Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Normanton QLD To Cape Crawford NT

Purple Pub
Central Hotel ( Middle Pub)
Albion Hotel

Hi All,

Well we did get to go & have a drink at the Purple Pub in Normanton; we actually went on a pub crawl.
Firstly we called into the Tourist Info centre to get some advice on the road from Burketown to Gregory Downs, we got served by a very unhelpful chap who’s reply was “It’s 4wd ONLY”
I said ok have you had any recent reports on it? His reply was “ Yes, It’s 4wd Only!”

So after that we decided to go to the pub on get some local knowledge, first we called into the Albion & had a couple of drinks out on a very nice deck – but the pub was pretty busy so we decided to go the Central Hotel (Middle Pub – to the locals) There we were the only  customers served by a lovely young bloke named Corey, we asked him about the road & he said that it would be better to check with his boss, so when Kim came out we asked her & she kindly rang the local Police for us & we got the all clear road is in good condition!
So we had a few drinks with Kim & Corey & we mentioned that we were heading to the Purple Pub to finish our Pub Crawl & they said they would join us! So Kim shut the pub & we all went up the road & had a really good night including a lovely meal, we were of course home in bed by 8pm seeing that this all started at 2pm J

The next morning we headed off to Burketown.  (Yes we were a bit slow)
The road was pretty good, it was gravel, nice  & wide & freshly graded:

There was lots of water but luckily none crossing the road – Apparently the wet season wasn’t too good this year.

We seen this fella crossing the road, he was about 6ft long!!!!

Glad we weren't walking!

Lots of Cattle & Termite mounds.

Leichardt River was very pretty, we pulled over there & took quite a few photo’s:

This little fella didnt make it!

We actually did catch up with our friends Rod & Mavis just after Leichardt River, we both pulled up on the road & had a chat before heading off in our own directions.
Mavis, Me & Dave
 They did tell us about a great spot 3ks this side of Burketown where they camped for a couple of days right on the Albert River & they caught Catfish.
So we called in there & tried our luck now anyone that knows us, knows we ain’t that good at fishin!!!!!!!!! So no, we didn’t catch anything & decided to head off.

No Luck At All!

We got into Burketown about 2pm Sunday Arvo of course nothing was open – mind you not much there!  So we decided to keep going  onto Gregory Downs,
We arrived there abit after 5pm & set up camp on the Gregory River. There are signs up saying no Campers or Caravans on the entrance to the track down by the river, but there were Caravans everywhere so we thought we would join them – it was beautiful.

The Gregory River 

Runs straight past the camp

The next morning we headed of down to Camooweal. It is all a Gravel road, but again pretty good going.
 We seen a few cattle:

A beautiful River:
A Bull crossing the river

Lots of wide open spaces:

Then we got down to Camooweal & had to pump the tyres up again:

Then onto the Barkly Homestead, great spot & lots of vans there, we think the migration has started J

Drinks in hand!

Great breakfast the next morning cooked by Dave:

Then we headed off to Cape Crawford, this is a 1 lane bitumen road & pretty good, not much traffic at all.
We stopped for morning tea at  rest stop:

Then for lunch at the next rest stop – which you really wouldn’t want to spend the night at because this beautiful windmill makes the worst noise, it would keep you awake all night!

The scenery is really boring until the last 100kms, then it gets really nice:

We pulled into Cape Crawford abit after 2pm – The Heartbreak Hotel.
Set up camp & had a rest – not much else to do – Not reception at All! But the caravan park was nice & green.

They had a really great entertainer singing country songs - Rod Dowsett. Wow he was really good we had a few drinks listening to him sing. Rod Dowsett
Dave & Rod Dowsett - great performer!
The next morning Dave cooked another great breakfast:

Much Appreciated

Then we headed off towards Katherine,
But that is the next post.

Cheers & Happy Travels Shell


  1. Mike & HelenMay 2, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    Hi Dave & Shell. Long time ago we met you when you were selling the Kedron out of Mandurah. We ended up with a Free Spirit off road van (Qld made) and covered much of the same ground as you have in this blog, but heading the opposite way. Your photos bring back many great memories for us. Absolutely loved the Gregory River, over 5 nights (2 before Lawn Hill; 3 after) and floating downstream in the rushing crystal clear waters. Pub is great too! By the way, your car and ours look like twins, except we have the Toyota bull bar.

  2. Hi Mike & Helen,
    Small world isn't it?
    We sold the Kedron to the next people that looked at it from Bunbury.
    Glad to see you got a van & got out there :)
    We have had battery problems in the van so our free camps have been very limited on this trip - getting that sorted when we get to Darwin.
    Happy Travels Dave & Shell


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