The Savannah Way through the Gulf of Carpentaria is an epic adventure through remote areas

On our adventure through the Gulf of Carpentaria we weren’t faced with quite as challenging conditions

The Savannah Way through the Gulf of Carpentaria is an epic adventure through remote areas in the footsteps of ill-fated explorers Burke and Wills.

 Easter Holidays Anzac Day Karumba Point Sunset Caravan Park

Easter Holidays Anzac Day Karumba Point Sunset Caravan Park

On February 9, 1861, ill-fated explorers Burke and Wills left Camp 119 on the Little Bynoe River, 26km east of what is now Normanton, to make a dash for the Gulf of Carpentaria in order to become the first Europeans to cross Australia from south to north.

They did become famous, but for all the wrong reasons: Burke and Wills were unable to travel through the mangroves only 5km short of completing their mission. Upon returning to Camp 119 with fast diminishing food and water, they had no choice but to try to reach civilisation down south. Three rescue missions were sent to find Burke and Wills, but through unfortunate circumstances and poor leadership both men died on the return journey.

On our adventure through the Gulf of Carpentaria we weren’t faced with quite as challenging conditions, but the trip through the Gulf Savannah will take you through rocky river crossings, past endless Savannah woodlands and into historic mining towns. 

It is a journey into Australia’s past, with stories of courageous explorers and persevering Australian bushmen and women who made – and make – a living in these remote areas.

Easter Holidays Anzac Day Karumba Point Sunset Caravan Park

Easter Holidays Anzac Day Karumba Point Sunset Caravan Park

Our trip began in the remote Top End town of Borroloola, where we faced no problem.

After leaving Borroloola, we drove through golden savannah woodlands without meeting another car for about 100km. We had to negotiate a number of river crossings, but most were shallow.

Once we were through, we quickly checked the car and trailer. We decided to have some lunch after all the excitement when a Toyota ute rocked up carrying locals from the Calvert River Station. They asked if we’d got through the river okay because they pulled out eight vehicles early in the season after they got stuck in the middle with no way of winching themselves out. Apparently the flood waters washed away a lot of the rocks in one section of the river and the council had to fill it up before it was safe once more to attempt the crossing.

After lunch we pushed on to Hell’s Gate Roadhouse; an interesting place with a fascinating history.

From Hell’s Gate Roadhouse we drove to Burketown – aka the barramundi capital of Australia – situated on the Albert River. The savannah grasslands to the south were hailed by early explorers as the Plains of Promise. Established in 1865, it is the Gulf’s oldest town but, sadly, Gulf fever (thought to be typhoid) decimated the population and forced its evacuation in 1866 to Sweers Island, until re-establishment in 1882. The Albert Hotel was built in the late 1860s and is the oldest building in the Gulf. Even though the town is only 25km from the coast, Karumba is the only beach accessible via a sealed road. From Burketown you can travel to Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park and marvel at this oasis in the middle of savannah country; it is certainly worth making the 200km trip there.

Take a tour at the Les Wilson Barramundi Discovery Centre to discover the secret life of barramundi

Take a tour at the Les Wilson Barramundi Discovery Centre to discover the secret life of barramundi

After travelling through such remote areas, it was a treat to arrive in Normanton, the major service centre in the Gulf Savannah with three supermarkets and, of course, the famous Purple Pub. Established on the Norman River by explorer William Landsborough, Normanton was the port for the Croydon gold rush. The railway line between Normanton and Croydon was built for this reason and today you can still ride the legendary Gulflander. An innovative sleeper design allows seasonal flood waters to flow over the line to lessen flood damage. Most of the rail and sleepers are the original ones laid between 1888 and 1891 – testament to the ingenuity of the design.

KRYS The Savannah King

KRYS The Savannah King

A visit to Normanton is incomplete without seeing the replica of Krys the Savannah King, claimed to be the largest recorded saltwater crocodile (8.63m) captured in the world. Krystina Pawlowski is the female croc hunter who reportedly shot the massive croc on MacArthur Bank along the Norman River in July 1957. However, the locals will tell you that today an even bigger croc frequents the waters of the Norman River.

The Norman River at Karumba looking towards Karumba Point

The Norman River at Karumba looking towards Karumba Point

From Normanton it is a 71km drive to Karumba, the perfect place for spectacular sunsets over the Gulf of Carpentaria. This is a fishing Mecca where, during winter, the population swells significantly when fishing enthusiasts travel to Karumba for the plentiful barramundi. Make sure you pay a visit to Ash’s Cafe where you can buy one serving of fish and chips for five dollars; let me tell you, it is good stuff!

$11 million barramundi ‘discovery centre’ a boon for small Far North Queensland town

The Les Wilson Barramundi Discovery Centre designed by Bud Brannigan Architects. Image David Sandison

The Les Wilson Barramundi Discovery Centre designed by Bud Brannigan Architects. Image David Sandison

A redevelopment and expansion of a visitor centre on a barramundi farm and hatchery has been completed in Karumba, a remote town near the Gulf of Carpentaria in Far North Queensland which at the 2016 census had a population of 526.

