• Travelled into Normanton and onto Karumba

  • Saw the Gulflander arriving at the Normanton Railway Station

  • Camped overnight Sunday east of Normanton at Leichhardt's Lagoon 



Day 19


Sunday 28th August 2005

Click on the pictures for larger versions



Camp for Night 12 - Sunday 21st August 2005 Camp for Night 13 - Monday 22nd August 2005 Camp for Nights 14-15-16 - Tuesday 23rd to Thursday 25th August 2005 Camp for Nights 17-18-19 - Friday 26th to Sunday 28th August 2005 Camp for Nights 20-21 - Monday 29th to Tuesday 30th August 2005


Today, Sunday we drove through Normanton and on towards the coast to see what was around Karumba.

My knowledge of Karumba was from my first wife's (Joy) uncle, Mick Koehler. In the 60's he had travelled through the area as well as into Northern Territory in a Holden ute of the time. He was a great photographer and usually took slides.
When Joy and I got together around 1970, I would visit her home. Mick loved his trips and loved showing his slides, so many a night were spent watching where he had travelled.
He told me of the huge squall lines that came in like waves, dumping inches on the area around Normanton and Karumba in the monsoon season. He stayed in a shed somewhere in the area and showed slides of it.
At the time he was showing us his slides, floods were in the Normanton area and he told me how that particular shed would have been totally covered in floodwaters. It was a very large shed with high sides so I could imagine the area that was covered in flood waters would have been huge.
So, I've always wanted to go to the areas he travelled to and experience the thrill he had of being there. Mick is now in his 90's and living in a nursing home as I write (November 2008) but is totally blind. Such a pity as very few people know the locations of many of his slides as he didn't always note on the slides where they were taken.
As I drove into Karumba, Mick was on my mind. I would have loved to have had him with us for him to see how it had turned out.
Another piece of information he gave me was of the abundance of prawn trawlers and their huge catches. I love prawns and was half expecting trawlers to be unloading in front of me, offering huge, fresh king prawns. Sadly it was just a fantasy.
Life in Karumba no doubt had changed a lot in the 40 or so years since Mick had been there.
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We drove around Karumba and everything was very quiet. It was Sunday after all. I took various shots around the town and we visited the river and spots along it as we looked around for signs of life. Not crocs!
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As we had seen a sign pointing to a Karumba Point on the way into town, and we had seen all there was to see - or what newcomers to the town saw as "things to see" - I decided to follow the sign.
We were pleased we did as we found a pretty point where we relaxed for a while.
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Above is the Sunset Tavern and the Norman River.
Below is the mouth of the river as it flows out to sea.
Signs warn crocodiles inhabit the area
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Once we had done the tourist thing we decided to visit the tavern and get a bite to eat. I was really surprised at the quality and size.
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Sitting on the verandah enjoying cold drinks was a change from being in the caravan.
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Below is the view from the verandah across to the Norman River mouth.
  Below is a very strange high cloud I noticed moving inland.
 1.18pm   2.04pm

I noticed a lot of bird life - mainly Brolgas - on the way back to Normanton and tried to get some pictures.
2.44pm 2.45pm 2.47pm

The Norman River as we came back into Normanton looked very inviting on such a hot day but I remembered the crocodiles that lived in the river.
  That strange cloud was following us inland and had broadened out a lot.
Colours were starting to show which I assumed were caused by the sun passing through ice crystals in the cloud.
3.27pm   3.28pm

I had taken a liking to Normanton and as we were leaving the area the next day I decided to capture some of the surroundings.
3.32pm 3.33pm 3.34pm
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I was driving out of Normanton thinking how I'd probably never see it again.
Just as we reached the edge of town, a train was crossing our path. At first I was just thinking how I'd have to wait as it passed. Then I realized it was "THE TRAIN", the ONLY train that came into Normanton. I had read about The Gulflander but hadn't expected to see it because of the times it ran.
As it crossed in front of me I did a U turn and quickly drove back to the station. I had seen the directions to the station seconds before so knew where to go. I jumped out of the van and took the pictures below. I love trains so was really pleased to get the pictures, "live" so to speak.
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4.00pm 4.00pm 4.01pm

As we arrived back at Leichhardt's Lagoon, our camping site, I looked up as I opened the gate into the site and noticed "that" cloud again! The colours were still there and the cloud was a LOT wider.
4.30pm   4.31pm

As the sun set I couldn't resist catching the effect through "that" cloud again.
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I also had to capture the amenities block, to look back on in future years.  :)



Last Updated : 28/01/2012 01:35 PM +1000