Karumba, Qld

Take a load off

The incredible spectacle of the tidal rivers and estuaries along the southern coast of the Gulf of Carpentaria is one of the most captivating memories I have of outback flying in Australia. So I keep going back. Whether you're heading east or west, it doesn't matter. Just invent any lame reason you can think of to reduce your revs, put some flap out and spend some time flying  low level along this coastline.

While you're up here ... check out KARUMBA. It must be the world's most laid back town.

They even fish lying down.

A stopover here will remind you how to relax; how to wind down that blood pressure and forget where your shoes are. Stay at the End of the Road Motel and you'll have everything you need. Even an onsite laundry - great news huh? Wander across the road to Ash's Cafe to keep the diet buried for another day.

Ash's Cafe, coffee and breaky carbs to set you up for the whole day.

At the End of the Road, you're right on the beach, so take time out after you've washed that red dirt and avgas out of your ears, to get some sand between your toes, throw a line in and try your luck, and then walk home via the camping ground.

That's an education in itself, especially if you wander through at beer o'clock - these Grey Nomads who've left their sniveling kids at home and are out here gaily spending their inheritance are definitely onto something. We see them all over the country, and man are they ever having a fine time in their 60s and 70s thanks very much. Good luck to them, I say.

It's dead set dicky, but you gotta do it.

You can walk right next door from your accommodation into the breezy open-air beer garden of the Tavern. It gets a bit hectic at sunset but that just means you're guaranteed to meet a new pal or two. There's plenty of room for you to order a beer and then get stuck into a feed of seafood so fresh it's still jumping. You can get hold of a fishing charter easily if you want to, just ask at the motel.

Happy hour at the End of the Road.

You can now get avgas at Karumba. Way back, we first called in here on our way back from Thursday Island.  We've since been back several times - it's easy to incorporate it into any safari that takes you up through far north Queensland. Give it a go.