Normanton & Cloncurry
Aug 17, 2013
Leaving Karumba this morning we have a big drive ahead, 73kms to Normanton. Our last night we enjoyed dinner and sunset at the Tavern. We will not be sorry to say goodbye to the sandflies, have some itchy bites and trying very hard not to scratch.
Arriving in Normanton we call into the visitor centre. We were informed we could get a permit for free camping only if the caravan parks are full. There is room but we cant book in till 10am.
Walking around we came across Krys. A replica of the largest crocodile [28feet 4 inches/8.6m] ever shot in the Norman River.
The site we have been allocated has a van already on it. Back to the office which turned out to be a bonus for us as we were given a drive through site and we can stay hooked up. We walked over to the large Foodworks supermarket, think we will wait till a bigger centre not much in this one. After lunch we walk down to the railway station, complete with museum to watch the arrival of the famous Gulflander Train. Unfortunately we haven't timed our arrival to fit in with many of the tours on offer.
Walking back to the park we are starting to feel the heat. Lucky for us there is a pool in the park and we will spend the afternoon in the pool.
The artesian bore is located in the caravan park and used to supply the town with up to 300,000 gallons of water per day. The water has a scalding temperature 66 deg. C and experts believe it takes a hundred years for the artesian water to reach the surface.
16th- 18th August
Heading to Cloncurry today. The road is very narrow and rough in places. We are seeing a variety of bird life, Red Kangeroos and Emus. Stopping at the Burke and Wills roadhouse to fuel up we have a wait of 25 minutes, only one truck diesel pump working. Arriving early afternoon in Cloncurry,it is good to see Woolworths here and I can get fresh fruit and veges.
The highest temperature ever recorded in Cloncurry was 53.1 deg. C in 1889
Cloncurry is the birthplace of the Royal Flying Doctor Service. We enjoyed visiting John Flynn Place and Mary Kathleen Memorial Park & Museum.
We drove out to the site of the former township of Mary Kathleen, once an amazing hive of activity is now an eerie ghost town. The town and mine were constructed in 1954 to mine uranium oxide, operating for 10 years. It was reopened in the 70s and closed again in 1984, when the mine and town were dismantled and sold. It was said to be the largest auction in Australia.
This morning we said goodbye to our travelling companions of the last 17 weeks, Elaine and Blue, as they head further west and we head east.