Designed by Brisbane-based practice Bud Brannigan Architects, the new Les Wilson Barramundi Discovery Centre, due to open in February 2018, will offer an interpretive experience that will “tell the story of the southern gulf barramundi to visitors.”

Karumba is a popular destination for recreational fishing and the only hatchery in the world that breeds the southern gulf barramundi.

The centre will also offer visitors the chance to fish for barramundi and will include a souvenir shop, a restaurant and a conference centre.

 The Les Wilson Barramundi Discovery Centre designed by Bud Brannigan Architects. Image David Sandison

The Les Wilson Barramundi Discovery Centre designed by Bud Brannigan Architects. Image David Sandison

Lead architect Bud Brannigan states that the design for the centre’s simple plan and structure derived from a consideration of the barramundi itself, as well as an appreciation for the harsh local conditions.

Easter Holidays Anzac Day Karumba Point Sunset Caravan Park

Easter Holidays Anzac Day Karumba Point Sunset Caravan Park

“Karumba is remote, a corrosive environment, and often subject to extreme weather events, requiring a robust materials and assembly strategy for the building,” he writes in a design statement. “The structure comprises a series of prefabricated skeletal steel portals set out on a regular radial grid, connected on site, onto which standard framing and metal external cladding is applied, simplifying construction.”

 The Les Wilson Barramundi Discovery Centre designed by Bud Brannigan Architects. Image David Sandison

The Les Wilson Barramundi Discovery Centre designed by Bud Brannigan Architects. Image David Sandison

The 130-metre-long building is suspended a metre from the ground and takes the form of a linear arc, which wraps around a 2,500 square metre growing pond. The building increases in height from the southern to northern end, where a pitched-roof tower covers an external arrival and gathering verandah.

 The Les Wilson Barramundi Discovery Centre designed by Bud Brannigan Architects. Image David Sandison

The Les Wilson Barramundi Discovery Centre designed by Bud Brannigan Architects. Image David Sandison

The pond contains several thousand young barramundi from the hatchery. On the pond side of the building, a continuous verandah shaded by a perforated metal screen provides external circulation and access to internal spaces and to outdoor pathways.

Buy Now From Park Shop karumba Point Sunset Caravan Park

Buy Now From Park Shop karumba Point Sunset Caravan Park

The centre is made from 87 tonnes of structural steel, 11, 000 bolts and 50 tonnes of hardwood joists to form the floor frame.

 The Les Wilson Barramundi Discovery Centre designed by Bud Brannigan Architects. Image David Sandison

The Les Wilson Barramundi Discovery Centre designed by Bud Brannigan Architects. Image David Sandison

Predominately funded by the Queensland state government’s Building Our Regions program, with additional funding from other state government departments and council, the project is intended to draw students and tourists to the area, while also providing jobs and a community meeting place for the local population.

 The Les Wilson Barramundi Discovery Centre designed by Bud Brannigan Architects. Image David Sandison

The Les Wilson Barramundi Discovery Centre designed by Bud Brannigan Architects. Image David Sandison

The Carpentaria Shire council estimates the centre currently generates around $2.6 million in gross regional product each year and expects this to increase with the expansion of the Barramundi Discovery Centre. The project is also expected to generate new opportunities for council to partner with the tourism, retail, fishing and education sectors, including James Cook University.

 The Les Wilson Barramundi Discovery Centre designed by Bud Brannigan Architects. Image David Sandison

The Les Wilson Barramundi Discovery Centre designed by Bud Brannigan Architects. Image David Sandison

The centre will be open to the public in February 2018.

Where to stay!

Karumba Point Sunset Caravan Park

Karumba Point Sunset Caravan Park Qld Australia Overview

Karumba Point Sunset Caravan Park Qld Australia Overview

Karumba Point Sunset Caravan Park Qld Australia Overview

Karumba Point Sunset Caravan Park Qld Australia Overview

Driving The Savannah Way Queensland Australia

Driving The Savannah Way Queensland Australia

Christmas Festival Karumba Point Sunset Caravan Park Holidays

Christmas Festival Karumba Point Sunset Caravan Park Holidays

Karumba Point Sunset Caravan Park If you want the best fishing in Australia. Have fun, dine in spectacular surroundings, see what the outback is really like, Karumba Point Sunset Caravan Park is the place to be.

Karumba The Ferryman River Cruises Tripadvisor Testimonial

Karumba The Ferryman River Cruises Tripadvisor Testimonial

Without a doubt Karumba Point Sunset Caravan Park location in one of Australia’s finest with nearby beach, panoramic ocean views, excellent fishing

Karumba Point Sunset Caravan Park is an ideal place to stay and we recommend to all visitors who have intention to stay short or long term stay because one will get following facilities under one roof such as

  1. En-Suited Cabins.
  2. En-Suited Villas.
  3. Unpowered Site.
  4. Powered Site.
  5. Coined Washing Machine.
  6. Fish Cleaning Area.
  7. Dump Stations.
  8. Amenities.
  9. Office / Shop / Cafe.
  10. Clothes Lines.
  11. Shed.
  12. Camp Kitchen.
  13. BBQ.
  14. Swimming Pool.
  15. Car Wash.
  16. Pizza Service.
  17. Staff Hospitality.
  18. Park Slabs Area.
  19. Park Gardens.
  20. Park Trees.

