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Welcome to the outback by the sea

Welcome to the outback by the sea

Imagine waking up to a sunrise over the majestic, diverse outback landscape, feeling the power of an iconic barramundi on the end of your line, hearing the crisp ‘snap’ of a mud crab shell breaking open after a long day hauling pots, before cosying up to a fire under the luminescent stars of the Milky Way. This is Gulf Country, and it’s yours to discover.

The Carpentaria Shire represents a majestic union of disparate worlds, where the outback’s black soil plains, hard ridges, outcrops and savanna soils meet wetlands, mangroves, salt pans and the open ocean. In these parts, Mother Nature reigns supreme.

If the journey is part of the adventure for you, take the road less travelled and drive the fully sealed road to the Gulf. Travelling by car or caravan is one of the best ways to explore the Gulf of Carpentaria and its communities of Normanton and Karumba. The Savannah Way, which connects Cairns and the Gulf region, is a comfortable route for all vehicles, linking Tropical North Queensland with the historical pearling town of Broome in Western Australia’s Kimberley. The 3700-kilometre route links 15 national parks and five Word Heritage–listed areas if you choose to drive the full journey. If you are adventuring from the south, the Matilda Way is a fully sealed 1812-kilometre highway that stretches from the New South Wales border all the way to the Gulf of Carpentaria, cutting though outback Queensland. You can immerse yourself in the outback surroundings, exploring kilometres of red sand and jaw-dropping gorges, as well as monuments and ruins that nod towards the area’s rich First Nations history.

Spend your days exploring rivers and coastlines, including the internationally renowned fishing destination of Sweers Island, and sample the culinary delights of wild-caught barramundi. Visit the only hatchery in the world that breeds the genetically distinct southern gulf barramundi at the Les Wilson Barramundi Discovery Centre and Hatchery. Visitors are invited to experience the barramundi story in a world-class, architecturally designed building that reflects the barramundi form. Spanning 130 metres in length, the main building includes an information centre, cafe, theatre, art gallery and interpretative displays – all arching around a 2500-square-metre pond.

To see the Gulf in full swing, time your visit with one of the annual events like the Normanton Rodeo, Annual Horse Racing Carnival, one of the fishing classics or the Outback By The Sea® Festival, which, in September 2024, will incorporateAustralia’s newest short film festival – the Ocean and Outback Film Festival.

What are you waiting for? Come and explore the outback by the sea and find your piece of paradise!

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