Cobbold Gorge – bespoken beauty in the remote Queensland

Cobbold Gorge - View from the Glass Bridge

Cobbold Gorge is located so far from civilization that we consider it the most remote gorge in Queensland. The gorge is not as big as some gorges in Australia (for example Karijini National Park or the huge Kings Canyon), but definitely one of the most charming and picturesque natural wonders you can ever see.

This narrow gorge is made of rugged sandstone formations and has 30-meter cliffs that close down at the bottom to just 2 meters in some places.

The best and only way to admire its beauty is via the organised tour. The tour has to be booked and due to the short season, we recommend doing it in advance. If you drive there without booking you may be disappointed.

Apart from visiting the gorge, there is plenty to do here: bushwalking, birdwatching, canoeing, stand up paddleboarding, scenic flights and mountain biking.

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But first, you have to get here via some dirt road of the Queensland outback.

Cobbold Gorge Glass Bridge
Cobbold Gorge Glass Bridge

How to get to Cobbold Gorge

Cobbold Gorge is located in the heart of the Savannah Region on the working cattle property and owned by The Terry family.

The best access to the gorge from the north is via the Gulf Developmental Highway and then by 85 km sealed (only one small unsealed section) Forsayth Road.

Going from the south can be done by following Kennedy Developmental Road (coming from Hughenden or Lynd Highway (coming from Charter Towers). Both roads are sealed.

Note that the final 46 km from Forsayth is an unsealed part.

Cobbold Gorge Road Conditions

Apart from the various unsealed sections, the road conditions are generally good. You can expect some corrugations on the way, but the dirt roads are graded frequently.

If you come at the beginning or at the end of the season (May, October), you may get some rain that can make the roads unpassable, so before coming always check the weather forecast.

Cobbold Gorge Tour

The gorge tour is the main attraction of everyone’s visit. The tour starts from the main reception where everybody gets on the bus that drives to the gorge. Usually, there are two groups going to the gorge.

The first group does the gorge escarpment walk while the second group is in the boat down in the gorge.

The tour lasts three hours. The guides are very knowledgeable providing all information about the gorge and its geology plus some other interesting stories related to the area.

The loop walk goes via the recently added Glass Bridge, where you can admire the gorge from the top.

After the walk, it is time for the boat cruise and to enjoy the gorge from the inside. If you are lucky you may spot freshwater crocodiles.

Cobbold Gorge Camping

There is a variety of camping options to suit all rigs. You can choose between caravan sites, power sites with ensuite or just camping.

The campground is well shaded with big trees and fire rigs are placed around.

Cobbold Gorge Walks

There are four walking tracks in Cobbold Gorge. If you brought your bike you can use them on all tracks except Dell’s Lookout. Note you have to ride in the opposite direction on the bike.

All walking tracks start from a gate to the left of the workshop. Go through the gate, cross the creek and you see a sign with a map.

Russel’s Lookout (4.5 km return)

Out of all walks, this walk is marked as grade 3 difficulty, perhaps due to the steep incline to the summit of the hill at the end of the walk. The first half though is easy up to the intersection where you can turn to Diggers Track.

At the end of the track, you can admire Cobbold Gorge Village from the distance and the sandstone outcrops.

Russel's Lookout
Russel’s Lookout

Diggers Track (2.5 km return)

Short loop walk that was named after Simon Terry’s first horse. The walk goes along Bond’s Creek, then crosses the road and goes back to the village.

The Loop (5 km return)

After leaving the board, follow Russel’s Lookout walk up to the intersection where you turn left to The Loop walk. It is possible to shorten the walk by turning right into Diggers Track before the main road or extend it by following Diggers Track after the road (see map for details).

Dell’s Lookout (2 km return)

Named after Gaye Terry’s first horse. This short walk goes along Bond’s Creek. On the right, you pass a rocky gorge that has water all year round. It is a perfect place for bird watching. Later the track turns left to later meet the road that leads back to the village.

Cobbold Gorge Map – Walks and Bike Tracks

Cobbold Gorge Map - Walks and Bike Tracks
Cobbold Gorge Map – Walks and Bike Tracks

Can you take caravan to Cobbold Gorge

Yes, you can bring a caravan. Before coming through, check road conditions as you will be coming via some dirt roads.

Can I bring my dog to Cobbold Gorge

Yes, dogs are permitted but they have to be on a leash all the time. Obviously, you cannot take the dog on the Cobbold Gorge tour but you can enjoy its presents during the bushwalking.

Are there crocodiles in Cobbold Gorge

Yes, but only freshwater crocodiles. They are called Johnstone River Crocodiles.

Johnstone River Crocodile
Johnstone River Crocodile

Can you go to Cobbold Gorge without a tour

Unfortunately, you cannot visit Cobbold Gorge by yourself. Access to the gorge is by an organised tour. The gorge owners ensure minimal disturbance to the wildlife and the gorge itself.

Please book early as the season is short and the gorge is very popular.

What else to do around Cobbold Gorge

Agate Creek Fossicking Area

If you are a fossicking enthusiast, Agness Creek Fossicking Area is a must to visit. It is a world-renowned site, south of Forsayth, where you can find a variety of multicoloured agates.

Find out more about Agate Creek.

Agates
Agates

Copperfield Gorge in Einsleigh

After visiting Cobbold Gorge, drive through Einsleigh to see a smaller Copperfield Gorge. Located only 300 meters from the pub the gorge offers a sandy beach and rugged lava cliffs.

Copperfield Gorge was formed after the river eroded a channel through basalt laid down by the ancient lava flow.


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4WD Equipment Checklist

GPS Navigator or compass

Maxtrax – if you get bogged, you can use it for additional traction

Tire Deflator – deflate tires quickly when going on dirt or 4WD

Air Compressor – inflate tires quickly after going back on bitumen (we use MM)

Tire Repair Kit – to fix the tire by yourself when you don’t have access to the tire shop (we use Oztrail)

UHF Radio – for communication with your mates and in emergency

Full Recovery Kit (with Dampener Blanket) – must-have if you are going on real off-road

High Lift Jack – useful if you do serious 4WD tracks

Shovel – useful if you get bogged, also good for campfire cooking

Fuel funnel with water filter – additional protection when fueling up in dodgy places

Additional fuel canisters


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