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April 2013 - Moranbah to Mount Isa

Round the country trip, part 2 episode 1.

The last 4 weeks have gone pretty quickly and weve covered a bit of ground (2700km).

Day 1 in Moranbah. This was when the sun finally came out. We had 2 inches of rain before we left and hitched up the caravan in the back yard in ankle deep water.
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After Rockhampton we went to Theresa Creek Dam just out of Clermont for a few days. This is a popular camp for Moranbah people so we camped with a few old neighbours.
Evan learining how to canoe with Jack O'sullivan:
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From there we went to Emerald to stock up on all the things we thought we had forgotten.
Our first destination was Longreach and then the dinosaur attractions around Winton.
We started distance ed in Longreach. Bit more challenging this time around with 3 students instead of one:
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Did the Stockmans hall of fame. Wasn't bad but much the same as a lot of other museums we had seen.
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Then quantas founders museum. Again not bad, but general admission doens't get you anywhere near the big planes used for all their promotional material:
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Highlight of Longreach was the McKinnon and co Old Time Tent Show. This was a family written and acted affair based on the story of Harry Redford. Best hours entertainment we have had in a long time.

Longreach also have a school of distance education servicing the outlying stations. It was good for the kids to see what happens at the other end of what they are doing.
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Next stop was Winton, famous for land based dinosaurs (as opposed to swimming ones further North).
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Age of Dinosaurs is a fossil preparation facility built in the middle of a very rich fossil digging area. The fossilised bones have a tendancy to "float" to the surface of the black soil plains with rain. Then stockman kick them about with their blundstones until they realise they're not rocks.
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Winton is less famous for the musical fence:
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From Winton we headed south out to Lark quarry. This is a flat rock with 95m year old footprints on it.
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Bit rare so they built a shed over it:
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A bit further out is Old Cork Station on the Diamnatina River. The country drops out of the hills and flattens out toward the river.
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Waterhole beside Old Cork Homestead had plenty of water.
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Homestead was looking a bit shabby:
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Truck been sitting for a while.
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Was a bit warm out there (37 both days) and then we found a leak in the van tank, so water became a bit of a concern.
Followed the Diamantina river road back toward Winton:
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And spent another couple of nights in Winton.
Some more flatness:
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Some original real estate:
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From Winton we headed North to Richmond which is famous for the swimming sorts of dinosaurs (because its closer to the sea!)
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This is the Loch Ness Monsters cousin and probably looked more like this:
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Richmond also had a water park:
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On the way out of Richmond we rummaged around in a fossil hunting area.
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Found lots of seashells, and a cuttlefishy squid thing about 6 inches long:
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Next night was at Julia Creek. Then through Cloncurry.
Between Cloncurry and Mount Isa is an old mining town called Mary Kathleen. It was built to service a Uranium mine in the 50's.
The place was closed down and auctioned off in 1984. Only the roads and building foundations left:
This is the swimmong pool:
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and the town centre:
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Which used to look like this:
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Then we arrived into Mount Isa. Bit of a culture shock with traffic lights and traffic to go with it.
Reminded us a lot of Broken Hill. Transport costs out here can't be much of an issue as groceries and fuel etc are all similar to the coast. The last lettuce we bought was $6 in Richmond.
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During the war they built an underground hostpital after Darwin was bombed:
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So from here we head North as long as Cyclone Zane goes where it is supposed to and not veer south.

The track so far:
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Posted by enookway 02:46

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Comments

Hi Ian and family,
Great to see you are back on the road. Love the pictures and the kids are growing up fast! Same problem here, have to stop feeding them!
I noted an earlier post that said "At this rate we should get around the rest of the place by 2015." so looks like you are on schedule!
See you around the traps.
Scott from Leeton.

by Scott Brindley

Sounds great so far. No mention of Banjo Patterson at Winton. I believe that is where he is believed to have written Waltzing Matilda at Dagworth Station when visiting Christina McPherson!! Surprised that wasn't more prominently displayed or advertised. Everything else looks really interesting, but very dry and flat. Look after yourselves. Love to all

by Rosemary & Dad (Alf)

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