Talaroo Hot Springs is located between Mount Surprise and Georgetown in the heart of Queensland’s untouched Gulf Savannah and is an unmissable part of the Savannah Way – one of Australia’s great road trips linking Cairns to Broome via an epic 3700km journey.
Journey time from Cairns by road is approximately 4 ½ hours and the Talaroo Hot Springs turnoff is approximately 5 km east of the Einasleigh River (on the Savannah Way). There is approximately 10km (12minutes) drive on an unsealed road which is accessible by conventional vehicles, trailers and caravans all year round.
Ewamian Peoples’ Country extends through the Gulf of Carpentaria savannah lands in the upper Gilbert and Einasleigh River catchments and takes in the townships of Georgetown, Forsayth, Einasleigh and Mount Surprise.
Ewamian Country is rich with culturally significant sites including rock arts, scar trees, artefacts, occupation sites, bora grounds, stone groovings, and ceremonial grounds. Most rock art sites are found on the sandstone escarpments of the Newcastle Ranges and near water sources. Scar trees and artefacts are found right throughout Ewamian Country as are ceremonial and bora grounds. Stone groovings have been found in the rivers and creeks.
In the late 19th Century during the expansion of European settlement, Ewamian People were dispossessed of their lands and forced to live under the Protection Act, needing permission to marry, travel or work. Many Ewamian people were taken off their land to missions or reserves, but others were able to forge good relations with station leasees and find work as stockmen and domestics on pastoral properties on country– the only way to retain a connection to their ancestral lands.
Ewamian People who remained on the Georgetown Reserve until the 1980s conducted ceremonial practices, corroborees and traditional burial practices. Language was spoken but sadly did not survive. Ewamian People are now working with linguists to rebirth the Ewamian language which is derived from the Agwamin society.
Talaroo Station, a 31,500 hectare property on the Einasleigh River, was purchased on behalf of Ewamian people in 2012 through the National Reserve System and since that time has been managed by Ewamian Rangers as an Indigenous Protected Area and Nature Refuge.
The determination of Ewamian Native Title in 2013 and acquisition of Talaroo Station finally gave Ewamian people the ability to live and work on country; to maintain a physical and spiritual connection to their lands, waters and traditional culture; and to allow future generations to walk in the footsteps of their ancestors.
Talaroo is a living cultural landscape for Ewamian people, rich with dreaming stories and centred around the healing Hot Springs which form a lifeline through the ages. But it also represents an aspiration to showcase Ewamian hospitality and share a deeper reconciliation between people, culture and place.
Talaroo Hot Springs is proud to be part of Savannah Guides as a Savannah Guides Enterprise.
Savannah Guides is a network of professional tour guides and tour operators based in the tropical savannahs of northern Australia. We work to train tour guides and develop sustainable tourism. This supports our local communities and protects our natural and cultural resources.
Savannah Guides Membership provides an accreditation framework for individuals and enterprises:
• Savannah Guides are accredited after meeting high industry standards and completing a Peer Assessment.
• Savannah Guides Enterprises can be at specific locations or mobile tours. They all feature fun tour activities, demonstrate a commitment to conservation values and meet a high-quality standard.
Savannah Guides was established in 1988 in the Gulf Savannah and the network has since expanded to encompass the tropical savannahs of northern Australia, including the Northern Territory’s Top End, Queensland Outback and the Kimberley region of Western Australia.
Savannah Guides has mentored many Indigenous and regional businesses and developed a range of resources that we deliver in various workshops. We have received many awards for training and leadership and our model has been used in the development of Ecotourism Australia’s EcoGuide Program and the Wet Tropics Tour Guide Program.
Our guests can become Supporters of Savannah Guides for free, just by subscribing to our Newsletter which contains special events and offers of great experiences in northern Australia.
For more information, visit the Savannah Guides website.