A beautiful relaxing atmosphere is created by the abundance of trees and colorful flowers situated through out the park with wildlife frequenting constantly.

The Donald family kids know how to catch fish in Karumba. 5 kids 5 great Bluenose. Great catch kids. Well done. Fish and chips tonight!!

The Donald family kids know how to catch fish in Karumba. 5 kids 5 great Bluenose. Great catch kids. Well done. Fish and chips tonight!!

BBQ facilities are available at the park and public phone booths are also situated in convenient locations. There are spotless ablution blocks providing excellent shower and laundry facilities.

Karumba Point Sunset Caravan Park Swimming Pool 09 December 2016

Karumba Point Sunset Caravan Park Swimming Pool 09 December 2016

For those lazy days relaxing you can also treat yourself to a dip in the swimming pool that is provided for all to use.

Internet facilities are provided.

Karumba Point Sunset Caravan Park

Karumba Point Sunset Caravan Park

The caravan sites range from cement slabs to well lawn. They are excellent for campers of all types. There is a special area for cleaning fish and if you would like to walk then there is walking track just few steps away from the Park. The layout of the sites is non regimental adding an easy going feel to the park. Well established trees are everywhere with a shady spot being no problem to find.

Karumba Point Sunset Caravan Park Wildlife Birds

Karumba Point Sunset Caravan Park Wildlife Birds

The swimming pool is there for all to enjoy. A great setting for those lazy days to lay back and relax. The swimming pool is open all year round and is maintained daily.

Testimonial Guests Reviews Karumba Point Sunset Caravan Park Swimming Pool

Testimonial Guests Reviews Karumba Point Sunset Caravan Park Swimming Pool

Testimonial Guests Reviews Karumba Point Sunset Caravan Park Swimming Pool

Testimonial Guests Reviews Karumba Point Sunset Caravan Park Swimming Pool

Children under the age of ten must be accompanied by an adult.

Without a doubt Karumba Point Sunset Caravan Park location in one of Australia’s finest with nearby beach, panoramic ocean views, and excellent fishing

Testimonial Guests Reviews Karumba Point Sunset Caravan Park Swimming Pool

Testimonial Guests Reviews Karumba Point Sunset Caravan Park Swimming Pool

Testimonial Guests Reviews Karumba Point Sunset Caravan Park Swimming Pool

Testimonial Guests Reviews Karumba Point Sunset Caravan Park Swimming Pool

Book Now Karumba Point Sunset Caravan Park Fishing Accommodation

Book Now Karumba Point Sunset Caravan Park Fishing Accommodation

BOOK NOW! for December and January. You may also do advanced booking for February, March, and April.
Postal Address: Karumba Point Sunset Caravan Park, PO Box 61 Karumba Queensland 4891
Tel: (07) 4745 9277
Fax (07) 4745 9480
E-mail sunsetcp@gmail.com
https://www.sunsetcp.com.au

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Tags: Carpentaria, Welcome To Carpentaria, Karumba, Karumba Point, Sunset Caravan Park, Karumba Birds Life, Karumba Wild Life, Karumba QLD, Fishing, Fishingsports, Accommodation, Hotel, Cabins, Villas, Powered Sites, Unpowered Sites, Campsites, Sports, Tropical North Karumba, North Karumba Qld, Travel, Tour

Book Now Karumba Point Sunset Caravan Park Fishing Accommodation

Book Now Karumba Point Sunset Caravan Park Fishing Accommodation

BOOK NOW! for February, March, and April. You may also do advanced booking for May, June, and July.
Postal Address: Karumba Point Sunset Caravan Park, PO Box 61 Karumba Queensland 4891
Tel: (07) 4745 9277
Fax (07) 4745 9480
E-mail sunsetcp@gmail.com
https://www.sunsetcp.com.au

Tags: #Carpentaria #Barramundi #Barra #Fish #BarraFish #BestFishing #Accommodation #Hotel #Cabins #Villas #Powered #Unpowered #Campsites #Tour #karumba #Barra #Barramundi #Fishing #BarraFishing #Sports #FishingSports

Tags: Barramundi Fishing, Easter Holidays, Anzac Day, Carpentaria, Les Wilson Barramundi, New Les Wilson Barramundi Centre, Karumba, Karumba Point, Sunset Caravan Park, Karumba Birds Life, Karumba Wild Life, Karumba QLD, Fishing, Fishingsports, Accommodation, Hotel, Cabins, Villas, Powered Sites, Unpowered Sites, Campsites, Sports, Tropical North Karumba, North Karumba Qld, Travel, Tour