Existing Member?

7 months of Bulldust

Normanton and Karumba and a new breed of car eating cow's!

AUSTRALIA | Monday, 30 August 2010 | Views [2086] | Comments [4]

After spending a few days at Mt Isa in a caravan park (which was absolutely chockers, not just with travelers but also with men, women and families employed in the mining industry), we wended our way up to Normanton and Kurumba for a few days stay.  We camped at Kurumba Point which apparently had a telegraph link to Cardwell established way back in 1876 when gold was discovered in nearby Croydon, (though at that time it was apparently called Norman Mouth) – so this area has been settled for quite a long time.  The local aboriginal name of Kurumba was later adopted as the official name.


There is a permanent population of around 600 people – though this swells during the dry, as the 3 caravan parks and various hotels and motels fill up with folk seeking warmth, relaxation and great fishing during the winter months.  Many of the visitors seem to set up for the 3 months of winter in very established looking campsites.


In town, the Raptis and Sons building opens to the public each day to sell freshly caught (and very reasonably priced)  fish and prawns.  Our first night here saw us feasting on kilo’s of giant cooked prawns, & drinking cold beer (steve) …… followed by immediate showers as we were all covered in juice!


The Barramundi Discovery Center is also in town and is the only hatchery that breeds the Gulf strain of Barramundi for release into the Gulf river system and dams.  They run tours daily where you can check out and learn about the fish and its breeding requirements – and even feed a 20kg Barra (which seems a tad wrong as it should be the Barra which is feeding me!!)   We have also enjoyed a feed of “barra & chips” –  at ‘Ash’s’ the town chippery  and  apparently renouned for being the best fish and chips in Australia… and we concur….. it was pretty damn good.


The wetlands around here are full of birdlife, and the Brolgas are everywhere, including roadside flocks which take to the wing as we rattle past.


Normanton has some great old buildings which I will try to upload photo’s of.  The Burns Philp & Co building was built in 1879 and is a really wonderful historic piece of architecture.  It houses the visitor information centre and library which seems appropriate.   The Carpentaria Shire Council building was built in 1883 using locally made bricks at a cost of 1000 pounds.     The local Westpac building was great too.  Originally the bank of NSW it was built in 1886, and at that time apparently Normanton boasted five banks – Westpac is the only one left.   I also loved the big purple pub aptly named “the purple pub” – which given it’s wonderful color was guaranteed to be a hit with me!

The other unavoidable icon in Normaton is Krys the Savannah  King,  a lifesized replica of the largest esturine crocodile ever shot in the world.  It measured 8.6 meters long, with a girth of 4 meters and a weight estimation of  2 tonnes.   It  was shot in the Normanton River by Krystina Pawlowski, (she and her husband Ron were famous crocodile hunters in the 1950’s ).  This was one enormous crocodile, and I will load up some photos of the croc replica with Ethan lying in its open mouth – just to give you some sense of scale.


We were then off and on the road again, along the road today we found a wonderful “cow on road” warning sign, which really looks like they have a terrorizing herd of car-eating cows in northern QLD.  I have loaded up the sign so you can see what I mean.  However, just after we passed the sign we came across a family droving some cattle along the road edge….. given we had just seen the warning signs about this frightening new breed of vehicle eating bovines we crept past very carefully so as not to incite their insatiable  appetites for automotives!!!




Glad you all had a good outcome re little boy lost - wonder whether the parentals or 'little' boy were the most relieved. Not long now till you are home, will chat then
GB and GM

  Mary & Barry Aug 30, 2010 10:52 AM


Hello everyone!

Sending special wishes to Steve for a great Birthday today- may it be everything you want it to be!

Happy Birthday to you♪ ♪
Happy Brthday to you ♪ ♪
Happy Birthday dear Steve ♪ ♪
Happy 41st to you! ♪ ♪ ♪
(It seems like only yesterday that we were groovin' to that juke box and eating too much pizza!)
xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx x
(There you go - 41 kisses from our family- much nicer than punches)

Asher, Ni'mah, Terri and Adi 0 0 0 0 (& there's 4 hugs too☺)

  Terri and co Sep 2, 2010 7:24 AM


Hi Ethan, how are you going?
Is the trip tiring?
I read about the barra. You were right it should be feeding you not you feeding it.

I hope you're having fun.

  Chelsea Poulsen-Smith Sep 2, 2010 10:27 AM


Hi Ethan,
WOW!!! You have loads to say and it's all interesting.
Wait till you come back, you'll have so many stories we'll think you went to another country for years.

  Piper Sep 2, 2010 10:46 AM

About callwill

Heading off

Follow Me

Where I've been

Photo Galleries

My trip journals



Travel Answers about Australia

Do you have a travel question? Ask other World Nomads.