Tag Archives: outback

Cobbold Gorge

After leaving Undara, a tyre repair was required so we stopped in Georgetown – not the fab suburb of Washington DC that we also love, but a truly great little outback town. While the local tyre fix-it man a.k.a. ‘the Chinaman’ toiled away, we managed to eat icecreams, find op shop bargains and buy award-winning sausages from the local butcher (yummy) and even found … joy of joys – a clean toilet with toilet paper, soap, water AND papertowels! What an amazing start to the day. The fuel outlet put together the BEST corned beef and pickle sandwiches as well…
Then off on the 42 km trip out to Cobbold Gorge. The owners had warned us that there was a section of gravel road with some ‘hairy bits’ s ( two parts, totaling about 70km of dirt ). It was a slow trip with our caravan, but no problems. We lowered tyre pressures all round, car and caravan, and had a much more enjoyable gravel road experience…
The Terry family own Robin Hood station and provide access to tours on and around the gorge. Funnily enough, they had always swum in a local waterhole but hadn’t realised it was fed by this beautiful gorge. It wasn’t discovered until 1994 when one of the sons went exploring in a dinghy!
The rest as they say is history, and the whole experience was very pleasant – think real outback, dusty roads, hot temperatures … and contrast this with an infinity pool overlooking tall gum trees, a great bar and really skilled staff and guides. As well the caravan park was very quiet with a lot of bird life and trees.
Bar Cobbold 4
Cobbold 2
The 3 hour tour started with a bush walk and our tour guide Alex spoke about the local plants and their various uses by local Aboriginal people – fascinating, and subtly different to what we know from living in the Kimberley region.
Cobbold gorge 1
Cobbold gorge 7
Gidji-gidji berries
Cobbold gorge 5
The grave of John Corbett was near the banks of the Robertson River. His gravestone reads that he had been “murdered by blacks” but in retrospect it is far more likely that he was set up and murdered by one or more Europeans after his gold. However the blame was laid on the local Aboriginal people and the authorities killed many men, women and children in what was described as a  ‘meritous retribution’. A chilling story.
Grave Cobbold 1
Grave Cobbold 2
A visit to the butterfly caves was a great chance to see a multitude of the Common Crow or oleander butterflies hovering all around us – such beautiful creatures.
Next was our trip up the very narrow gorge in an electric pontoon about 6 foot wide. As it was so quiet we were able to sneak up on Clyde the Freshwater Crocodile, sunning himself!
Cobbold gorge 6
And the very pretty green tree snake making himself scarce…
Green tree snake 1 Green tree snake 2
The good news is that both Undara and Cobbold Gorge can be visited without 4WD access or even a vehicle! We met several people who had travelled from Cairns on the Savannah Lander, an amazing outback train tour coordinating tours with all these interesting places. Great for overseas visitors, or anyone who is a bit over being on the road….
The turn off to both Cobbold Gorge and the Undara Lava Tubes are from the Savannah Way, the highway that crosses northern Australia from Cairns to Broome. This is on our soon ‘to do’ list of trips… Maybe next year or 2016. Watch this space.
We would love to hear from anyone who has done this trip…