Talk to anyone about Karumba and the subject of ‘fishing’ will almost certainly come up. Yes, for many years now this tropical centre on the southern shore of the Gulf of Carpentaria in North Queensland has been synonymous with delicious Gulf prawns and a mecca for fishes chasing large barramundi.
So popular has Karumba become in recent years, that this usually quiet settlement with a population of around 700, swells to around 4,000 during the busy winter months from May to September. Many come from a variety of northern Queensland inland centres for their annual ‘sea change’, but most head here from southern states, often for three, four or five months for the warm, balmy climate prevailing here at this time of the year, to enjoy the friendly holiday atmosphere that Karumba is well-known for, and yes, to get out and do some serious fishing … and by the way, if the barra aren’t biting, chances are you’ll enjoy good catches of grunter, black Jew, blue and king salmon, Spanish mackerel and even good size mud crabs.
If you are not into fishing or more likely, want a break away now and again, there is a variety of other activities to enjoy. Amongst these are games of golf, bowls or tennis, a visit to the extremely interesting Barramundi Discovery Centre, taking a stroll on the newly constructed mangrove walk, go bird watching and enjoy the thousands of wetland, tropical and migratory birds to be seen around the area, go on a croc spotting, crab catching tour, pick up a bargain at the Sunday Markets, head into nearby Normanton for a great ride on the historic ‘Gulflander’ and just take in one of the Gulf’s splendid sunsets either on a special late afternoon tour boat cruise or just head to Karumba Point and settle back in a chair with a cold drink in hand and watch the ever-changing colours out here as the sun slowly disappears over the shallow Gulf waters below the horizon.
Conveniently located at Karumba Point, a few kilometres away from the main township, the Karumba Point Tourist Park is one of those places you’ll drive into and never want to leave.
Run by Earle and Beth Atherinos and their family for the past twelve years, this great little park is an extremely friendly, sociable spot with all the normal facilities to help make either a short or long stay particularly enjoyable.
Amongst the things that make this park somewhat different from many others, is the effort that the folk here go to for their patrons. First up, on arrival, you are escorted to your site and given help, if needed, to set up and make yourself comfortable. From there you quickly learn about the park’s social activities including a free fish meal cooked and served (usually to over 100 people) on a Saturday night, followed by a couple of hours entertainment of singing, music, dance, bush poetry, comedy, impromptu acts and more – all really great fun. On these fish and entertainment nights, it is known that well over 500 kg of fresh fish is provided to park guests free of charge throughout the annual tourist season.
Other events hosted by the park include weekly barbeque, prawn and market nights, red faces nights, kids’ events, big screen sports events, bocce, bingo, games nights, craft sessions, Mothers’ Day pancakes, regular fishing competitions (prizes supplied by the park), Christmas in July, scenic escorted Gulf historic and discovery walks and more. And when there’s nothing on, campsite gatherings, sometimes up to 20 or more people are seen enjoying lunch, dinner, morning tea and every afternoon by 5 pm, happy hours are always in full swing, sometimes until well after dark – just bring a chair, your drinks and nibbles and your sense of humour and you’re sure to enjoy yourself.
Elsewhere around the park, a good size swimming pool is a great spot to cool off on the warm days that prevail here. There is a couple of chemical toilet dump points (Loos with a View), a fish cleaning area, camp kitchen and barbeque areas and a notice board with local weather details, including how cold and wet it is today in southern centres such as Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. There is also a rock that acts as a great little fishing barometer which is well worthwhile checking out! There is also a well-stocked on-site store with craft supplies, souvenirs, seafood and a popular book exchange system.
Also as you look around, a real novelty here in the park are the various imaginative street names including Gossip Glen, Sleepy Hollow, Have A Chat Lane, Bull Shit Boulevard, Brewers Lane and several others – a great sense of amusement and discussion around the park.
LOCATION: At Karumba Point – 2 Col Kitching Drive, Karumba. Karumba is 72 km north of Normanton at the top end (The Top Spot) of the Matilda Highway. All sealed roads.
FACILITIES: Two clean amenity blocks and laundries. Free gas barbeques, camp kitchen (with refrigerator, microwave, etc), lovely good size pool, fish cleaning area, gas refills, free book exchange, on-site store with a good range of supplies, seafood and craft, broadband internet connection, chemical dump points, free fish barbeque and many organised social events.
Most local tour bookings can be made from the park.
AWARDS: The park is a winner of Queensland’s Northern Outback Business of the Year and Service Excellence Awards.
RATES: Approx 100 powered sites – $36 for 2 people; 10 unpowered sites – $26 for 2 people; on-site vans – $65 for 2 people. An extra person on a powered site, unpowered site in an on-site van is $8 and children under 6 years of age are free.
PETS: Allowed, but must be under control at all times. All waste to be cleaned up.
DISABLED: Separate toilet and shower facilities are provided and the park is flat.
CONTACT: Earle or Beth Atherinos – phone (07) 4745 9306