Going for Gold
Georgetown and Croydon are famous for their origins as 1880’s gold mining centres. Most of the gold had been stripped by the early 1900s. In both towns the history of gold mining and the people involved are features of the town’s publicity machines. All sorts of relics from the past are on display; battery stamps, old mine sites and chimneys, flywheels, steam engines, winches, buckets etc.
Many of these were made in England but some were made in foundries on the gold fields and nearby towns. Today it is pretty much a cattle region finding its way, via the live cattle trade, to Indonesia through the Gulf port of Karumba.
We spent a couple of interesting days wandering around the sights of Georgetown and Croydon.
A pretty good fish and chips was had at the Club Hotel in Croydon, the last one of 30 still standing from the 1890s. This town has a number of well preserved wooden buildings from the same period. One of them is the courthouse where we listened to the case brought against Elizabeth Brown for drunk and disorderly conduct, she was locked up in Normanton for 2 months. Nearby the gaol has an incumbent who has been there for 90 years lying on a bed, an audio comes to life when you walk past with him moaning and groaning about the conditions.
The Chinese had a big presence on the gold fields up here and there is archaeological dig site outside Croydon on one of their former settlements, an 1890s Chinatown. An interesting place to wander around, as well as the Chinese section of the old cemetery.
An excellent camp ground here couldn’t keep us another night in town as we had to move on.
This was a special! We passed the Gulflander travelling from Croydon to Normanton. Doesn’t generally happen on Saturdays. Once a week on Thursdays is the rule. This was a special charter full of grey nomads! We are doing this trip next week.
Leaving Croydon we are now heading for Normanton and Kurumba, hoping to catch an elusive Barramundi on the shores of the Gulf.