Mount Isa – Winton
Took the Madras curry and rice we’d cooked and frozen at home out of the Engel and put it into the cooler to defrost and keep the cooler contents cold at the same time.
10.05 Left Argylla Big 4/Discovery Caravan Village and fuelled up at Woolies: 55 L @ $1.399 per litre, less 10c discount $71.45; odometer reading 60 682 km – 1720 km since Darwin.
10.20 Drove to the lookout. The view was amazing with the enormity of the mining structure emphasised by the comparatively small size of the vehicles working on it. If you zoom in on the photo below, on the right-hand side you can see a triple-bogey road train that looks like a Matchbox toy.
10.45 Left the lookout.
11.40 Passed the turnoff for Mary Kathleen, once a thriving uranium mine.
12.10 Arrived at Cloncurry where we fuelled up at Woolies: 14.01 L @ $1.485 per litre $20.24 less 4 cpl discount $20.24; odometer reading 60806 – nice number, reads the same both ways, a palindrome.
12.20 We left Cloncurry and 10 minutes later turned right onto the Landsborough Highway.
13.30 Arrived at McKinley. Stopped to eat lunch at a very nice park with shaded tables and a modern childrens playground, plaques describing various historic buildings in the town, toilets, and a library/information centre said to be the smallest library in Australia and famous for being the office for Walkabout Tours in the Crocodile Dundee movies. The Walkabout Hotel is just around the corner too, so it’s an interesting town to take a break at.
14.10 Left McKinley and drove for three-quarters of an hour to Kyuna where we stopped briefly to take photos of the Blue Heeler Pub.
15.10 We turned off and drove 8 km to the carpark of the Combo Waterhole, the billabong Banjo Patterson wrote about in the song Waltzing Matilda, then walked the rest of the way. We disturbed a few big grey kangaroos along the way. It was a bit hot and we were glad we wore our hats. There was some water in the billabong but as someone we passed on the track remarked, the jolly swagman would have had trouble drowning in it.
16.15 Left Combo Waterhole.
17.10 Passed the Richmond T/O.
17.45 Passed the Boulia T/O 8 km before Winton.
17.50 Checked into the Matilda Caravan Park at Winton – $25
No camp kitchen, just a bbq, table and sink.
One-course roast meals were on offer at $15 per person.
It became very windy and the lack of windproof shelter made reheating our dinner on our gas cooker a bit of a challenge, but it was worth the effort.
There were two amenities blocks which were clean and the water from the artesian basin was hot but smellled a bit.
An animal enclosure at the entrance held an alpaca, sheep and chickens and opposite that was a pool.