Normanton thrived as a port town in the late 1800s when the gold rush was on in Croydon. The Normanton-to-Croydon railway line, established at that time, today runs the award-winning Gulflander tourist train. More recently, Australia's largest saltwater crocodile, known as Krys the Savannah King, was shot at nearby Archer's Creek in 1957. A life-size replica of his body, over 8 metres long, can be seen in the council park. Some 30 kilometres to the south-west of Normanton is camp 119, Burke and Wills' most northerly camp. The wetlands between Normanton and Karumba are also excellent for birdwatching, particularly just after the 'wet season'.
Normanton is 707 kilometres west of Cairns, and 484 kilometres north of Mt Isa.
- About 700km from Cairns on the Savannah Way - Highway 1, or around 500km from Mount Isa on the Barkly Highway.
- The Gulflander runs from Croydon, but since Croydon is in the middle of nowhere, with no real means of getting there, that is unlikely to help you get in much.
- 1 Tourist information, in the historic Burns Philp building by the river. Includes a display about the history of Normanton. Free.
- 2 Krys the Crocodile. Life-size replica of the largest crocodile ever caught.
- 3 Historic Railway Station.
- Gulflander train to Croydon (Queensland)
- 1 Gobble N Go, 40 Thompson St (one block east of the highway). Quality takeaway shop, with sandwiches, home made pies, burgers, etc. Also does lavish takeaway meals for dinner (you might have to pre-order - check with the friendly staff).
- 1 Purple Pub (National Hotel). Is purple, and serves meals
Karumba is 79km away by sealed road and actually located on the Gulf - you can't come this far without going on!
33km west along the Savannah Way (dirt road) is Burke and Wills Camp 119 - the furthest north they got. Trees they blazed to mark the camp are signposted.