Photos of a trip with the Savannahlander in Outback Queensland, Australia

Queensland flag
Images of the World
Flag of Australia

With the Savannahlander in Outback Queensland

The Savannahlander is a “Rail Motor” built for Queensland Rail in 1963 and runs weekly between the coastal city of Cairns, via Kuranda, on the Tablelands line across the Gulf Savannah to Forsayth, a small rural town in Outback Queensland. It is enjoyed as a four day, three-night travel package from Cairns.

Savannahlander, Kuranda
Savannahlander, Almaden
Crossing the Tate River
Crossing Double Barrel Creek
Savannahlander, Bullock Creek
Crossing Saltwater Creek
Crossing Fossilbrook Creek
Crossing Copperfield River
Copperfield Gorge
Copperfield Gorge, Einasleigh River
Einasleigh Hotel
Ballast tamper
Guide and boat, Cobbold Gorge
Cruise in Cobbold Gorge
Cruise in Cobbold Gorge
Cruise in Cobbold Gorge
Cruise in Cobbold Gorge
Cruise in Cobbold Gorge
Cruise in Cobbold Gorge
Cruise in Cobbold Gorge
End point, Cobbold Gorge
Crossing Einasleigh River
Crossing Junction Creek
Creek, Lynd River

The “Silver Bullet”, as the train is affectionately known, departs early Wednesday morning from Cairns and winds its way up the spectacular track to Kuranda with its ferns and orchids. From here, it heads to the southeast on the Tablelands, to Almaden. Here a bus goes to the former mining town of Chillagoe where you can take a tour of the old mine and stay overnight in a hotel. The following morning, back in Almaden, the train continues; a stop for morning tea is along the line in Bullock Creek and, crossing various rivers, the small town of Einasleigh is reached for lunch and a look at Copperfield Gorge. In the late afternoon, the train arrives at the rail terminus at Forsayth, and a bus takes you to Cobbold Gorge Village, 45 kilometres southwest from there, to stay overnight.

The following day offers a tour of Cobbold Gorge in a small electric powered boat. It is a spectacular narrow gorge, in places as tight as two metres with cliffs over 30 metres high. It is the youngest of Queensland’s canyons, only 10,000 years old. The tour ends at the point where the gorge widens, but a large boulder stops the further process of the boat on the Robinson River. Back by bus to Cobbold Gorge Village and the Savannahlander goes that day as far as the town of Surprise Creek to stay overnight. Here, a tour can be taken of the Undara Volcanic National Park, with the world’s best-preserved and most extensive lava tube system. The following day the Savannahlander returns to Cairns: the end of a great trip.