October 2019

Cobbold Gorge in Queensland is one of Australia’s hot tourist attractions.  It just got a lot hotter by the building of a glass bridge which spans the gorge.  Readers will remember that the gorge is named after F E COBBOLD (1853-1935) #223 on the web tree.  He left home in Suffolk at 14 and went to sea despite the opportunity to work in the family brewing business.  He escaped the cannibals’ cook pot in Fiji and survived one of the worst hurricanes in living memory to settle in Australia, initially as a surveyor and later as a station manager.  Despite problems that would have defeated less resolute men he became a trusted station manager and later one of Australia’s great pioneering pastoralists.  Amongst others, one of the stations he managed was Robin Hood Station beside which the gorge lies and this probably accounts for its name.   Admired by fellow bushmen, trusted by bankers, his gritty determination earned him a small fortune which he gave away.  After provision for his wife his fortune went to the Royal United Kingdom Beneficent  Association, now called Independent Age.  It was their biggest ever legacy and has been carefully nurtured ever since.

The glass bridge is the first ever constructed with an entirely glass surface, 9.5 metres long with a bottom deck that is 4.5 centimetres thick and provides visitors with a whole new 360-degree view of the whole gorge and the surrounding outback.  The gorge is Australia’s youngest gorge being formed only 1700 million years ago from compacted Hampstead Sandstone.  The opening of the glass bridge this month further enhances this multi-award winning outback experience.  A visit was highly recommended before the bridge arrived – now it is an absolute ‘must’.

(Pictures 2 & 3 courtesy Tourism Events Queensland)

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