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Explore Town


Visitor Centre:
Normanton Visitors Centre
Burns Philp Building
Phone: (07) 4747 8444
Fax: (07) 4745 1072
Established by William Landsborough in 1868 as a port for the Gulf’s cattle industry and later grew in importance with the discovery of gold at Croydon in 1885. Over the next decade, it became an important port. The large Burns Philp building is evidence of this. The Normanton-Croydon railway line was opened in 1891 with the Gulflander railmotor running a weekly service between the towns. By this time though, gold diggings were in decline as was the whole area.

Normanton is the major commercial centre of the Carpentaria Shire situated on the Norman River .
The Carpentaria Shire is the size of Tasmania and has just 2 towns, Normanton and Karumba.
It sits high on an ironstone ridge between the edge of the Savannah grasslands to the west and the wetlands to the north.

The area surrounding Normanton comprises coastal saltpans and mangrove fringed river systems. There are numerous waterholes and ephemeral wetlands, which are an internationally recognised location for an estimated one third of Australia’s migratory wading birds, including Brolgas and Sarus Crane.

Barramundi are plentiful with many fish caught exceeding 5kg.
The Gulflander and Railway Station

The town’s greatest tourist attraction, the rail line, was originally planned to service the beef industry by running from Normanton to Cloncurry but the discovery of gold at Croydon redirected it.
The railway station which is listed by the National Trust is an unusual building with distinctive decorative patterns on the cross-braces that hold up the corrugated iron roof. The specially designed steel sleepers proved so successful they are still in use today and can easily be seen.

Buildings and Activities

There are a number of interesting historic buildings and sites. Take the Tourist Walk, a 3.2 km walk taking in such attractions as; Carpentaria Shire Council, Burns Philp Building, Purple Pub, Albion Hotel, Bank of New South Wales, Old Gaol, Town Well, Original Light Pole and The Old Wharf.
Birdwatching, scenic tours, fishing charters, mud crabbing or gathering bush tucker are some of the many activities which are available. Ask at Gulfland Souvenirs or The Burns Philp Information Centre for more details.