Normanton & Karumba.  Carpentaria Coast, Qld

After an easy drive without issue we arrived in the town of Normanton where we head straight for the Gulf land Motel & Caravan Park.  Having checked in we are shown which space we are allocated and immediately we are reunited with Karen & Helge who we last seen and actually met for the first time in Kenilworth some time ago.

We crack on and set up the van.  This time we have selected to have power and water as the the temperature is in the mid thirties and this ensures we can use the vans air conditioning whilst also charging all our various devices fully.

Later we went for a drive to have a look at the town which didn’t take long as there is not much to see.  We then headed for the purple pub for a cold one and we’re joined by Karen & Helge who have the same idea.  After a good reminisce of our time in Kenilworth plus what we have all been up to we headed back to camp.

The bathrooms are pretty quirky and we spend sometime reading the various metal signs and jokes then selecting our favourites to photograph.

In the evening we elected to dine in the camps restaurant which gets a good name.  We ordered food and drinks then two hours later we enquired how much longer the food would be and were told you only ordered drinks!!

Needless to say we were not happy as we had been looking forward to the famous Barramundi and chips and were now having a very late meal.  We had the added annoyance that we both had left our dogs in the caravans although they had air conditioning on we still were not expecting or wanting to leave them that long.

After a bit more waiting our food finally arrived and it was worth the wait.  The barramundi was huge and cooked perfectly.

We then returned to the van where we walked Max then retired for the night.

Today we (including Kare & Helge) decide to head to Karumba which sits on the Gulf of Capricornia.  The drive is 80km which takes us in the opposite direction to where we are going but we have heard good things about the place.  We have also missed out on a number of things due to dogs not being allowed in National parks and feel we need to make the effort when that is not an issue.

The drive up doesn’t have any reward due it’s remoteness but we arrive without issue at the Karumba Point Sunset Caravan Park.  Unfortunately we arrive too early to get in to our spot as departures are between 10am & 11am.  

We  walk over to the cafe up the street for breakfast.  The cafe also has a grocery within it and the business is for sale as the family have owned it for fifteen years are looking to retire.  As we chatted to them they were very emotional about leaving but were ready to do it.  They had a couple of days left before they would close the doors.  Everything in the store was half price so we had a walk round and bought a couple of things trying to help them in a small way.  The breakfast was also delicious as was the coffee.

Later we return to the park where we are allowed to enter the park once all the rules are explained.  The sites aren’t the largest considering the cost but the place has a nice pool covered with a shade sail which we dive in to as soon as we got set up.

It’s so nice to cool off from the extreme heat.

Later Karen & Helge take us to the Sunset Tavern for drinks and eats.  The place is very bust with everyone there for the Sunset but the food is also delicious.

As the sunsets the view is utterly amazing and is one of the best ones we have witnessed.  As the sun disappears along with a lot of the crowd the colours in the sky are equally stunning and we snap some pics before departing back to the park.

The four of us sit round with a few drinks and have a funny night chatting with plenty of laughs.  

In the morning we say our goodbyes and we head back down to Normanton fuelled then spent the next six hours driving to the town of Cloncurry where we stayed the night just outside of town at the Corella Dam.  This is a great spot 1km from the main road.  There is also multi levels of camps around so we cruised about then settled on a spot not very level but uninterrupted views of the water with all the bird life around it.

The place seems to be a favourite of the tweeters as they walk about with lenses trained on anything with wings and take pride in identifying the name of the feathered friend.

There are a few people with little tinies who take a put put up the dam to try their luck at fishing or just enjoy a wee bit of sailing.  

We will stay here one night b4 moving on to Camooweal via Mount Isa close to the Northern Territory border.

The Savannah Way West, Queensland

In the evening whilst at Pinnarendi Station, as nightfall descended we decided to light the fire pit in front of the van.  It had been stocked with enough wood for the evening by the owners.  When we arrived there was no one around in this area of at least two acres.

