There are so many options when it comes to fishing at Karumba that sometimes it’s hard to know where to begin! A good spot for starters is the Norman River, where you’ll find huge fish like

Normanton is a genuinely delightful town with an excess of old world charm. Located 712 km west of Cairns and 681 km west of Townsville it started life as a port for the Gulf of Carpentaria’s cattle industry and grew in importance with the discovery of gold at Croydon in 1885.

The area was first explored by Ludwig Leichhardt on his epic journey from the Darling Downs to Port Essington. The next Europeans through the area were Burke and Wills who made their final dash to the Gulf (or, more correctly, to the mangrove swamps somewhere near the edge of the Gulf) only 26 km west of the town.

The location of Burke and Wills last northern camp is signposted on the main Normanton-Burketown road. It is only a 1.5-km drive into the bush to the spot which is marked by a couple of plaques.

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The dedication reads: ‘This monument marks the site of Camp No: 119 of the 1860-61 Burke and Wills expedition occupied on Saturday 9 February 1861 by Robert O’Hara Burke, William John Wills, John King and Charlie Gray. On Sunday 10 February Burke and Wills left on the attempted journey to the Gulf of Carpentaria returning on Tuesday 12 February. All four abandoned the camp the next day for the return journey to Coopers Creek, Depot No: 75, and home to Melbourne. During the return journey all died with the exception of King who survived with the assistance of a friendly Aboriginal tribe. This monument was provided through, and with thanks, to the generous donation of Mr. Douglas Jolly of Brisbane and the historical advice of the State Library of Victoria and was erected in 1978 by the Normanton Lions Club.

It was Frederick Walker, one of the many explorers who went looking for Burke and Wills, who discovered and named the Norman River after the captain of a ship named Victoria.

In 1867 William Landsborough sailed up the Norman river and chose the site for the settlement of Normanton. Over the next decade it became an important port. The large Burns Philp building at the end of the town’s main street is evidence of its importance at this time. There were even suggestions that it would become a port to rival Darwin as the main centre on the north coast of Australia.

In 1892 a boiling-down works was established on the river and shortly afterwards a meatworks was opened.

The town experienced a major boom with the discovery of gold at Croydon. By 1891 the population had reached 1251. However the gold diggings were short-lived and although the Normanton-Croydon railway line was opened by 1907 the whole area was on the decline. Even the cattle which had been the town’s mainstay started heading south as the railway line was extended out towards Mount Isa. By 1947 the population had dropped to 234. It has since picked up with the development of prawn fishing at Karumba and the increasing interest in tourism.

Local Fish in Karumba

There are so many options when it comes to fishing at Karumba that sometimes it’s hard to know where to begin! A good spot for starters is the Norman River, where you’ll find huge fish like.

Barramundi

Fantatic Barramundi just caught by sweet 16 year old Lulu Bolte

Fantatic Barramundi just caught by sweet 16 year old Lulu Bolte

The Barramundi is widely regarded as Australia’s premier native sport fish and the Gulf Country in Tropical North Queensland offers excellent opportunities to target this much sought after species. Regarded as a true sporting fish with great fighting ability, the bite is sudden and savage and once hooked barramundi perform aerobatics and repeated powerful runs for cover in snags. The Australian record catch for a Barra is 37.85kg. Size and bag limits do apply.

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Salmon (Blue & King)Fishing_Salmon_Blue_King_Accommodation_Karumba-Point-Sunset-Caravan-Park-0030

Here in Tropical North Queensland we have two species, the blue salmon and the threadfin or king salmon as it is called in Queens land. Our species are great sport on light tackle and readily take lures or flies when fishing for Barramundi. Its firm white flesh is arguably better eating than barramundi, easy to fillet and freezes quite well. Average captures vary from 50cm to just under 1 M., and size and bag limits do apply.

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Javelin (Grunter)Fishing_Javelin_Grunter_Blue_King_Accommodation_Karumba-Point-Sunset-Caravan-Park-0001

Grunter (javelin fish) are probably the most prolific fish in our estuary and tidal systems and many a bait fishing outing has been saved by the catching of dozens of these common, but very underrated fish. They are one of the best eating fish to come from our waters, but being so easy to catch, do not have the glamour nor appeal of the more famous species like Mangrove Jacks or Barramundi. Size and bag limits do apply to grunter. Soft white flesh and excellent eating.

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Fingermark (Golden Snapper)

Fingermark

Fingermark

The finger mark bream (spotted scale sea perch – big scale red) derives its name from the distinctive “thumb print” like black spot found near its tail when just landed. This spot will fade as the fish dies as will its magnificent copper colouring. It is a splendid fish, highly prized for its eating qualities ( arguably the best eating fish to come from the estuaries) and offers a dogged hard fight to the boat. Finger mark show exceptionally slow growth rates, take only what you need for a good feed as fish stocks can easily be put under pressure from over fishing. Size and bag limits do apply.

