Reached from Normanton along a 70km sealed stretch of cracked, burning saltpan, patrolled by saurus cranes and jabiru storks, KARUMBA sits near the mouth of the Norman River. The town mostly survives on prawn trawling and fishing, though a major landmark is the huge sheds storing slurry from the zinc mine near Lawn Hill Gorge; the slurry is fed through pipes to Karumba, then dried and shipped overseas for refining. Declining stocks of barramundi in the Gulf have inspired the opening of the Barramundi Discovery Centre (Yappar St), which raises fish for release into the wild. During a one-hour tour, you have the chance to hand-feed the fish and learn about their regeneration.

Central Karumba is along Yappar Street on the Norman River’s south bank, with a supermarket, café, post office, and a smattering of places to stay. Karumba Point, 10km downstream, overlooks mudflats and mangroves along the river mouth where it meets the Gulf’s open seas. It’s the nicer of the two areas and has more places to stay.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Australia features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

12 tips for backpacking Australia

12 tips for backpacking Australia

Backpacking Australia will almost certainly exceed your expectations. It’s not just that the places you’ll see will be more stunning than you had imagine…

09 Mar 2017 • Ros Walford insert_drive_file Article
26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

From ancient temples to hyper-modern skyscrapers, these are just a few of the world's most incredible architectural wonders. Whether you're looking to wander l…

01 Feb 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
Solo travel in Australia: everything you need to know

Solo travel in Australia: everything you need to know

Australia remains a classic travel destination. A steady stream of gap-year backpackers, career breakers and round-the-world-trippers head down under to sample …

22 Nov 2016 • Shafik Meghji insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month