FROM Mt Surprise we head further west and back out almost to the coast to a quaint little place called Normanton. This is the home of the largest salt water crocodile ever officially recorded. And you better believe it!
The local publican still has the original photograph of it. This croc came out during a wicked flood and a local lad shot it, 14 times, with his .22 calibre rifle. It could swallow you whole in one gulp and you wouldn’t even touch the sides! No wonder all the farmers were missing a ton of cattle in these parts – sometimes a herd a day, apparently. Just behind the monument of this beast of a creature is the old original prison. Very spooky! It remains just as the last prisoners left it, very airy and the writing on the wall says it all.
When in Normanton you just have to go Croc spotting. No matter how scared you might be, this really must be one of the priorities on your schedule. They breed them big here, trust me, and you will not see crocs this big anywhere else in the world, I can guarantee! The Normanton River is also a famous fishing ground, just beware what lurks beneath.
And funnily enough, Normanton also is home to the historic Gulf Lander train, the original. You can take a day trip back to Georgetown, have a great morning or afternoon tea, and let yourself slip back into the days of old. It’s awesome how they have restored her, a true testament to their dedication in getting back into tip-top shape.
Book your camp sites early, too, as Normanton is often booked out. With it not having many close neighbouring towns, it’s a very popular spot to stop for people going north, south, east and west.
PETER “SPIDA” EVERITT