The Wandering Tops

The Wandering Tops

19 August, 2016


After Normanton we continued on the Savannah Way to Croydon where we stayed in the Caravan Park. What a surprise we got when visiting this town, starting with the wonderful Croydon True Blue Visitor Information Centre.  Here we watched an audiovisual of Croydon, saw the antique cars and looked in the heritage houses. Croydon had a very lucrative gold strike in 1885 and was once the third largest town in Queensland servicing an 18km long gold field.  We picked up the Walking Trail brochure and had a look around town including:
  • Exploring the Heritage Precinct which is a must as these buildings have been wonderfully restored. In the precinct there was the Police Sergeants Residence (1897), The Police Station (1896), Croydon Courthouse (1887) where you can sit and enjoy a case unfolding, Town Hall (1890) which is being used today as a Picture Theatre, Dance Hall and Live Music and Travelling Show venue.

Club Hotel built in 1887 is the last of 36 hotels once in Croyden

Croyden Town Hall built in 1890 with the original 1895 lamp posts on the footpath

Croydon Courthouse (1887) where you can sit and enjoy a case unfolding

Police Station built 1896

A Chinese headstone in the Chinese section.
 Cemetery - heritage listed and has operated since 1885. The old graves indicate the hardships of life on outback goldfields.

Lake Belmore - having coffee

Drove out to Lake Belmore which is approx 4kms from town where they have built a great facility for BBQs with huge shelter and table and chairs.  The view over the lake is lovely - we even spotted two crocodiles near the edge!!

Looked out over Croydon at Diehms Lookout
  • Federation Park/Anzac Park - sculptures by Hans Pehl, Blacksmith Artist.
  • Male Ward from the old Hospital  - originally built in 1894 but moved to make way for a new Hospital (still used for community events).
  • Rail Station - award winning steel replica replaced the original timber structure.  During tourist season the Gulflander train arrives from Normanton, returning the next day.
  • Old Butcher Shop - originally brought in from Little River approx 1940 but the iron and weatherboard structure collapsed in a storm in 1996 and was rebuilt from corrugated iron.
Metal artwork outside the information centre (on the right hand side!)

More artwork in the grounds of the information centre

Credit must be given to the community for establishing such a wonderful town to visit.

Left Croydon and travelled the Gulf Development Road (Savannah Way) towards Georgetown with storm clouds around us and weather very humid.  Stopped for lunch at Cumberland Dam approx 20kms west of Georgetown - nice free camp although quite a few vans already camped for the night. A brick chimney remains here from a Gold Mine.  Was looking for a bush camp but unable to find one suitable so opted for Mt Surprise Caravan & Motel which is a small park but lovely and only $18 for powered site!
Bird watching at Cumberland Historic Mine site

The remaining chimney at Cumberland Historic Mine

Before leaving the next day we stopped at the Market and bought some chutney which was pricey but locally made!  Only 2 stalls so did not take long before we headed off again.

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