Published: July 21st 2010July 21st 2010
We had a great few days in Mount Isa taking in two excursions (well 3 if we’re counting the night at the Irish Club watching Origin 3). The two we are talking about being the Underground Mine Tour and the coach journey actually in and around a real mine. Both were excellent. You really start to appreciate the scale of things. Open cut 800 metres deep, underground nearly 2km deep. Trucks carrying 250 tonnes of ore.
We leave Isa making our way west and then south, Alice Springs and Uluru being our major destinations. It took 6 days to get to Alice staying 2 nights on the QLD border at Camooweal (we’ll come back to Camooweal in a minute) then travelling west on the Barkly Highway, crossing the border into Northern Territory, stopping at Barkly Homestead then Threeways Roadhouse, where the Barkly Highway meets the Stuart Highway - running some 3000 km from Adelaide to Darwin. At Threeways we turned south, spending an hour at Devil’s Marbles (see pic), and have one more stopover at Ti Tree before reaching Alice Springs for a well earned 5 nights.
Anyway, back to Camooweal. This is a reasonable camp site, still in QLD, but
they have a local camp draft on over the weekend, and seeing as we had done a Rodeo, why not do a Camp Draft? So we book 2 nights. Let’s just take a minute to explain the difference between the two, a Rodeo is firecrackers and bangers, a Camp Draft is a damp squid, but in the hour we were there one calf cleared the area fence, one ran straight into the fence and rolled over backwards, and a third demolished a whole section. The squid had come to life!!!!
Well here we are in Alice (Alice, where the f**k is Alice) the first thing we do is seek a doctor, we need an examination to check our brains!!! In Threeways it was max 28 deg, min 18 deg. Alice is max 17 deg min 2 deg. Why did we chose to head south instead of north? Plus the area had just had torrential rain for 3 days and half of the roads were flooded, as well as the camp site! But hey, we’re ex-Poms so no problems, visit the local K-Mart, spend $39 on an electric blanket and Bob’s your Uncle!
Alice is famous for its East & West
MacDonnell Ranges and we spent a day and a half exploring the West Range, spectacular scenery, great walks, easy driving. We also visited the Ghan Museum, Adelaide House (home of John Flynn) Anzac Hill (and Woollies on at least 2 occasions!). We also went to the English pub, The Hound and Furkin with our lovely neighbours Greg & Jobje.
Monday morning was a good time to leave Alice, when the men’s toilets had 4 loos, 2 which were broken, one was flooded (where are the wellies?) and the fourth had no lock! All for $37 a night……….We get an early start 8.45am, that’s early for us. We had planned to stop at Erldunda Desert but pushed on another 130km to Curtin Springs which has a great view of Mt Connor, often mistaken for Uluru. The site is very basic, but it means we’ll only have a short journey to Uluru in the morning.
There are more photos below