We took off early from Karumba so we’d get to spend the day in Normanton. It’s a short 70km trip down the road so we got to Normanton pretty early with the intention of staying for the day, watching the Freo Dockers play the semi-finals at a pub somewhere and then taking off towards Cairns and camping on the side of the road.
Normanton has a first class visitor center. It’s more like a museum with heaps of info on history plus there’s lounges to lay about on if you want to relax in the air-conditioning and computers to play on and the chap behind the counter was very helpful. Normanton has some interesting history with it’s remote location, gold rushes, railway and boom – bust cycles. There’s lots of historic buildings including the one the visitor center is located in.
We had a look at the big croc which is a statue of an 8.64m crocodile named Krys that was taken from the Norman River in 1957 – the biggest crocodile ever captured in Australia. There’s also a big barra for another round of photos. Cruising through town we noticed some advertising for the Normanton Races which were coincidentally being held whilst we were there. So we thought we’d go check it out why not. We mingled with the boys in their boots and jeans and tucked in shirts and watched a couple of races. After that we spent a couple of hours fishing from the bridge over the Norman River but no luck. We started chatting to a family of locals who were also fishing by the bridge and ended up taking them home since they didn’t have a car. After the fishing we went to the Purple Pub where we hoped we could watch the dockers play. Being purple we thought it was fate. Unfortunately there was a rugby final being played at the same time and that took priority. So no footy for us. We had a drink and then hit the road, occasionally listening to the game on the radio whenever the intermittent reception came in.
We camped on the side of the road and the next morning we passed through Georgetown which has the famous Ted Elliot Mineral Collection. We stopped in and had a look. The collection is comprehensive. There’s heaps of stuff. A geologist would be like a kid in a candy store.