Normanton & Karumba …

Normanton started out as a port on the Norman River servicing the cattle industry. In 1885 gold was discovered at Croydon which gave its growth sudden impetus. The gold has run out and the port has ceased operation. These days tourism is the main driver of its economy with lesser inputs from pastoralism and it is the main administrative centre of the region. It’s a great spot for the bird watcher, normal people enjoy the fine visitor centre, a replica of the largest crocodile ever shot and some fine old buildings. Train buffs, clearly as mad as birdos, can ride on the Gulflander which runs once a week between Croydon and Normanton. The public toilets are not a rival for Queensland’s Maryborough but are certainly above average …

When Burke and Wills reached the Gulf they found that the mangroves prevented them reaching the sea. The one place where you can take a walk on the beach is Karumba about 70km by road north of Normanton. Fishing and tourism are the main economic activities here and these days Barramundi is what drives both. The Barramundi Discovery Centre is well worth a visit.

The population is only about 500 residents in two settlements one at the point the other at the port. The bird watcher is probably better off at the point. They should also check out the Ferryman Cruises.

Wetlands and Savanna abound. Good for birds with long legs …

Although they don’t have a monopoly …

Red-tailed Black Cockatoo
A typical gulf country landscape

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