New Farm Park, Brisbane

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.

22 comments:

  1. I thought straightaway about Bill when I saw this gulflander. How nice that you made a video for him : Hope you are both well

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  2. I saw a very gay looking rainbow umbrella. Apart from luxury train travel in days of old, it was usually quite basic. The height of the cranes is amazing.

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  3. Hello, Diane! Sorry your Bill missed the train ride. It is a cute train. I did not realize it was so warm there in the winter. The cranes are beautiful. Great collection of photos. Thanks for sharing your trip! Happy Thursday, enjoy your day and the weekend ahead!

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  4. That is a nice ride on the train, I like the video.

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  5. For years I've had a desire to travel the railway across the Nullarbor but seeing you photos and video I wouldn't say no to a trip on that line either. Though perhaps for two hours rather than two days!

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    1. The train across the Nullarbor is a proper train "The Indian Pacific" However, it is not as modern as European trains,

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  6. now this is something i would love to do.. i like every single photo you took and can't even pick a favorite because i love them all.... would not want to wait in the train station hut though... i like the look of the train, it is just amazing. our train from the past was called Silver Meteor..

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  7. Great pictures - and I love the idea of a railway going from nowhere to nowhere.

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  8. What a great experience. It is incredible that it is still in operation. Two hours would probably be enough.

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  9. what a great experience and nature

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  10. Great trip Diane, enjoyed the photos and the video.

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  11. I thought that years ago Bill had done "The Gulflander" train
    trip.
    The citizens of Normanton ( not many ) certainly have a great
    civic pride in their neat and tidy station.
    Colin

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    Replies
    1. No we went on the Savannahlander Train from Cairns to Forsayth, which is a similar train.

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  12. Great to see your photos and video. We did the same trip a few years ago and loved it too. Enjoying your photos, brings back memories, and might just have to do it again. We travelled in our caravan from Adelaide to Cooktown.

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  13. All of this is absolutely fascinating, and I love the photos. That train looks fabulous. I must say that, knowing the original Croydon (south of London), I can't help wondering what its cousin is like.

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  14. I'm sure Bill would have enjoyed the train ride. I know I enjoyed your photos and video.

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  15. I've spent some time catching up on all your fabulous adventures. You sure know how to 'rock' this stage of life!

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  16. Okay those coaches are super cool!

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  17. That was the same temperature as here in South Carolina today, but of course here it is summer. I enjoyed the video.

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  18. I think the idea of a train that goes from nowhere to nowhere could be a metaphor for Australian politics at present!!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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  19. I was wondering how you managed to get Bill on a plane to go on a trip … I see the secret now … he didn't go. We too love historic trains and railway stations.

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