The Wandering Tops

The Wandering Tops

17 August, 2016


Sunset from Karumba Point
Called into Normanton on our way to Karumba - just a quick call into the info centre as we were coming back this way again in a few days.

Out front of the caravan park on the Norman River

Old wharf on the Norman River
Stayed in Karumba for 3 nights at Karumba Lodge Caravan Park which is a fairly new set up with provision for 17 vans and is next to the Norman River.  The amenities are new and with the Pub next door offering 2 for 1 meals on Tues night was a bonus!  Hope they do well as would recommend to stay although being a new venture there were no established shady trees - just need time for the ones they have planted to grow.  With only 17 sites they will not be packing them in like sardines which looked to be the case with other Caravan Parks.  I was able to get my sutures removed at the Medical Clinic and all looked good. Also had a great ride around town and out to Karumba Point beach on the bike.  We went back with Hels to watch the sunset and saw a small croc feeding in the shallows.

A day of sightseeing consisting:
  • Live Cattle Export - first cattle transported in 1900 with export ceasing during WWII then starting again in the 1950's. Cattle are exported in the dry season to Indonesia, Philippines, Papua New Guinea and Vietnam.
  • Raptis & Sons - originally a meat works in 1929 before going into liquidation, then "The Sausage King" purchased site and continued as a meat works (seasonally) until it burnt down in 1950s.  What was left was converted into a prawn processing plant which A Raptis & Sons purchased and was only used in peak season as most trawlers had better refrigeration.  Today all processing is done on board the vessel with product coming into town frozen and unloaded at this site.
  • Oil and foam storage facility for the flying boats - the foam was to extinguish fires by running a hose down to the boat ramp.
  • Artesian Bore - was the towns only water supply until 1988 when sulphuric content was deemed unsafe for consumption.
  • Sunderland Park - the towns Cenotaph looks out over the Norman River.
  • Karumba Point Beach - beautiful view over the Gulf of Carpentaria
Waiting for the sun to set eating fish and chips

Bought fish & chips, returned to the point, put the tail gate down on the Toyota and watched a magnificent sunset - even spotted a couple of crocodiles!  What a way to end the day!

Tree of Knowledge, appropriately by the boat ramp

Hels taking in the knowledge

Left Karumba and drove back to Normanton where we followed the Town Walk taking an interest in:

Replica of Krys
Krys' - replica of the largest estuarine crocodile in the world (8.63m long) shot by crocodile hunter Krystina Pawlowski

Burns Philp Building

Burns Philp Building - originally a general store in 1879 (now Library and Info Centre) with its colonial architecture and keeping the original facade in place.
  • Bank which has been restored and is now a private residence.
  • Cast Iron gutter plates and stone pitched gutters.
  • Albion Hotel - built in late 1880's in Croydon and relocated here in early 1900's.  Artist Percy Trezise originally painted characters on the bar which is now mounted on the wall of the pub creating an interesting feature.
Albion Hotel

Percy's bar hangs on the wall with painted characters
  • Railway Station - quite an architectural marvel where you can take a trip on the famous "Gulflander".
    Normanton Station

There are quite a few attractions in Normanton and well worth going to the Info centre for a brochure with map and history detail,  Of course the old Purple Pub is still standing although we opted for a nice cold beer at the Albion.

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