Sunday 12th August to Tuesday 13th August: Normanton and Karumba

For the remainder of our journey to Normanton, there was 50 kilometres of single lane, then approximately another 50 kilometres of road works widening the road to 2 lanes and then the last stretch into Normanton was all 2 lanes.  Along the way we saw a live feral cat, and a couple of dead pigs.  We have not yet seen any wild camels!

While in Normanton we stayed at the Normanton Tourist Park, which was very nice, not too crowded and reasonable amenities.  Normanton is more substantial than we thought it would be (population about 2000) and although quite quaint is a very nice town.  The spent the afternoon walking the Tourist Historical Sites, which included the Artesian Bore, Council Offices, Old Goal and Trackers Quarters, Town Well and Purple Pub.

Today we drove out to Karumba on the Gulf of Carpentaria and would have preferred to camp out here but you need to book about 12 months in advance to ensure a caravan park site!  The terrain is mostly the Norman River flood plain, loads of cattle, Brolgas and Long Necked Heron.  Unfortunately the photos didn’t do them justice, because they blended into the countryside very well.  The population of Karumba is about 600 but I would say it is more like 1500 at the moment with all the tourists in town.  We enjoyed lunch overlooking the mouth of the Norman River in the Sunset Hotel beer garden, beautiful views, great food and very friendly locals.

On the way back into Normanton we stopped at the fishing bridge (which used to be the traffic bridge) and has been set up so you can catch fish, clean them and then cook them on the gas barbecues.  Then sit back under the picnic shades, and enjoy your fish, cold drink and the view.

Next on the list was the Normanton Train Station, home of the Gulflander which still runs between Normanton and Croydon, which is a 4hour trip (Wednesday).  The passengers can walk the historic gold town of Croydon, stay overnight in the motel and then enjoy the return trip Croydon to Normanton (Thursday).

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