Welcome to Normanton “Outback by the sea” says the sign. The slogan pretty well sums it up although the sea is the Gulf of Carpentaria 70kms away at the mouth of the Norman River. It is very much an outback town. The streets are long and wide and there are a couple of scattered shops. We eventually discover three stores that sell supplies and a butcher, there is no baker. Poor Woody misses out again. The caravan park is basic and very tight, about 20cms shy of the narrowest sites we’ve experienced in Bowen. But there is a huge shaded swimming pool and that is the most important thing in this heat.
Being on the navigable Norman River this town was once the trading hub for the gold mining town of Croydon in the gold rush days. At the far end of town there stands an old Burns Philp warehouse. It is now the local visitors centre and museum but best of all most of the building has been left in its original condition to give one the feel of how it was way back then.
There are three hotels in town the most noticeable being the Purple Pub yes, it is painted purple. It was moved (or probably dragged) from Croydon after the gold rush. Which would have been a huge task as it is a very large two storey building. I wouldn’t be surprised if they lost a few nails on the way as it looks somewhat rickety.
In pride of place in the main street is a replica of the largest crocodile ever shot in these parts. It was named Krys after the woman who shot it and is 28ft 4inches. Talk about ladies who shoot their lunch!