Day 74 – Cloncurry Rockhana

We’re back to beautiful mornings, not too cold, and clear blue skies.  The caravan park emptied out very early this morning, leaving us with lots of space for a short time anyway.  We had booked a second night so Ann took advantage of an empty park to utilise the laundry facilities rather than line up with the crowds.  Once the washing was organized we packed up Bertha and headed out for some sightseeing in our big car.

Nearly empty caravan park

We actually timed our visit to Cloncurry to coincide with a Rock Show!  Actually Cloncurry’s Rockhana is more officially known as the “Rockhana Gem & Mineral Festival” and is an annual event held in the Mary Kathleen Memorial Park in town.  This is also the site of the “Cloncurry Unearthed” Visitor Information Centre and Museum which contains some information about the Mary Kathleen uranium mine.

There was some interesting information about the local area and the connection with the Burke and Wills expedition. Also on display was an historic Ambulance from the Queensland Ambulance Transport Brigade which was a regular road ambulance converted to run on the railway lines.  It saw service from 1954 to 1971.

From Cloncurry Museum – QATB ambulance, plaque about Burke & Wills, official opening plaque from Mary Katheen mine

The Rockhana has quite a few stalls displaying and selling minerals and gemstones, including a display by the Mount Isa Lapidary Club.  There were also a range of other various stalls ranging from tarot readers, to handbags, to natural oils and soaps, and some food stands.  There was even live music entertainment.

Scenes from Cloncurry Rockhana

We had planned to meet up with our South Australian motorhoming friends Mike and Coralie who had a stall here.  Mike and Coralie’s stand was set up under the annex  of their motorhome and a gazebo, so for the 3 day duration of the Rockhana they had accommodation provided on-site.  It was great to catch up with them both and see their gem and mineral stall, which we had heard about but hadn’t seen until now.  Their range of items on sale was quite amazing and included stones from around the world, some fossils, stones set as jewellery, carved stone items, and so much more.  We actually spent quite a while looking and did buy an item or two.  After staying in Cloncurry to do some prospecting, Mike and Coralie will be heading off to Townsville and Cairns to attend similar shows before heading home to South Australia.  Sounds like an interesting lifestyle to me!  Eventually it was time for us to move on, so we said our farewells and hope that we will catch up with them again on the road soon.

Mike and Coralie’s gem and mineral stall

From Rockhana we headed off into Cloncurry to have a look around and hopefully find some lunch.  To be honest, not very much was open.  Although there are several historic hotels in town, none of them seemed to have any patrons, much less be serving counter meals.

A couple of Cloncurry’s pubs

The bakery was closed on Sundays and the only other café in town has closed down.   Still, we had a good drive around town and see some of the historic buildings and community facilities.  Woolworths was also closed but Foodworks was open so we caught up on a little shopping and then drove Bertha back to the caravan park where we set up and then had a delicious fresh lunch under the awning.

Post Office and Council Chambers

Cloncurry Swimming Pool and Community Precinct

Police Station and plaque outside John Flynn Exhibit

We spent the rest of the afternoon looking through maps and brochures to plan the next stage of our trip, and chatting to our new neighbours and phoned home.

It is great to have a slow day every now and then, especially when the temperature is in the low 30s!

Still living the dream….

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