Brisbane, QLD

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

OUTBACK TOWNS (Savannah Way 3)

The next stage of our tour was from Cobbold Gorge to Karumba on the coast of the Gulf of Carpentaria in Far North Queensland. (see map)
Through the coach window I saw miles and miles of Savannah-land.

 The clouds were something different to look at and a huge wedge tailed eagle could be glimpsed now and then.

We stopped in little outback towns to stretch our legs, to get fuel and supplies, to have morning tea or lunch. This is Georgetown, the administration centre for the huge shire of Etheridge. (39,000 square kilometres). The population of Georgetown is 250. It is so quiet that you can stand in the middle of the road to take a photo without having any traffic passing. However, we did see a helicopter land next to the hotel on the right of the photo. The pilot got out and went into the hotel and bought a carton of beer. Then he got back in his helicopter and flew off. That's the outback for you.

The only hotel in Georgetown burnt down some years ago but the publican started to rebuild it. However, it took him a long time. In the meantime he continued running his business from a shed. The locals kept asking, "When are you going to finish the hotel ?" When it was finally finished he named it "Wenaru Hotel"

Georgetown was originally a gold mining town in the 1870's but by 1900 grazing became the main industry. The Shire Hall was built in 1908 and restored in 1998.

The galahs and the cows watched us have morning tea in the local park. The park was next to the dried up river but in the wet season it would be a raging torrent.

After another two and a half hours driving we arrived in Croydon another small town with a population of 312 people. However, the shire covers an area of 300,000 sq km.
In 1880, Croydon was a 5,000 sq km pastoral run owned by William Brown born in Croydon, England. In 1885 gold was discovered and Croydon had a population of 7,000. The gold lasted until 1926. Recently Croydon has successfully reinvented itself as a tourist stop. The old buildings have been restored as museums and entry is free. Some of the lamp posts are the originals.

 The old police sergeants house.

The old courthouse.
After a stroll through the information centre and a picnic lunch in the park, we were off again. Soon we would be boarding the historic Gulflander Train to Normanton and then stay at Karumba on the coast of the Gulf of Carpentaria, where we were promised a cruise and prawn and crab dinner watching the sunset from a sand island. (see header photo)


  1. Another wonderful post of your holiday!

  2. Replies
    1. They had a very late wet season this year. The tour before ours struggled with road closures and stacks of mud. We were very lucky with the weather.

  3. That name of the hotel is very original, made me laugh. It is a very remote and uncrowded area.

  4. Those wide roads are so typical of towns where people never had to worry about space!

    Nice post.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  5. I can't imagine how towns survive with so few people. It must be tough at times and I imagine you have to be super organised with buying food etc.

  6. What a lovely post. I must scroll down and read your previous posts. I love the name the publican gave his rebuilt hotel.I love quiet spots and would love to visit any of these towns. Have a safe trip further. Jo

  7. Hello, Diane! I enjoyed the outback towns, what a nice tour. It is different to see people arrive by helicopters instead of cars. The distances must be great. I love the galahs and the eagle sky shots. The hotel is pretty. Great post, thanks for sharing. Happy Tuesday, enjoy your day and week ahead!

  8. awesome photos, i went through the slide show twice. love those birds and that porch is to die for.. the skies are amazing... and shopping by helicopter made me laugh....

  9. Gah! Just catching up so doing one comment for all the trip posts I've read so far. What lovely country and such a super fun trip to take! So jealous!

  10. wow what an amazing country 312 peopleand a small town

  11. For a tiny isolated town , it looks very neat and clean. The hotel name made me laugh--very clever!

  12. I love small towns like this. 312 people wow. That is small but it was so pretty!

  13. The grazier community should be over the moon with that good amount of
    fodder for the cattle. Those Brahams look in excellent fettle.
    I should imagine in "The Wet" that river or creek would be a raging torrent.
    Great photos and post, Diane.

  14. The more I read the more I want to see these places myself

  15. I know Croydon (Enland) very well, lol ! Doesn't look at all like this one, looks as such a peaceful town !

  16. Picking up your beer in a helicopter must make it a bit expensive! And the Wenaru Hotel, hahaha. Aussies do have a sense of humor!

  17. Just caught up here and last post, you really are good at documenting got trips Diane. I think you always have been because your trips taken when you were but a girl :) are also so beautifully shown. Australian outback towns are amazing, I can't even imagine living in a town with a population of 312 people 😃

  18. Lovely photos. I especially enjoyed the story of the helicopter pilot who stopped long enough for a 6-pack of beer!

  19. Great trip and I love these cloud formations. These galah birds are gorgeous as well