Home' Caravanning Australia : Winter 2010 Contents Reserve, surrounded by the region's formidable sandstone walls,
and abundant with agate in a variety of rich colours. Visit the
reserve on a fossicking trip, and find some of the best specimens
available in Australia.
Back out on the Savannah Way, pay a visit to Croydon,
which is linked by rail to Normanton, the hub of the old
Gulflander train. Visitors from Normanton are often ferried on the
Gulflander to Croydon, overnight bag in hand, to stay the night
and see what the town has to offer.
The township has been developing its historic precinct as an
attraction for visitors, restoring the buildings of its gold rush days
to provide a quaint village where you can really envisage the
past. Buildings of note are the old surgeon's house, which is now
a bottle museum, the courthouse, the old gaol, and the railway
station. Wander around and imagine what life was like during the
150km away, you can explore Normanton, the port where
gold was received from Croydon, and an important hub on many
journeys in the Savannah region. Normanton is well known for
the Gulflander railway, which was used for transporting gold until
the supply in Croydon was exhausted. The railway has not made
a profit since 1907, however the charming old train still runs once
a week between Normanton and Croydon. Departures are from
the National Trust railway station, which with its preserved
Victorian architecture and intricately designed crossbeams is one
of the most interesting features of Normanton.
The old buildings in Normanton will definitely capture your
attention. Worth a visit are the watering holes that form the social
hub of the town such as the 'Purple Pub' and the Albion Hotel.
The Bank of New South Wales building retains some of its
beautiful timber work, and is an quirky yet pretty structure.
There are plenty of things to see and do around Normanton,
including bird watching and bush camping at nearby Shady
Lagoon, angling for that huge barramundi at Norman River 25km
away in Glenore (locals habitually catch fish weighing 5kg), and
of course visiting the Burke and Wills Cairn that marks the last
camp of the explorers' expedition. And finally, pay a visit to Krys,
who's happy to smile for photos---just don't get too close to the
teeth of this life-sized replica of the largest crocodile ever shot,
which measures in at a startling 8.64 metres.
The last stop on this driving tour is Karumba, situated just off
the Savannah Way on the Gulf of Carpentaria. The township itself
is a laid-back, come as you are kind of place, with not much
more than a pub and a few houses, many of them holiday
homes. Locals claim that there are few places in the world that
have the same friendly, laid-back feel of Karumba in winter.
Karumba is a gathering place for fishermen from all over
Australia---the fish virtually volunteer to be hooked. The
barramundi fishing here is said to be sensational, and the Gulf
waters provide a perfect breeding ground for many different
species of fish.
Beyond the mangroves, overlooking the Gulf of Carpentaria,
Karumba Point has some of the most beautiful sunsets in the
region. Some people claim that Karumba Point is the best place
in the world to watch the sun set, but you can decide that for
yourself as you take it in and contemplate where you've been,
and where you're going next.
When you head back to Normanton with a head full of
sunset, you can continue on the Savannah Way across the
Northern Territory and Western Australia, finishing in Broome. But
we will leave you here, with memories of Queensland's Savannah
Way that will hopefully match the sparkle of those destinations
that sometimes seem to outshine the smaller locales.
Caravanning Australia • Winter 2010 • 99
17th & 18th July 2010
Rodeo & Show
Kerribee Park Rodeo Grounds
& Camping Facility
614 Mareeba-Dimbulah Road,
Mareeba, North Queensland 4880
• 1 hour drive from Cairns
• Quiet, friendly atmosphere with room to move
• Powered sites $12 single $14 double per night
• Unpowered Sites
• Clean Toilets and Showers, incl Disabled Access
• Pets Welcomed • Dump Point
• Laundry • Plent of water
Tel/Fax: (07) 4092 1583
Gulflander Railway Station, Normanton. PHOTO: PETER LIK
Karumba sunset. PHOTO: NICK POCOCK
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