Friday, July 30, 2010


18 July 2010


Being Sunday not everything is open in Mt Isa. We started of the day by attending a most uplifting mass. Then at the Outback centre we spent quite a bit of time at the Riversleigh Fossil Display. It was a very informative display. Riversleigh is 250km north-west of Mt Isa near Lawn Hill. The fossils found here are amongst the most extensive in the world. The fossils span several periods and some are 15-25 million years old. The fossils are of mammals, birds, reptiles. They have been able to piece together the evolution of some of Australia’s animals over the last 30 million years as a result of these fossil finds. In the reception area to the exhibition there were some lovely quilts made by the Mt Isa Quilters depicting the animals of the past.

Mt Isa itself was not much. Very much a mining town with the mines close to the city. It had no feel of a town.

After lunch we headed out on the Barkly to Cloncurry.

It was a very scenic drive along this section of the road.

There were still sections with termite mounds.

We were shown to pull over to the side by a policeman. We pulled over and waited. Then we saw the semi come up over the rise carrying a huge mining vehicle on the trailer. It took up the full two lanes of the road.  We were glad we had not met it on a narrower section of the road.

Cloncurry was an old and tidy town with character. From Cloncurry we turned off to Matilda Highway. Here we hit the locusts. There were ‘clouds’ of locusts flying across the road. They appeared to be heading west.

We decided to camp in the so called caravan park at the back of the Walkabout Hotel.

This is the pub made famous by the film Crocodile Dundee. Apparently they moved the location of the pub since the filming to the main street. It looks like the pub from the film but has no atmosphere – very sterile. And have you ever heard of a pub closing at 8:30 pm. Well it sure did. I think he hoped to close it at 8:00pm but it took him some time to get everyone outside so he could close. We heard from some of the road crew that the other week he closed it half way through the State of origin match. That is like sacrilege. The guy behind the bar is from England and has no understanding of aussie psych.

The Walkabout Pub is in an old town called McKinlay. It feels like a ghost town a bit but there are people still living here.

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