really understand and appreciate the geography and the landscape, PLUS its fun…..what more can you ask for.

Good Things to Know:

  • A fossicking licence is required if you’re keen to prospect for semi-precious gemstones, gold and thunder eggs and can be picked up from Corbett’s store at Cobbold Village.

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    Camping grounds at Cobbold Village

  • Pets are allowed at Cobbold Village.
  • Access to Cobbold Gorge is by guided tour.  Stand Up Paddle Bourd (SUP) tours of the gorge are also available.

    Cobbold Gorge - 5 Things to Love via @AdventureMumma

    Next time we’re booking the SUP tour!!

  • RV & caravan friendly camping area & accommodation is available in air-conditioned ensuite cabins.
    Cobbold Gorge - 5 Things to Love via @AdventureMumma

    All sorts of accommodation is available at the Village

    Cobbold Gorge - 5 Things to Love via @AdventureMumma

    Cobbold Gorge - 5 Things to Love via @AdventureMumma

  • Gas and wood-fired barbecues, fireplaces & communal fire pits are all around the property (collect your wood on the drive in).
  • Corbett’s Store supplies basic groceries, supplies (including ice) and souvenirs.

    Cobbold Gorge - 5 Things to Love via @AdventureMumma

    Corbett’s Store open for business in Cobbold Village

  • Wireless internet access, mobile coverage & a public telephone.
  • Restaurant open for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as snacks during the day.
  • Fully licensed bar.
  • Swimming pool with deck area and outback Queensland’s first swim-up bar!
  • Marked bushwalking tracks.

    Cobbold Gorge - 5 Things to Love via @AdventureMumma

    A couple of good walking tracks on offer too

  • Free kayaking on Cobbold Dam

Have you toured along the Savannah Way? Any other things tips for families travelling to this region? Anywhere else you’d love to visit in this area?

We received our tour and accommodation complimentary BUT all views, opinions and photos in this article are 100% my own.

PLEASE NOTE: Cobbold Gorge is closed to visitors during the wet season between November 1 and March 31.

SPECIAL OFFER: Book a 3-hour Gorge Tour and Stand Up Paddle Boarding, & get SUP 1/2 price ($25 saving per adult). Just mention Adventure Mumma when booking.

 
  • Anne-Marie Bland

    I love the look of Cobbold Gorge! it is on my bucket list.
    thank you.

    • Hey Anne Marie….happy to hear that Cobbold Gorge has made it on your list 😀 Great Spot & seriously 5 star sleeping arrangements 😉