Mt Isa

Chapter 20


Back in Queensland May 2003

Friday 16th May, (Mount Isa).

We spent last evening at Camooweal; we booked into the caravan park behind the local pub thinking it was no different than the other. It turned out that we were the only ones in the park for the night. It seems the signage for this park is not obviously visible and everyone automatically selects the other. We only noticed this one when we were walking around the town looking for parks and when he quoted what he did for the night we just booked in there and then.

The trip today to Mount Isa along the Barkly highway would have to be along the worst section of road called a highway in Australia. About 40% of the road is single lane bitumen and simply placed on the road as it was originally constructed. I am told the road was built by the Americans during word war 11 when they decided it was too far to drive to Darwin via what roads were in existence, so deployed a heap of bull-dozers and made the road. Apart from being single lane sealed, the road is still in its original state, no hills cut out, just up and over leaving some rather dangerous crests with annoying gravel on the edges that one has to move over on to.

We are going to be in Isa for at least a week, relaxing and getting over all the travelling we have been doing lately. After this most of our trips will be relatively shorter and less frequent, thank goodness.


Thursday 15th May, (Camooweal).

Camooweal is our present place of abode, moving on from Tennant Creek on Tuesday and taking two days to get here. We camped at a rest area last night about half way across just east of Barkley Homestead. This was a very enjoyable stay as it was quite warm, quiet apart from the occasional road train, a full moon and the sky was full of stars, so most of the evening was spent sitting outside admiring the night sky.

We had thought of staying at Camooweal for a couple of days, but there really isn’t much to do here so we will be moving on tomorrow.

I guess that this is a good time to start a new chapter.

Tennant Creek

Tuesday 13th May, (Tennant Creek).

We have now formed the opinion that Tennant Creek is basically only worthy of a stopover. This is only our opinion and we appreciate that others may have a completely different one.

A visit to the Pebbles today was rather disappointing as they were not quite as we expected. At the Marbles there were roads to the main scenic advantage point and walks around them, but at the pebbles there were not any such advantages. Maybe the scenery we saw was the best they had to offer, then we aren’t to know. Take nothing away from the Pebbles, they were an attraction in themselves but were not what we were led to believe.

Devils Marbles/Tennant Creek

Monday 12th May, (Devils Marbles/Tennant Creek).We had a look at the map on our last night at Wycliffe to see how far it was to Devils Marbles, a reserve just north, knowing it wasn’t far, but it turned out to be only 30k. We should have had a closer look before stopping at Wycliffe and moved straight on to the Marbles. Being a reserve it only cost $6.60 a night where Wycliffe was $21.00 and we had intended staying at the Marbles anyway.

Now, the Devils Marbles is another must see when in the area. They are a mass of rounded granite rocks, some very large, just sitting on the ground on a few acre area in the middle of nowhere. Most of the rocks are precariously balanced on top of others and one can spent heaps of time marvelling at the sight. We spent two days camped there and took in a sunset, which is as spectacular as Ayres Rock, if not more. The Marbles are, reputed to be, more often photographed than Ayres Rock.

This is just a very small area of the boulders.

Just one rock formation, I don’t know how I got Linda on top of it.

Guess who is enjoying herself.

We are now at Tennant Creek, just south of Three Ways where we turn right to travel toward to the east coast again.

It just goes to show; We were looking forward to reaching Tennant Creek, number one for the warmer weather, and number two because we had an idea it was such a nice place and there would be plenty to do. It was just as well we only booked in for three days because we, especially Linda, really do not like the town very much. There are a lot of indigenous people live in the town and it is surprising how much this detracts from the place. Linda went for a lone walk back from town and did not fell very safe at all with some of them not looking very savoury types at all. There does not actually seem to be as much to do here as we thought, or maybe this has a lot to do with our feelings of the town. There are the Devils Pebbles just north of town, which are a smaller version of the Devils Marbles and just as spectacular, but we will find out tomorrow.


Thursday 8th May, (Wycliffe).

Wycliffe Caravan Park is one of a difference; it has a total theme of UFO’s and aliens with murals on just about every wall in the park. Somebody must have been very busy over the years with a paintbrush and lots of paint. The murals also feature a lot of the scenery in the area down to the rock, and are actually very well done. The park also offers a lake stocked with fish and guests are welcome to try their luck. The lake is at a quite low level so I for one gave it a miss. There is also a mini zoo with several animal types and bird life.