Sand Island in Gulf of Carpentaria off Karumba, Far North Queensland

Sunday, June 26, 2016


After our historic train ride from nowhere to nowhere, the coach picked us up and we drove to Karumba. (see map). A port town on the north coast of Queensland in the Gulf of Carpentaria. No sooner had we booked into our motel, our guides walked us to the beach. We were reminded to keep a look out for crocodiles. We climbed aboard a little boat for a sunset cruise to a sand island where we had a crab and prawn dinner.
It took about 30 mins to arrive at a small sand island only inhabited by a flock of pelicans.

 As we disembarked we were handed a souvenir wine glass with "Croc and Crab Cruise" etched on it.

Soon we all had it filled with our choice of wine.

 As the sun was setting the organisers set up tables and chairs and a buffet of prawns, crabs, chicken, barramundi fish, salads and quiche.

I didn't take any crab as I find them difficult to eat and I wanted to take photos of the sunset. It was hard enough balancing the plate, the glass of wine and a big camera.

 After the delicious picnic washed down with more wine, I danced to the end of the island to see the pelicans.

It was so peaceful watching the sun go down over the gulf in the warm, balmy, tropical evening. 

Saturday, June 25, 2016


I arrived at the Degani Cafe at Loganholm Hyperdome to find Birthday Bear waiting for me dressed in a Hawaiin outfit together with palm tree an frangipani flowers. There was also a card "Aloha Hawaii." How did Bear know that we have planned to go to Hawaii next year? She looks keen to come with us.
 If you want to know about our Birthday Bear tradition click here.
 Mary was the inspiration behind Bear's dress this time and it was my birthday the day before. I love bear's bikini top and grass skirt.

Our little group is getting smaller. Chris and Bob are on the road again and we sadly miss Paul.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

THE GULFLANDER (Savannah Way 4)

Part of our tour on The Savannah Way was a trip on the historic train called The Gulflander. It was originally built to connect the once busy river port of Normanton with the goldfields of Croydon in 1888.Today it is a tourist train and a working tribute to the early pioneers of the Gulf of Carpentaria. (see map). The rail line isn't part of any other network and it is affectionately said to go from nowhere to nowhere. It is heritage listed and retains its original rails and steel sleepers used to withstand the annual wet season and floods. The driver and guide tells about the history of the area.
 We didn't do the full five hour trip from Crodon to Normanton but a shorter two hour ride from Critters Camp to Normanton. (Named by early rail workers who found a myriad of creepy crawlies when camped there.) Don't you love the station.....four posts and grass roof to provide shade? The temperature was 35°C in winter.

 Our tour coach arrived at the same time as the train but we still had time for a few snaps.

I was wishing Bill was with me. He would have loved this part of the trip but he didn't come because he doesn't like travelling miles and miles in a coach with nothing much between stops. Nor does he like the tropical heat. So I made a video for him which will be at the bottom of the post.

 From the train we saw some Sarus Cranes, they stand six feet tall with an eight foot wing span.

 The old train was noisy and rocking so much it was impossible to stand and take shots or movies. We travelled through savannah land and over dry river beds.

 When we reached the historic station of Normanton we did a loop to turn the train around.

 The coach was here to meet us but first we looked through the rail museum and had an ice block which melted faster than you could eat it.

 Normanton Station.
Come for one minute ride on the Gulflander.