Situated on the mouth of the Norman River, Karumba is already well known as a recreational fishing mecca and birdwatchers paradise. Today however, being so accessible, Karumba is fast becoming a must do destination for travellers looking for an experience with a difference. The rich marine wetlands wind their way inland some 30 kilometres from the Gulf of Carpentaria coastline, this is truly where the savannah meets the sea. During the summer, monsoon rains replenish the waterways and attract a multitude of birds in preparation for the popular winter tourist season, when fishing enthusiasts along with many round Australia and overseas travellers descend on Karumba for some of the best wild caught barramundi in Australia. Learn all about the fascinating facts on Barramundi, the marine habitat and Gulf in general at the Barramundi Discovery Centre where you can adopt your very own barramundi or try feeding the big mouth fish yourself.
1. Witness a Sunset
If there’s one thing Karumba is renowned for it’s our spectacular sunsets over the ocean’s horizon. Scout out of one of the many vantage points, including our beer garden where you can witness this bucket list item for yourself.
2. Les Wilson Barramundi Discovery Centre and Hatchery Karumba
Discover the amazing secrets of the mighty barramundi at The Les Wilson Barramundi Discovery Centre, the only hatchery in the world to breed the Southern Gulf strain of this iconic fish!
The interactive and state of the art Interpretive Centre provides the history, stories, lifecycle and habits of these sought-after fish. Discover the wetlands and mangroves and learn about the incredible birdlife and stunning southern Gulf flora.
Watch an amazing short film on Barramundi, the fishing industry and the wonderful community of Karumba and hear stories from the commercial fishermen who catch them.
3. Sunset and Croc Sightings with Croc & Crab Cruises
Local tour company Croc & Crab Cruises conduct two Gulf experiences for you to choose from. The first being their signature Croc and Crab Morning Nature Cruise. Take in the fabulous bird life, watch with anticipation as they pull out crab pots to see if they’ve caught the big one! All the time keeping an eye out for crocodiles swimming or sunning themselves on the muddy banks. A delicious light morning tea is included on this tour.
The second and very magnificent tour is the Sand Island Sunset Cruise. Take a walk on the sand island while enjoying fresh cooked gulf prawns, nibbles, fruit and drinks. Enjoy the peace and tranquility of the sand island while watching the amazing Karumba sunset as it slowly sinks into the beautiful Gulf of Carpentaria.
Both tours pick up at Sunset Point boat ramp.
Bookings are essential via https://www.crocandcrab.com.au/
4. River and Sunset Cruises with Ferryman River Crusies
Explore the mangrove lined waterway of the Norman river with the Ferryman. Their wildlife adventures include bird watching, croc spotting and unforgettable sunsets over the Gulf of Carpentaria.
Bookings are essential via https://www.ferryman.net.au/
5. Scenic Helicopter Tours
For something truly unique, why not take a scenic helicopter ride over the Gulf of Carpentaria? This is a great way to see the town from a different perspective and get a bird’s eye view of all the amazing scenery.
Helicopter sightseeing tours are one of the most exhilerating ways to admire the beautiful landscape of Karumba and its surrounding areas.
Get an eagle view of the Gulf and Karumba. You won’t be disappointed. It’s an absolutely thrilling experience!
6. Fishing Tours In Queensland’s Best Fishing Spot
There’s no doubt, fishing is one of the key reasons tourists visit our region. Karuma is home to vast range of fish species and the barramundi here is why we’re well known as “”Barradise””.
February to October is Barra season, when you can throw in a line beside the 500 or so local residents – and the hundreds of other fishing hopefuls that venture here on the hunt for prized Barramundi. But that’s not where it ends. There’s threadfin and blue salmon, golden snapper (fingermark), grunter, black jewfish, goldspot cod and groper, mackerel, queenfish, trevally, catfish, bream, flathead and whiting to name just a few. The Gulf is also where the trawlers pull out prawns by the tonne each season, and if you don’t mind mud crab, the estuaries and mangroves of the Norman River that snake out to the sea are full of them. Just be sure to keep a keen eye out for crocs who love Barra and crab too.
If you are serious about fishing, we suggest getting in contact with one of the reputable guided fishing tour companies that operate in Karumba as recommended below. Not only do they offer expert advice and knowledge of the area, they can also supply you with all the equipment that is required for a successful day out on the water.
- Kerry D Fishing Charters
Find out more: https://kerrydfishing.com.au/
- Micks Fishing Adventures
Find out more: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100069550354254
7. Bird Watching
One of the most popular things to do in Karumba is bird watching. If you’re lucky, you might even spot a rare sighting!
Karumba is home to numerous and diverse species of birds including – parrots, finches, frogmouth, pelicans, seagulls, honeyeater, herons, birds of prey, brolgas and much much more.
8. Heritage Walk
The Karumba Heritage Walk is a 4km path that stretches from Karumba to Karumba Point. Along the way you will discover pioneers, commercial fishing, World War 2 squadrons and the Catalina among the history of the region. Signage tells some of the stories from the first inhabitants, explorers, environment, economy and community.
9. Outback by the Sea Festival (Annual event held in September)
Get lost in the moment in the land of drought and flooding rains where the Outback meets the Sea. Join the week-long festival celebrating the legendary barramundi, seafood, live music, Indigenous culture, and arts and crafts.
The festival kicks off with a range of workshops and activities for people of all ages and interests that bring participants closer to nature, food and adventure in this destination of contrasts. Campfire cookouts, night markets, birdwatching, stargazing, ghost net art workshops, painting session, crab catching, and prawn eating are a few activities on the program list. The closing evening concert on the outdoor lagoon stage at the Barramundi Discovery Centre features a great lineup of well-known Australiana artists.
There is definitely something for everybody where the Outback meets the Sea. It’s an event not to be missed!
10. Burke & Wills Camp B/CXIX
Burke and Wills Camp B/CXIX is a significant historical site located near Karumba, Queensland, that attracts visitors from all over the world. The site marks the location where the ill-fated Burke and Wills expedition set up their Camp 119 on the journey back from the Gulf of Carpentaria in 1861. The campsite is a key attraction for history buffs and those interested in exploring the Australian outback. Visitors can explore the site, which has been preserved as a national monument, and learn about the expedition’s tragic story through interpretive displays and guided tours. The area surrounding the campsite is also renowned for its stunning natural beauty and diverse wildlife, making it an ideal destination for nature enthusiasts. Whether you are interested in history, culture, or nature, a visit to Burke and Wills Camp B/CXIX is an unforgettable experience that will leave you with a deeper understanding of Australia’s past and present.
Normanton is a popular tourist destination known for its unique outback charm and rich history. There are several key attractions in Normanton that make it an ideal destination for travelers. The iconic Purple Pub is a must-visit, famous for its distinctive purple colour and friendly atmosphere. The pub has been serving locals and visitors alike for over a century and offers an authentic outback experience. Another popular attraction is the historic Burns Philp building, which now houses the Normanton Visitor Information Centre and provides visitors with valuable insights into the region’s history and culture. For nature lovers, the Gulflander train journey is a must-do, taking passengers on a scenic ride through the Gulf Savannah region and showcasing the area’s unique flora and fauna. The Normanton Fishing Museum is another popular attraction, providing visitors with an insight into the region’s rich fishing history and showcasing some of the largest fish ever caught in the area. Whether you are interested in history, culture, nature, or just looking for an authentic outback experience, Normanton has something for everyone.