In the Gulf Savannah you’ll find stories of traditional Aboriginal life, the epic journeys of explorers and drovers, and the fortunes of prospectors and bustling communities around a great Gold Rush. Take your time to enjoy the rugged heritage of the region. Here are a few highlights:
Restored antique railway carriages are available as accommodation here, and a walking trail meets the original telegraph line route from Cardwell to Cape York. The cattle heritage of the area and Collins family is interpreted on tour and at the Lodge.
Georgetown River Walk spans nearly 6 Km around the small town following both the Etheridge River and Sandy Creek. As you walk around the river walk you will notice signs displayed about the history of Georgetown’s bygone gold rush days and get a feel for the hardship endured by the first settlers of this small community. With thirteen gates around the river walk visitors can choose short walks or longer walks. Maps and further information are available at the TerrEstrial Visitor Information Centre in Georgetown.
The Cobbold Gorge Tour includes many examples of local bush tucker and the stories of local pioneers. Tours explaining the cattle station operation are also available.
Croydon has a splendid heritage which started with the discovery of gold in 1885 and led to the development of a rich, booming, gold-mining centre. With a gold field that extended for 18km producing 23,675gk of gold over 35 years Croydon became the fourth largest town in Queensland in its day with a large rural population of Chinese residents. Today, Croydon still glows from the dust of its feverish gold-mining days and presents its oldest buildings, like the Police Precinct (1896-97) with police station, gaol, sergeant’s residence, the Town Hall (c1890) and Courthouse (c 1887) to the public for free. The Incredible Croydon Walking Trail map from the True Blue Visitor Information Centre will guide you to all of Croydon’s historical sites including the mining museum, old hospital ward (c1894), Chinese temple archaeological site, outdoor machinery collections and the historical cemetery.
The traditional owners are the Kurtijar, Kukarj and Gutharn tribes who today operate the Three Tribes art gallery.
A rich explorer history includes visits to the region by Abel Tasman, The Beagle, Ludwig Leichhardt and other intrepid explorers. A short river journey from the Gulf, Normanton was the port for Croydon’s gold rush, hence the building of the Gulflander Train and classic Normanton Station, both “must see” attractions. Visit the Normanton Visitor Information Centre, housed in the heritage listed Burns Philp Building, to see a range of interpretive displays and pick up the Historic Town Walk brochure.
Burke and Wills Camp CXIX
Between Normanton and Burketown, this site is the most northerly camp of the ill-fated expedition (1860-61). Interpretive signage and blazed trees tell the incredible story.