2016 Around Australia travel blog

Croydon Hotel

"The Purple Pub" Normanton

4 trailer cattle road train

Normanton Railway Statiion

The Gulflander

Drivers location

Front view

Side view

Smoko stop

Coffee and cake

The track metal sleepers

Brolgas at Karumba

Mud build up

Frontal view

Caravan wheels

Spade work

Cloncurry QANTAS hanger

Old sign

Mud at Cloncurry horse show

Not so nice policeman

Hi All,

One of our goals this trip was to take the train trip on an old iconic Queensland train called The Gulflander. The train just does short runs from Normanton to Croydon 155kms the line having no connection to the rest of the Queensland rail network but is run by the Qld Government. It was a full day trip starting at Normanton at 8.30, morning tea at a siding and arriving at Croydon at 1.30, which left time for lunch at the local pub before returning to Normanton by bus arriving back at 4.45pm. We could have stayed overnight and come back on the train but decided against that.

There was a fair bit of rain whilst we were in Normanton which meant our day trip to Karumba was a bit cold and wet, however Karumba is but a fishing town on the south east corner of the Gulf of Carpentaria and is not really that exciting maybe more so of you fish. We did buy a kilo of local gulf prawns which were very nice. This area is also a common place for many brolgas and jabiru (now called black necked storks)

Our next stop was to be Julia Creek. We were asked why we would want to go to Julia Creek and its simple we haven’t been there. Getting there turned out to be more interesting than we thought. Given the road is not very heavily used it is single lane and as a car approaches both cars drop the left hand side wheels onto dirt to pass. After the rain the dirt was mud, wet sticky mud, the photos attached show how bad, we actually had to dig it off the caravan with a spade. Ultimately as it dried it dropped off or was persuaded off and now 4 days later mostly gone. We washed the van on the road side using onboard water and the car at a carwash later in Mt Isa.

We moved from Julia Creek to Cloncurry, an important town in the development of our national airline Qantas. There is still a hanger there used by the airline in the early days.

Leaving Cloncurry we met a very nice policeman who invited us to make a contribution to the coffers of the Queensland Government. Speeding with caravan in tow leaving the town, now that has to be unusual. Bugger.

We are now at Mt Isa restocking and carefully watching the weather as it might affect where we go next but that’s for the next journal.

So more adventures ahead.

Love and best wishes

Mum and Dad,

GM and GD

UM and AA

Anne and Marco

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