The state of golden sunshine, white soft sands, tropical water wonders and pineapples🍍. We can’t wait to see more of what we have missed, and hubby will have two helpings of pineapple on his next burger and pizza. 🍍🍍🍔🍕
Camping at the billabong with friends for a few days to rest after coming through the NT border was a delight. Pretty spot to hang up the keys and relax. Even on a cloudy morning, it’s inspiring here beside the billabong. All clear again now but captured these mirrored images early this morning.
This was our last morning at the free camp by Camooweal Billabong. Although packed every night, there is always a spot available, but maybe not by the water. Early birds catch the best locations.
We left Camooweal Billabong and arrived in Mt Isa just after midday. We went from a free site by the river with its gorgeous sunrises to a discovery caravan park with such a skinny area we can’t even pull the canopy out all the way, or we would touch the van next door. Never mind trying to fit our car into the area. So, for $58.00 a night, we are packed in like sardines using old-style toilets and showers that need a Reno, only so we can be in town to do our washing, grocery shop, and get our jab. No wonder we nomads seek other forms of camping. Shame on you discovery parks for asking so much for so little.
Travelling day! 👍❤ bye-bye Mt Isa.
Mount Isa is a mining town and yet so much more. We visited the free spots, but if you are cashed up, the underground hospital, mine tunnel tours and museums are all waiting for you when you come to visit.
We stopped here to get our second Covid jab and we’re mighty pleased we did. The caravan park was nothing to rave about, but here at Moondarra Lake, it was beautiful and is where we spent most of our time. Not only a stunning lookout but a pretty scenic drive. And all can be found just 14 KS out of town. A must call in travelling buddies. Worth a look and don’t forget a picnic lunch. Best lunch squat yet.
Back in town, we took a drive up to the Mt Isa lookout. It is always a must for us when visiting. We never know what we might find. Loved the artwork. Was not expecting that!
Mt Isa Lookout!
Day one at Corella Dam
Our first stop after we left Mount Isa was Mary Kathleen’s township for a look. Beautiful drive to the abandoned city. However, once we got there we found the roads unsealed and nasty, so slow and steady guys if you bring an off road van in here. We came through it unscathed so not to bad in places.
All that was left of the town were cement house pads. This was where most campers were camped up. Most picked a cement pad, and looked settled in for a time. It is private property, yet the owners allow campers and travellers to visit the mine and camp there for free.
It was dusty with the coming and goings of inquisitive travellers who, like us, came in for a look. The busy stream of traffic had us decide to move on. As we were leaving, we saw the sign, 7 kilometres to the mine site, but didn’t take the van as the dude who had just come back from there told us it was four-wheel drive only. Decided we might pop back another day without the van.
We then drove a short distance down the road to the next free campsite, Corella Dam. We didn’t bother driving the extra couple of Ks to Clem Walton Park as we heard it was packed. The free camp here was packed too but found a perfect spot for us. Still, a view of the dam, although not in the front row. Even after we set up camp late afternoon, van drivers by the droves, still looked for a site.
Cornell Dam is between Mt Isa and Cloncurry, where they have a rodeo this weekend. So, assume many have come seeking a site here as the town will be packed.
Fortunately, we snagged a good spot close to the lake where we look forward to tossing a line in. The weather has done a 1/80. It has been so hot on our journey and suddenly we have hit a cold snap. We have pulled out the jackets and tracky-dacks for chilly nights of 6°& 9° and days of 22°& 26° 🤣🤣🤣 Seriously the wind has been cutting. It will last until next Tuesday. At least it’s a pretty place to wait out the cooler weather.
I know, some of you are saying that is your summer weather. But we are used to 22° & 26° at night. Chuckle. Not during the day. What is going on?
Corella Dam. free camping. No dump point. Have to drive back to Mt Isa or to Cloncurry.
Day 2 at Corella Dam.
