Bite of the barra lures more grey nomads north to Cairns
THE barramundi capital of the Far North has seen a dramatic increase in the number of outback-seeking nomads keen to throw in a line.
Normanton Visitor Information Centre recorded a 50 per cent rise in visitor numbers in the past 12 months with a total of 15,000 people stopping at the town.
Co-ordinator of Normanton and Karumba centres, Chris Knol, said despite the looming wet season, tourist numbers in December had almost quadrupled compared to the previous year.
Mr Knol said some grey nomads stayed for up to five months in Karumba fishing while others spent an average of three to four days at Normanton.
"We had 10,000 people in 2011 and this year it was up to 15,000," he said. "It was a massive increase for us."
The peak month last year was July with 5400 visitors and about 90 per cent of those were grey nomads.
"The rest we get are internationals doing the big Australia trek," he said. "We get a few families as well. Karumba is booked out every year.
"In Normanton we have rivers with barramundi fishing, Burke and Wills' last camp, a historic town walk which takes a good two to three hours to read the history and there are two caravan parks."
Carpentaria Shire Council has also earmarked a section of the Burns PhilpBuilding for the long-awaited Normanton Monsoon Centre.
The $2.5 million development, which will show tourists how the Gulf of Carpentaria is affected during the wet season, is awaiting funding approvals from the Federal and State governments.
"It will be a very big display," Mr Knol said. "We really need it."
NEW CAIRNS.COM.AU COMMENT POLICY
We welcome your comments on this story. Comments are submitted for possible publication on the condition that they may be edited. Comments submitted without a full name and suburb/location will not be considered for publication. Please read our full comment policy and publication guidelines.
Share this article
Lining up: Great fishing is proving a drawcard for tourists.