11th June 2017–Cloncurry to Normanton

Distance: 394 km

Did all the usual things before setting off at about 8.30am under a partly overcast sky – in fact at some point along the journey about a dozen spots of rain appeared on the windscreen! I suppose that is a downpour at this time of year.

The road between Cloncurry and Normanton was a mixture of single and two lane roads – met a few caravans and 4x4s coming south so it was one set of wheels in the dirt as we passed but saw no road trains.

Stopped briefly at the Burke and Wills Roadhouse but didn’t get fuel and made a couple of stops in parking areas on the way just to stretch my legs.

170611 002 Cloncurry to Normanton170611 004 Cloncurry to Normanton170611 006 Cloncurry to Normanton Burke and Wills Roadhouse

Arrived at the caravan park at 1pm – made a dog’s breakfast of reversing into the site but eventually got there.

First job was getting the laundry done because I was down to my last two sets of shirts and undies. Once this was sorted went for a drive to look at Normanton (pop 1500), first stop the Norman River, its boat ramp and wharf. Stuck to the high wharf and raised landing stage next to the boat ramp. I don’t know if there are crocs there but I wasn’t taking the chance; as everybody tells me, “You don’t see them, they see you.”

170611 013 Normanton Norman River170611 015 Normanton Norman River170611 016 Normanton Norman River170611 018 Normanton Norman River

The town is pretty small stretching along the highway but it has all the essentials like fuel, pubs, Post Office and stores. Not a lot of activity today because it is Sunday. Am staying here a couple of nights.

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Krys the Crocodile is supposed to be an accurate representation of the largest saltwater croc caught in these parts – 8.6 metres long.

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You don’t see too many servos like this these days.

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Finally the town is proud of its cast gutter covers and the guttering of locally quarried stone. The gutter covers were cast at nearby Croyden.

170611 048 Normanton

10th June 2017–Camooweal to Cloncurry

Distnace: 324 km
Fuel: 36 L

Cold again this morning (of course), had a shower at 6.30am; the good thing about a roadhouse as a caravan park is that they are open at ridiculously early hours (if they are not open 24hrs) so I was able to buy ice and milk straight away. Once this had been done I got back in the camper to watch an episode of Cold Feet to allow the morning to warm up a bit before I started to dismantle my ‘camp’.

Left Camooweal before 9am even with my late start, easy drive to Mount Isa where I only stopped to fill up with fuel. Didn’t visit the city centre because it is only a year since I spent several days here.170610 001 Mt Isa

Continued on to Cloncurry and found a caravan park on the highway about 1km from the town centre – I checked in and unhitched the camper.

170610 004 Mt Isa170610 008 Mt Isa

Went back to the shopping centre and discovered they have a Woollies; so stocked up with some fruit, cheese, nuts and other bits and pieces before looking round the town.

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Apart from an art deco civic centre and some typical country pubs there was a museum to the Royal Flying Doctor Service which they claim was started in Cloncurry by John Flynn. Not a particularly big museum but it had his car, a quarter scale model of his plane,”The Victory” and various examples of bush radios including pedal powered ones. The RFDS started off as the Australian Inland Mission so there are obvious religious overtones. The museum was only open until 3pm and I arrived at 2.30pm (it’s Saturday) but I had enough time to see everything.

170610 015 Cloncurry RFDS Museum170610 016 Cloncurry RFDS Museum170610 018 Cloncurry RFDS Museum170610 019 Cloncurry RFDS Museum170610 020 Cloncurry RFDS Museum170610 022 Cloncurry RFDS Museum170610 029 Cloncurry RFDS Museum170610 030 Cloncurry RFDS Museum