We had a lazy day enjoying our surroundings. After our second Covid Jab last Thursday, we had kept to ourselves for a few days. But in such lovely surroundings, who wants to stay indoors. The fresh morning with clear sky and the sun shining dragged us outside to have our morning tea. A friendly couple saw us and wandered over with their cuppas. We invited them to bring over their chairs to join us and ended up having a wonderful morning looking out over the dam sharing travelling stories. Lucky for us, they love to cook while on the road, so we enjoyed freshly cooked cake and slices with the second-morning coffee. Nothing improves your stay than a welcoming couple unaware of how special they made us feel. We have found so many lovely camping spots and sights to see from talking to neighbouring campers. So, if you are out here travelling buddies, don’t be scared to walk up with a cuppa and say hi to others sitting alone together. Those who are outside are happy to have a chat. If not, they would be inside enjoying private time. Chuckle. We know cause we are just like everyone else.
Happy camping. 🏕🦀🦞🦐🦈🐠
Happy chatting. 🙋♀️☕🥂🍹🍾
Happy travels. 🚙🏍🚍🚌🚖🚲
Equals the best experience ever. ❤
Try it. You might not want to go home👍😀.
Day 3 at Corella dam.
We have been camping between Mt Isa and Cloncurry. No internet, no shops or entertainment.
It was hair wash day today, so used to a bit more water than the normal, wet-lather-spray off. Because we’ve been to Mt Isa, we went to Cloncurry to find a dump point and fill our water containers to top up our tanks. It was an opportunity to see the town and download some movies from Netflix while in a place where there was sure to be a signal.
It was lunchtime when we arrived, and we both had a hankering for an egg and bacon roll. No, we never look for cafes in these towns. Believe it or not, the best value for money and fresh food is usually from the restaurants at the local servo. Plus, they always have internet coverage. So, pulled into Puma servo and choosing our first movie, downloaded it onto Hubby’s laptop while waiting for our food & coffee. For those scratching their heads, he uses an HDMI cable between the laptop and tv so we can watch on the bigger screen. Our loaded fresh bacon and egg roll did not disappoint and, for the low price of $20.00 total, we left well-fed with the second movie still on the download (on the back seat) while going for a drive around town. First off, we had to visit the Mary Kathleen Museum. After driving through the old town with only cement slabs left where buildings once were, it was interesting to see what had been there at the once-thriving mining town.
After we filled our 10-liter water containers and dumped the loo in the designated dump point close by, we drove to the other side of town, interested to see what was still going on in the showgrounds
The day prior had been the big Cloncurry Rodeo and hoped something was still going on, and there was. We sat and watched the kids roping championships. Love it. Some, were so little, we weren’t sure how they stayed on the big horse, never mind having the muscle power and coordination to swing a rope. The cutest event ever.
Then it was a must-visit, the hanger at the airport. It’s a big thing here as it was the first-ever Qantas hanger ever built. After, we went to the royal flying doctor museum. Also, a first for outback Australia, but it was Sunday and closed for the arvo.
While driving around, I couldn’t get over how wide and well looked after the roads are in the back streets. I guess they need it with the big beef industry they have going on here. So took a picture of a road train at the cattle yards. Typical of the size trucks and now understand why the roads are so wide. They use the back streets rather than block up the main road in town.
The town itself may have had some old areas, but everything necessary looks new and well kept. It was a pleasant surprise to find it all so tidy, lawns and gardens well-kept and plenty of giant trees to park under.
We found it to be a little gem positioned in the middle of lush greenery. This was confirmed when we drove up to the lookout. It is one fascinating town with a love of horses and cattle. Yet boutique in appearance and very cowboy tasteful.
Finally, the number 5 movie had downloaded 🥰, but we couldn’t leave town without seeing Chinaman creek dam. Once again, well done Cloncurry. Lovely picnic area, and a picturesque setting overlooking a lonesome mountain with white paper gums, tall enough to touch the sky. Not too shabby let me tell you.
A good day spent in a happy thriving and well-kept town got big thumbs up from us. Thanks, Cloncurry, that was a blast.
