Posts Tagged With: cloncurry

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….

Categories: 2017 Up The Centre Adventure | Tags:

Day 73 – Gunpowder Rest Area to Cloncurry

We were back to a cold morning this morning, but the diesel heater soon improved the situation.  After some confusion about what time it was (only some of our clocks had been updated from NT time) we got underway about 9.30am.

Our first stop today was at Mt Isa, where we parked near the Visitor Information Centre which is known as “Outback at Isa”.  This is a very large place and is the centre of various tours, museums, mining exhibitions, and even a brilliant photographic exhibition.  There is also a nice café – yes Kaye we had coffee and cake!

Changing scenery along the way

Approaching Mount Isa

Welcome to Mount Isa

Scenes Around Mount Isa

Scenes Around Mount Isa

We then moved Bertha and did a quick shop at Coles to replenish our food supplies.  We stayed at Mt Isa for a few days on our 2015 Big Adventure, and this is still very much a mining town.  The mines and associated infrastructure dominate the skyline and the landscape.

Scenes Around Mount Isa

Yesterday I commented that the Queensland roads were surprisingly good, but I’m sorry to say that the situation didn’t last too long and the quality diminished around Mt Isa.  Queensland seems to design its roads, and we’re talking a major highway here, differently to NT, for example.  The highway is generally narrower and there is very little space beside the road to pull over if required.  There are very short roadside stops which are shared by cars and trucks, and very few rest areas with toilet facilities.  In contrast, NT has quite separate stopping areas for cars and trucks, and proper rest areas at reasonable intervals.  From Mt Isa the road at least did have frequent overtaking lanes as there were few opportunities for trucks and cars to overtake slower vehicles otherwise.

Not much of a rest area!

After lunch in Bertha we hit the road and continued our journey to Cloncurry.  The changes in the landscape were amazing with flat scrub plains making way for mountains, rocky outcrops, and more.

On the road to Cloncurry

On the road to Cloncurry

Views of Cloncurry

Once in Cloncurry we booked in at the Discovery Caravan Park, which is a combination caravan park and mining workers’ accommodation huts.  The facilities are excellent with camp kitchens, pool, gym and washers and driers, for instance, are free. There is also a restaurant called ‘The Curry’ and all caravan park guests are welcome – it’s an all-you-can-eat feast each night!  It all works very well and this is a really nice place to stay, partly due to being on grass sites rather than dust or gravel, for a change.

Sunset at Cloncurry

It has been a great day with temperatures in the mid-twenties and our lovely clear blue skies are back.

Categories: 2017 Up The Centre Adventure | Tags: ,

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