Then a couple who seemed decent looking but also looked like they were sleeping in their car and parked pretty close to us on the other side of the fire pit asked if I was aware that you can’t light fires on the ground.  I replied yes I was but the non powered side of the camp had three camp fires already designated as fire pits complete with wood, ours being one of them.  That is why we set up next to one.  He then tells me that if any smoke comes his way that I would have to extinguish the fire.  I replied, sure, 😂.  NOT.

The fire was lit and the troublemakers were in their car and lights out by 7:30 smoke free.

Thankfully the next day we woke to find them gone.  No doubt on their way to annoy someone else’s peace.  How un-Australian.

This morning we take the 3km walk around the property which is a massive cattle farm with at least three dams and it’s own airstrip!!  In fact the owner takes off in his plane to go pick up his two kids who are at school in Charter Towers.

We continue our walk getting to the Garden dam first then on to dam no2 where Max was allowed to take a dip in which he does whilst inhaling copious amount of the dam

as he runs around splashing about.

Shortly after we get to the big dam which as the name suggests is huge and was made by the property owners who want to have all sorts of  birds taking it over.

As the heat rises we head back to the the van for a large drink of water ourselves.

We then thought a treat was due so off we went to the cafe where we had great coffee, scone with Jam and cream and a piece of strawberry cheesecake all of which were delicious.

Later on there seems to have been a mass arrival, we have vans, motor homes and a tent parked around us but we are excited as the pizzas we ordered arrive and we both scoff in to them.  These are made on the property by Nadine then delivered to everyone’s sites by her two young sons.  These are magnificent with sourdough base with veg, herbs and everything else from the property then cooked in their wood oven, YUM.  There was no way we could finish them so they will be tomorrow’s dinner again.

Next day we are off and back on the Savanna Way westbound.  

We passed through the town of Mount Surprise.  The surprise to us was how small it was and we motored on.

Our intention was to stop at Georgetown but on arrival we didn’t feel any vibe about the place so once more we carried on straight through.  We would have liked to visit the Undara Volcanic National Park and the lava tubes but with dogs not allowed we had to drive past.


We took a stop off the road to visit the Cumberland Chimney and Mine for a couple of pic’s and a wee break. There is also a huge lake/dam with an abundance of birdlife.

With it getting in to late afternoon and the sun beating down at 38 degrees we arrived at the town of Croydon.  This little town is a fantastic place really trying to be bigger than it is with lot’s of things to see and do.  The people we met were just easy to talk to and pumped up about Croydon.  We headed for the tourist information where a lovely lady with a real funny quirky sense of humour talked us through the things not to miss.

We headed for the Heritage Precinct where as you would guess time has frozen the place but the original buildings etc have been restored.  Including the police station, jail and courthouse.  You can have a seat in the courtroom and listen to a trial played out on speakers.  This included the actual testimony and a few words had to be bleeped out from the defendant who was a woman  charged with being drunk and disorderly.  She was eventually sentenced to two months in jail.  There is also a museum documenting the towns mining heritage.  We then popped in to the local hotel which is the last bar standing where there were thirty eight in one street.  It was good to stay out of the heat and a the beer was so cold and refreshing.

Later we headed for the campsite a small bit out of town.  It’s nothing much with toilets, a shower and a few trees around for shade but on mostly level ground which is good.  It only costs $5.00 for two nights, good on Croydon for providing a place to stop bringing in some travellers dollars to the town.

We set up our awning then scoffed the pizza from the previous camp which were again delicious.  We were then joined by a couple of other folks travelling and we had a chat for a while before heading to bed this time with our fan blowing to help cool us off a bit.

In the morning we take a drive to the fantastic Belmore Lake two kilometres out of town.  Again a beautiful part of this place and if you are ever there do not miss it.

Later we take some pictures of the town from the viewpoint near the lake then head in to town to spend some dollars.

We grab breakfast with coffee at the little cafe in town and were served by a lovely French girl.  We then fuelled up before getting back on the Savannah Way this time we are heading to the town of Normanton where we will reunite with friends Karen and Helge we last seen in Kenilworth.

As we travel we are seeing some huge eagles flying above or feeding on the roadkill of pig’s and Kangaroos amongst others, there are plenty to choose from.