1st August, 2015.
Having now decided to include Gregory Downs and Lawn Hill Gorge in next year’s trip, Normanton was our next destination.
We had begun seeing a lot of roadkill, mainly small roos and wallabies, and consequently lots of eagles and kites. It is not easy to get photos of them from a moving car but I finally managed one.
Leichhardt Falls looked to be a promising place to stop for the night. While it was very pretty even though the falls were dry, I could not see anywhere that we would be able to camp, so we kept driving, now back on dirt roads again.
We stopped for lunch in a large gravel area opposite a communications tower. It would have been a reasonable overnight stop but as there was nothing remarkable about it and we were so close to Normanton, we decided to keep going.
While I was making lunch, Erich found this little guy.
I knew there was a free camping area on the river at Normanton but it requires a permit issued at the Information Centre. As only 10 permits are issued per day and we were arriving quite late in the afternoon, I thought our chances of securing one were slim, so we stopped at the first caravan park on the way in to town. I thought there was only one CP in Normanton but there are two. Had I realized that, the reviews on Wikicamps probably would have put me off the first. As it turned out, we were very happy with the Gulfland Motel and Caravan Park. Sites were spacious and shady, though no green grass, and a powered site was only $26 per night. The owners had recently taken over from their Manager, having moved from lovely green Lake Tinaroo CP to dry and dusty Normanton. The owner told me he was from Chillagoe which is similar country to that around Normanton and he was sick of the constant drizzle on the Tablelands. Their aim is to bring the place back up to scratch and they are certainly on the right track. We would stay there again and there are not many CPs I would say that about.