Karumba Community & Services
The Karumba community though small in number is a vibrant, cosmopolitan and active one. Permanent residents number approximately 600 with itinerant workers moving in with the seasonal pastoral, tourist and fishing industry activities.
With the popularity of the region there are recreational fishermen/women, around Australia travelers, families, backpackers, international visitors and ‘grey nomads’ – bringing an influx which sees the population swell into the 1000’s at any one time throughout the year. It is conservatively estimated up to 100,000 visitors a year make their way to Karumba (Gulf Savannah Investment Profile – July 2007). This number is growing each year and in turn this places additional demands on the Karumba and wider Gulf community and the services provided. The commercial fishing industry remains a major industry and employer in the Karumba area. A number of families are involved in the fishing sector. The Gulf Barramundi Restocking Association was initiated by the commercial fishing industry in the late 70’s and today the hatchery they established to support both commercial and recreational fishing is owned and operated by Carpentaria Shire Council and includes the Barramundi Discovery Centre. The hatchery continues to have volunteer input and links with the GBRA to ensure support for the breeding/restocking activities.
Karumba today boasts an excellent range of services and facilities including Health Clinic, Primary School, Child Care, Ambulance, broadband internet, Next G mobile phone service, golf course, tennis courts, sports centre, Civic Centre & Library, playgrounds and more. In 2015 Karumba received a new public swimming pool and a fantastic waterpark through the efforts of Carpentaria Shire Council, which along with the gym, sports centre and recreation club see Karumba well placed to keep people active and involved. There is a local Police Station, regular Royal Flying Doctor Service clinics and various allied health professionals throughout the year and there is the presence of officers from the Department of Primary Industries & Fisheries and Department of Transport Marine Services. Businesses include bakery, chemist, post office, nursery, supermarkets, butcher, electrical appliances and white goods, supermarkets, seafood outlets, mechanics,
services stations, hardware/marine store as well as many other businesses catering for the main industries of fishing, pastoral, mining and tourism.
Volunteer community organizations are well supported and include:
- Karumba Progress Association,
- Gulf Barramundi Restocking Association,
- Karumba State School P&C,
- State Emergency Service,
- Volunteer Marine Rescue,
- Rural Fire Brigade.
- Gulf Chamber of Commerce
The Karumba Progress Association is a voluntary organization established to support both community and business in the area. Essentially any rate payer is an automatic member of the Association. Over the years the Association has been involved with building the local Civic Centre, establishing and managing various events and fund raising activities, supporting development and distribution of the ‘Karumba’ brochure, signage, liaison with the Carpentaria Shire Council and other organizations to enhance and improve amenities and facilities and generally providing an entity to address community needs and issues as they arise.
Barramundi Discovery Centre
The Gulf Barramundi Restocking Association has established the Barramundi Discovery Centre which primarily is involved in the breeding of barramundi for restocking into the Gulf rivers and water systems. The Centre includes a great shop with an excellent range of souvenirs as well as loads of interesting
information, facts and stories through the tours of the hatchery. Thanks to Lori Hayward for this photo – some of the barra in tanks at the Barramundi Discovery Centre – hatchery facility.
In recent years new land areas have been released and sold for additional residential and business development and demand is growing strongly. Carpentaria Shire Council introduced a ‘buy to build’ aspect to some land sales in 2007 which was met with strong local approval and support. This is just one way to encourage residential development rather than just investment in land, addressing the growing need for homes and apartments. With the advent of the Lawn Hill Century Mine and subsequent development of the Zinifex De-watering facility at Karumba, there is now approximately 50% of their local workforce living in and contributing to the local community
Throughout the year there are a range of community events and activities which bring people together to celebrate this unique and amazing place – like:
- the annual Karumba Community Anglers Classic – April,
- the Barramundi Discovery Centre ‘Duck Races’ – June/July,
- Cairns to Karumba Bicycle Ride – Coast to Coast (biennial) – June/July,
- Karumba School Fete (possibly the most successful and unique in Australia!) – August
- and the Karumba Christmas Tree – December
In Karumba the sense of history, family, living and working in an amazing place, with safety, friendship and community belonging all combine to generate strong local pride.
Book Now! for September, October, and November. You may also do an advanced booking for December, January, and February.