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Mt Surprise , Croydon and Karumba

Updated: Aug 10

It is about time to write a new post.

So in the past 10 days or so we were in Mt Surprise (including Copperfield Gorge), Croydon, and Karumba all of them along the Savannah Highway.

As we are travelling with Django our dog, there are not too many gorges that are dog friendly along the way (Dogs are not allowed into national parks), but Copperfield Gorge welcomes dogs. We set off at 8.45 to visit Einasleigh Township set among the Caterpillar Ranges a township of 90 people that sits on the Copperfield River...it has a gorge right in the heart of the town. (and a great pub also)...

On the way we stopped at Jardine' s Lagoon where in 1864 the Jardine brothers made camp while driving their stock from Rockhampton to Somerset, at the tip of Cape York...the roads are narrow...corrugated but lead to the most amazing spot, the Copperfield Gorge. The gorge was formed when the Copperfield River eroded a channel through a sheet of basalt laid down by an ancient lava flow. Basalt grey rock is the dark grey rock on both sides of the Gorge.

We climbed down this most amazing black volcanic rock to get there. Natti and Django had the best time swimming in the gorge (it was 31 degrees)

And at 2pm we got back in to the van...


After three days at Mt Surprise we travelled to the gold rush town of Croydon. Croydon has a very rich history, especially from the perspective of the Chinese immigrants who at the height of Croydon’s gold rush it was home to one of the largest settlements of Chinese immigrants in Northern Australia. A few of their descendants remain. They were very active in the mines and as garden marketers.

In 1885 whilst digging a post hole for fencing for cattle, a gold nugget was found and a stone cairns marks the spot where it was thought to be found.

The Club Hotel was built in 1887 and is the last of 36 hotels in Croydon town and still operates today. In its heyday, the town of Croydon was 18Km long. Currently, Croydon has a much smaller population, having greatly decreased following the end of the gold rush. The population is now a few hundred people.

On the way from Croydon to Karumba, we passed the town of Normanton where a replica of the largest croc ever shot or captured in the world is displayed in the main street (8.6m long shot by Krys Pawlowski in 1957 on the banks of the Norman river). The name of the croc was Krys the Savannah King and it weighed over 2 ton.


we are in Karumba which is in the Gulf of Carpentaria . Given its’ position and access to the Gulf of Carpentaria, the town's economy has revolved largely around fishing and Barramundi is the ‘treasure’ of the town. Many anglers around Australia travel to the town to fish for Barramundi and the prawn industry is very well developed in an environmentally sustainable way.


I would like to note that this blog is also a platform for photographing my project ‘Into the Outback’ that will become a book. Therefore I will share some random photos from the road that might become part of the final book.


People of the Outback (Croydon)


On the way to Einasleigh Township and Copperfield Gorge


Einasleigh Township


Einasleigh Township


The 'Club Hotel' was built in 1887 and is the last of 36 hotels in Croydon town and still operates


People of the Outback (Croydon)


People of the Outback (Croydon)


People of the Outback (Croydon)


People of the Outback (Croydon)


People of the Outback (Croydon)


People of the Outback (Croydon)


'Three Rivers Hotel' in Beyond Crossing. the hotel become famous following Slim Dusty song 'Three Rivers Hotel' see Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8KWPg6My594

'Three rivers Hotel'


People of the Outback 'Three rivers Hotel'


People of the Outback 'Three rivers Hotel'


The Chinese section in Croydon cemetery


The Chinese section in Croydon cemetery


Cattle station (ranch) on the way from Normanton to Karumba


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