Mt Isa to Normanton – Dash 8 flight


A Dash 8, 100 series plane, built in 1987, took us from Mt Isa to Normanton.  Although only 380km, a relatively short distance for these parts of outback Queensland, it took us four hours to reach our destination.  We landed at three other places before arriving in Normanton as we were on the twice weekly ‘milk run’.


Dash 8 aircraft belonging to Skytrans P1080226 DY of ‘jtdytravels’

Firstly we landed at Doomadgee, an aboriginal settlement, then Burketown before flying across the north coast and over the Gulf of Carpentaria for a short distance to Mornington Island and its main centre of Gununa.  Apart from exchanging a few passengers and some AustPost mailbags, not a lot happened at these stops.  As the flight was booked many months ago, our tour company requested window seats for us all.  Skytrans obliged so we all had wonderful views of the everchanging patterns and colours below.

We were running 50 minutes behind time so were only allowed off the aircraft in Burketown.  Wandering around the outside of the terminal (a small tin shed) we did see some black-faced wood swallows, zebra finches, a couple of brolga who obligingly took off to join some black kites already soaring on the wind currents.

Burketown is an acknowledged centre for burramundi fishing.


The Welcome sign P1080227 DY of ‘jtdytravels’


Black-faced Wood Swallows P1080238 DY of ‘jtdytravels’


Flying in this area of Australia presents some wonderful patterns on the ground.  The flight bookings had been made many months ago with window seats being requested for us all.  This request was met so everybody had a good view.


Wonderful patterns of the Gulf Country P1080246 DY of ‘jtdytravels’


We eventually arrived in Normanton where we had a late lunch at the Albion Hotel. Our tour leader generally had the lunch menu so we made our choice from this before he phoned ahead.  This gave the limited staff at these places a chance of serving us in a reasonable time. The menu generally had things like pies, sandwiches and wraps to choose from.  This pub was built in the late 1880’s in Croydon and relocated to its present location in Normanton during the early 1900’s.


The Albion Pub, Normanton P1080268 DY of ‘jtdytravels’

There were some interesting signs in the pub P1080267 DY of ‘jtdytravels’


After lunch we boarded our specially chartered Rail Motor (RM 60) for the four mile run to the first turning triangle out of Normanton.  This length of track is all part of the Normanton yards, if we had wanted to go any further east, we would have had to get permission from ‘Control’ in Townsville.  The driver could loose his job without this approval.


RM60 at 4 mile turning triangle P1080297 DY of ‘jtdytravels’


RM 60 is a unique vehicle.  It is powered by a 45hp AEC motor and was built in the Ipswich Railway Workshops in 1931.


RM60 in Normanton Station 1080279 DY of ‘jtdytravels’


It’s a rough ride over rough lightly constructed track, but a thoroughly enjoyable experience.


view from observor’s seat RM60 P1080297  DY of ‘jtdytravels’


4 comments on “Mt Isa to Normanton – Dash 8 flight

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