Our second night was spent camped at a great free camp in Winton, on the banks of a waterhole.
First stop the next day was the roadhouse in Kynuna for the best bacon and egg rolls!
We then called into the Walkabout Creek Hotel in McKinlay. The pub was built in 1900, but this place is famous as it was in the first Crocodile Dundee movie. We’d visited years ago so was nice to go back and have a look around and grab a beer. Had a great chat with Frank, the owner and publican, such a nice down to earth guy.
From here we had to detour about an hour or so out of our way due to a truck rollover. Arrived in Cloncurry and went to Chinaman Creek Dam for a break and some lunch.
Beautiful spot to sit and listen to the bird life. This used to be a gold mine and was then filled in to form construction of the dam. On the way out we drove up to the lookout to see the painted water tank, amazing artwork on this one.
About 40min outside of Mt Isa you come to the Mary Kathleen township. We have been here before and it’s quite a strange feeling being there. This used to be a thriving town of 1000 or more people, shops, post office, police station and more, owned and run by Rio Tinto. But when the mine closed, everyone moved out, houses were auctioned off (most moved to Cloncurry or Mt Isa and many still standing today) and today there is nothing but the roads, footpaths and slabs where houses once stood.
A few km from here, via a 4WD track, you’ll find the old uranium mine. It’s definitely well worth the drive and walk in there, it is quite a sight to see. No barriers or safety here, so definitely don’t get too close to the edge!
The plan for the day was to drive to Camooweal, but with the delays we ended up spending the night in Mt Isa.
Next day, we packed up early, fueled up and were on the road again for another big days driving, and it wasn’t all that long before we crossed border into NT.
The next night we pulled up on the side of the road to set up camp. Huge area, with only two other vans that we could see. We were a fair way from the road, but could still hear some road noise …. But that didn’t worry us as the gale force winds pretty much blocked out everything else!
All going to plan, we should arrive in Jabiru this afternoon.