Cobbold Gorge can be found on Robin Hood Station which is 48km SE of Forsayth in Queensland. Robin Hood Station is a 1284 square kilometre property which is currently running 15,000 head of Brahman and Brahman/cross cattle. It is located in the Newcastle Ranges.
A 4720ha Nature Refuge was declared on 5 June 2009 which protects rare and vulnerable plant species such as Solanum carduiforme, Gilbert River Ghost Gum (Corymbia gilbertensis) and Leptospermum pallidum. The refuge also connects several wildlife corridors.
Cobbold Gorge is around 6km long but only the last 500m is accessible by flat bottom boat. It has 30m high vertical walls and is only 2m wide in places. It is fed by several springs which keep the water level constant during the dry winter period of the year. It becomes a raging torrent during the summer wet.
Johnson River crocodiles basked in the sun on flat rocky ledges, mostly oblivious to us. A couple of them took umbrage at our presence and slipped off into the water to insidiously sink below the surface. They have never been known to kill a human. Nonetheless, they don’t endear themselves to me under any circumstance, no matter how nice they maybe.
There was quite a lot of bird life including a snake bird, parrots and whistling kites and a wedge-tailed eagle flying overhead. There were a couple of wattles in flower along with a red-flowered grevillea. It was a most interesting morning on the water after first of all walking around the top of the gorge.
In the afternoon there was a tour of the workings of the Robin Hood Station, which I declined, instead choosing to go for a walk around the settlement. There were a couple of walking tracks which produced more birds including a wren, red-tailed black cockatoos, pale-headed and rainbow lorikeets and some unidentifiable honey-eaters. A better option, I thought, to seeing another cattle station, a few of which I’ve toured around before.
Back at the camp and after a cleansing shower, I sat on a chair outside my cabin upon which no sooner had I settled onto my chair than a couple of butcher birds turned up on my roof. They looked hungry, so, having some of those cashews I bought in Cairns left, and with me, I crushed one up and sprinkled it on the far corner of the small table. I hadn’t got my hand back to pick up my whisky than the first bird was on the table enjoying my offering. Soon joined by his mate I was having a better bird experience than that gained on the earlier walk. Not to be outdone, a couple of noisy minor birds turned up closely followed by a flock of grey apostle birds. I was in heaven, although the butcher birds were too busy eating to sing for me. They must have listened to my mother who always said you shouldn’t talk with your mouth full, or sing for that matter either!
More anon David