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Blue Snoopy is a 2018 Adria Altea 402PH Sports Caravan pulled by a 2012 Nissan Navara ST Dual Cab Ute.

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30 May 2008 – Cloncurry to Mt Isa

We are becoming accustomed to the lifestyle and sleeping through the night is becoming easier provided that we open the right window to create the perfect airflow.  Finally, we got it right, the perfect conditions for a sound night’s sleep and then the alarm went off at 5.00am.  Surely “He” had set it wrong but no, then we realised that we needed to be in Mt Isa by 8.30am.  Cloncurry is 118 kilometres to the east of Mt Isa so a drive, partly in the dark was required.

We departed Cloncurry just before 6.30am in pitch black and the first thing we noticed as we departed the town was a warning sign of “Kangaroos for the next 120 kilometres”.  As planned, cruise control was set to 80k’s per hour and we travelled the majority of the trip at this speed.  We had been told that this part of the trip was probably the most scenic and as the surrounding land was lit by the rising sun, the beauty of north western Queensland unfolded in front of our eyes.  We were travelling across a series of hills that were lit golden red as the sun rose.  The contrast between the green country side and the hills was almost indescribable (if it was totally indescribable this would not be written) and was nothing short of spectacular.  We didn’t see one kangaroo during the trip which took 90 minutes and our arrival in Mt Isa was announced by two tall smoke stacks rising above the low hills. 

The township of Mt Isa was established following the discovery of rich deposits of copper, zinc, lead and silver. In fact, today Mt Isa is one of the most important mining towns in the world.  As the sun was in the right position, we paid a visit to a lookout to take a few pictures.

We had booked an underground mine tour for the morning.  Until about 4 years ago, it was possible to visit the Mt Isa mine site and go underground but insurance limitations put a stop to that.  The local council with support from a large number of organisations including Mt Isa Mines, arranged for the construction of a replica mine site to show tourists what it is like underground.  From this initiative arose the “Hard Times Mine”.  We were part of a group of 18 people who were provided with overalls, gumboots and mining lamps and then descended into the mine.  After transportation underground by train, we alighted and then spent several hours seeing first hand the working of a mine (mostly past mining techniques).  We saw drilling equipment working, various ore loaders and finally a simulated blasting within the mine.  For $45 each, this has to be the best value for money experienced for a considerable time. 

After the conclusion of this activity, we lunched at the centre, visited an excellent outback garden and then looked at the Riversleigh Fossil Centre which is a world renowned enterprise and responsible for the discovery of 30 unknown extinct mammals. 

We refuelled at $1.729 per litre (less 4 cents) and then did a partial restock of the refridgerator sufficient to take us to Alice Springs.

After the early morning, we decided to have an easy afternoon which comprised the DVD “Beyond the Sea” with a couple of drinks to relax.      

Steak and salad for tea.  Tomorrow we are heading into the Northern Territory.

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