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Cobia

Fishing_Cobia_Accommodation_Karumba-Point-Sunset-Caravan

Fishing_Cobia_Accommodation_Karumba-Point-Sunset-Caravan

Also commonly called black king fish, cobia are usually caught while targeting other species. Taking both trolled lures or garfish meant for mackerel and hooked by bait fisherman working the bottom, they offer a very hard exhausting fight. Fish to 30+ lb inhabit the tropical reef waters and are usually found near structures. Their habit of accompanying large mantas and devil rays is well known and many an alert angler will entice a strike by casting a lure at these gliding monsters. They are excellent eating.

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Spanish Mackerel

Fishing_Spanish_Mackerel_Accommodation_Karumba-Point-Sunset-Caravan-Park

Fishing_Spanish_Mackerel_Accommodation_Karumba-Point-Sunset-Caravan-Park

Narrow-Barred Mackerel or Tanguigue (more commonly called Spanish Mackerel or just Spaniards) are the prime target in our waters with specimens to over 60 lb (27 kg) common. They will readily take jigged chrome slices, trolled or floated garfish and pilchard baits as well as trolled lures. Sport fishing tackle of at least 6 kg is preferred with the use of a heavy wire leader and black swivels essential for both lure and bait fishing. Once hooked Spaniards will make one long spirited run and usually tire shortly after, smaller shorter runs precede gaffing at the boat. Spaniards are excellent eating but must be killed by a sharp blow to the head and bled immediately upon capture. This will not only preserve the flesh but make them much easier/ safer to handle, most anglers will carry a heavy wooden “donger”, similar to a small baseball bat, on board for this purpose. The fish can either be cut up into steaks or filleted and skinned, either way the flesh is excellent eating. Size and bag limits do apply.

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Black JewFish

Fishing_Black_Jewfish_Accommodation_Karumba-Point-Sunset-Caravan-Park-

Fishing_Black_Jewfish_Accommodation_Karumba-Point-Sunset-Caravan-Park-

Jewies are a cousin of the southern mulloway and look fairly identical apart from their scales which are much darker and have a black spot, hence the name. Their preferred habitat is around deep structure, wrecks and inshore reefs. Excellent eating, hard fighting and available in XOS sizes makes this fish a prime target but apart from a few well known spots their numbers and consistency of capture are not prolific. Size and bag limits apply.

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Things to see

The Gulflander and the Railway Station
The town’s greatest tourist attraction is undoubtedly ‘The Gulflander’. The railway 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 rail is a masterpiece of adaptive design. George Philips, the supervising engineer, designed special steel sleepers which proved so successful that they are still in use today. They can be seen at the railway station which is listed by the National Trust. It is an unusual building which has distinctive decorative patterns on the cross-braces which hold up the corrugated-iron roof. It has become one of Normanton’s most distinctive landmarks.

The railway line was only a brief success. When it opened it was planned that it would become a major line and that Normanton would grow to become a major port. In its first year of operation there were 55 railway employees and the train was carrying 10 000 passengers each year.

As a result of the Croydon goldfield’s demise in 1906 the Gulflander has not made a profit since 1907. Today it runs a once weekly service leaving Normanton at 8.30 am on Wednesday and returning from Croydon at 8.30 am the next morning. It is occasionally booked to make the tour at other times.

Buildings
There are a number of interesting buildings in the town, including the distinctive ‘Purple Pub’, the ‘Albion Hotel’ where Captain Percy Tresize drew a series of humorous paintings on the barroom walls, and the Bank of New South Wales which is now a listed National Trust Building. It is an unusual building which looks more like a house than a bank. Designed by Richard Gailey in 1896 it is an extraordinarily beautiful timber building with cross bracing on the verandah and a fashionable exposed frame.

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About Karumba

Although being only a small township, Karumba has many facilities including:

  • Post Office
  • Westpac Bank agency
  • Hot bread Shop
  • Cafes & Takaway Food Outlets
  • Pharmacy
  • Health Clinic
  • Butcher
  • Hotels
  • Supermarkets and Electrical Store
  • Boat and trailer hire
  • Boat and motor repairs
  • Fuel outlets
  • Boat ramps
  • Golf Course
  • Lawn Bowls
  • Tennis Court
  • Skate Ramp & Sports Centre
  • Library & Visitor Information Centre
  • Swimming Pool & Water Park

Take in the breath taking beauty of the Sunset from the grounds of the Sunset Caravan Park. Only two places in the world where you can see them like this!

How to Camping With Kids Holidays Karumba Point Sunset Caravan Park

  • Cabins, Villas, Campsites (Powered/UN-powered sites).
  • Next to the beach & boat ramp. Shady, well grassed sites.
  • Free BBQ area. Fish Cleaning Area.
  • Swimming Pool with Entertainment area.
  • Spit Roast Nights & Entertainment.
  • Happy Hours, Disabled Shower/Toilet.
  • 2 Spotless Shower/Toilet Blocks, Coin Operated Laundry.
  • Mini-Mart / Cafe / Tackle / Souvenirs, Craft days, 3 Public Telephones.
  • Fishing Charters / Flights and other Local Tour Bookings, Campers Kitchen.
Park Facilities

BOOK NOW! for August, September, and October. You may also do advanced booking for November, December and January.
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Postal Address: Karumba Point Sunset Caravan Park, PO Box 61 Karumba Queensland 4891
Tel: (07) 4745 9277
Fax (07) 4745 9480
E-mail info@sunsetcp.com.au

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