Normanton is the capital of the Gulf of Carpentaria and is located 466km east of the Northern Territory border and marks the near end of the increasingly popular Gulf Track. The historical outback town is home to the legendary Gulflander Train, the Purple Pub, the Big Barramundi and life-size replica of world record Saltwater Crocodile, “Krys the Savannah King”.
The town itself borders the Norman River and is in the heart of Barramundi country. Consequently fishing is a popular pastime and Barramundi and Salmon are commonly caught in these waters. For the boating enthusiasts a ramp is located at the northern end of Landsborough Street and keen land-based fishermen will favour the river banks and Captain W.H Norman Bridge.
There are several prominent landmarks around town and one distinctive building is the Purple Pub located in the centre of town. The brightly painted hotel certainly stands out from its neighbours and is a great place to drop in for a cold drink or counter meal.
Krys the Savannah King
is another local icon hard to miss. Also situated on the main street, in L.E.W. Henry Park, this enormous life-size replica of the largest Saltwater Crocodile
ever captured measures 8.63 metres in length. This famous crocodile was shot by Krystina Pawlowski on the Norman River in 1957 and is currently holding the record in the highly acclaimed Guiness Book of Records.
The Big Barra can be found outside the Gulflander Motel which is located at the southern end of town on the main road. The impressive statue of the region’s most popular fish species is representative of what is up for the taking in the Norman River and many other waterways in the area.
The Old Town Well marks the junction of Landsborough and Brodie Streets. Acting as the main water supply until 1965 when reticulated water was introduced, this well is a notable and important part of the town’s history.
Normanton Station on Matilda Street is home to the Gulflander Train which journeys between the old port town of Normanton and the post gold rush town of Croydon. The line is heritage listed and is isolated in the sense that it was never connected to Queensland’s state railway line. Its purpose was transporting gold during the booming late 1800’s but is now a tourism icon. The station also features a historical museum detailing interesting facts about the Gulflander over the years. Fares and timetables for the Gulflander rail experience can be found at the Visitor Centre or through Gulflander direct.
The historical colonial-style Burns Philp Building
is one of the oldest and most original buildings in the town. Dating back to the 1800’s it housed one of the most successful business partnerships in the country. It is now home to the local Visitor Centre and library.
Wetland Lagoon just north of town boasts beautiful water lilies and birdlife, particularly in the wetter months. If you enjoy bird watching this is where you’ll find activity and pleasant scenery.
Normanton is a charming outback town with historic and modern icons. Whether you’re passing through or planning a stay the remote gulf community is rich in history and worthy of some attention.
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Destinations in Queensland
Daintree National Park
Tin Can Bay
Undara Volcanic National Park
Return from Normanton to Queensland