Weary, we arrived back in camp and making a cuppa, we took our chairs over to our neighbours and sat for a chat and watched the sun go down. Good day😀.
Mary Kathleen Museum
Chinaman Creek Dam
Day 4 at Corella dam.
We got up late, watched a movie, and after packing up food and drinks, drove to Mary Kathleen’s mine. We had the van attached the last trip, so without it, we could take the four-wheel-drive trip up to the mine.
It was a slow drive for us, barely hitting any type of speed at times so the 7 kilometers took us almost an hour. Disappointed when we arrived at the wrong spot. Just a lookout. We had followed other cars and turned left at the junction instead of right. But with no signs, who would know unless being here before. Not like us to waste an opportunity, we pulled out the chairs, ham sandwiches, and cuppas and had an enjoyable rest looking at the prettiest of mountain ranges. Laughed with so many who stopped to chat making the same error as us.
We eventually got to our destination and, as you can see by the pictures, it was so worth the drive. Met a friendly couple who took our picture with the lovely background and vice versa. Stopped and chatted for maybe a bit too long, but shrug, what’s the rush. Got back to camp late and being tuckered, we preferred our own company and stayed indoors. After making dinner, we kicked back in the recliners and watched the Superman versus Batman movie. Spoiler alert if you haven’t watched it yet. Can’t believe they killed my hero off and he is no more. Time to find a new one… Not! Yep, got over it quick. Being a writer, I know there are a hundred and one ways to bring him back. Can’t keep a caped avenger in the grave forever. Night, all.
Walkabout Creek Hotel
Today we travelled, 100 Ks, to see a nostalgia pub quite close to both of our hearts. We grew up with the larrikin Hoges and when Crocodile Dundee came out; we were glued to the tele as many Aussies did back then; having a good laugh and loving the sequels. He was our Aussie battler turned superstar and although time and fame took him to other shores, we will always hold dear the man we grew to love and laugh with. An entertaining character who came into our living rooms and brighten our nights.
So, it was fitting we visited the famous pub from the movie, from the Crocodile Dundee franchise, and have a photo taken of us with our famous Aussie beer-drinking, croc wrestling larrikin, Paul Hogan. Seriously, it was him in the flesh… Chuckle.
If you too love him and visit the pub, they serve drinks, no meals. So, we took a cut lunch. Sat out on the porch with our ginger beer and soaked in all that was and still is Hodges. Oh, and hubby bought a tank top. But of course. How could you not take away a souvenir?
We spent a nice 4 days in Julia Creek and got familiar with the Dunnarts, a little marsupial who is on the endangered species list. The one we saw was the regular male Dunnart, which they could keep. We didn’t get to see the fat-tailed Dunnart as it is illegal to keep them.
We stayed at the free RV campsite by the Creek. Each night, the pub sends a courtesy bus to pick up campers for a pub meal. Very well set up, and we enjoyed our stay.
In town, the information centre was informative and friendly. The supermarkets are odd and expensive. They have steps in and out so, forget about taking the trolley outside. It wasn’t a big town square but had a reasonable amount of businesses. Some nice shops if you like to find those specialty items. A nice community of friendly people and worth a look.
Where are we now??
After 4 days, we have moved on to Richmond to learn more about the dinosaurs in this area.
Have pulled up at the Richmond RV campsite. Permits are available from the info centre and cost $5.00 a night per van. Must be self-contained, however, greywater can water the trees. Well, that’s what they told us when we signed in.
Until next time, travelling buddies, that’s the end of this leg of the trip. Hope you can join us in Richmond and beyond, and in the meantime, if you are out on the roads, drive safely and to the conditions. The road taking us to Townsville from the NT is frightful. If it says 80 Ks an hour, slow a little more or you might launch yourselves off the road. Seriously! it is that bad.
On the positive side, it’s all worth it.. All the towns so far have something different to offer and are worth a stop to see. Happy travels.