17th February-24th February 2013
17.02.2013 - 24.02.2013 37 °C
Mount Isa lookout over dam
Mataranka and Mount Isa
Mataranka Bitter Springs is in the Elsey National Park, and we decided to stay at the old homestead station right on the border of the park and only a short stroll to the swimming hole. We arrived late in the afternoon, set the van up and went for a quick dip in the pool.
The weather was amazing for us, we were lucky enough to finally have a decent thunderstorm over us while we went for a big walk through the Natonal park along the river at the homestead, to finish off we relaxed in the spring water with the rain pouring down on us.. The water temp was down a bit, which was a relief due to the rain, and it was just stunning.
The pool itself is really well done, its quite deep and lined with concrete steps and a few ladders down. This was a great example of the benefits of travelling during the off season, as we had the entire pool to ourselves! We had seen photos and heard stories that it can be so busy, people are lined up to go for a dip.
We also went and had a look at the bitter springs at the entrance to town. This was also well done, with a bit longer swim down the spring to another ladder. Although there was no crocs there it was a little scary as when you were swimming in the water you were surrounded by reeds and it did feel a little scary. We also went and explored a bit of the roper river.
At night we went to the pub at the caravan park, we had a few quiet drinks and a barramundi burger which wasnt bad, we met another couple our age and had a few more drinks with them, before we retired for the night.
Our next major stop was to be Mount Isa, and we had planned on taking our time stopping one or two night. Unfortunately my sick old dog Tyso developed an ulcer on his neck which came up within 2 days and it looked pretty bad, so we decided to get to Mount Isa as fast as possible. It’s the first time since we left Perth that we’ve driven more than 400 Km in one day, but he is worth it. We stopped at the Barkley Road House overnight, which was a great stop, powered site and nice clean toilets. We didnt spend any time looking around and departed the morning after heading straight for Mount Isa.
We got straight into the vet, and sadly we were thinking the worst for my old mate, but the vet was really great and we tried him on a course of antibiotics to treat the neck ulcer. Amazingly, in two days the ulcer completely cleared up which we were just so happy about.
I also had a full service on my transmission, so we were forced to wait around a couple of days while waiting on filter parts. Mount Isa is a working town, where the large majority of people are there to earn the big bucks. It defiantly is NOT on one of favorite places to visit!! We stocked up on all essentials and got out of there as fast as we could!
It weird coz as a kid my (Jennas) aunty used to live in Mount Isa and I have fond memories of travelling to the area, playing with the kids in the street, visiting the shops and creeks and the town people being friendly. However 20 years on the town seems so dirty from the dust from the mines, the people seem cranky and I didnt enjoy my stay. Im sure its probably the same town it always was, just the fact that you see things differently being an adult.
Our mates from Derby, Kingy, Kev and Leathal dropped in for a quick beer on their way thru to picking up Kingy's new boat, drinking was a pretty good option for entire stay in Mt Isa since there isnt much else to do. We drove out to the dam and lookout which was a nice change from the red dirt and celebrated Cedars birthday by making a cake and wrapping a few presents but that was pretty much it for this stop, we were glad to move on.
The thermal springs at Mataranka
Cedar ready for her swim in the springs
The Caravan park camp grounds
The Roper River
Tyson doing abit of Croc Spotting on the Roper River
Cedar enjoying making and eating her 2nd Birthday cake
Mount Isa look out over the dam
Lookout over Mount Isa Dam
Sharing is Caring
Tyson after his vet visit in Mount Isa
Cedar Play and bath time.
On the road again
Best bit of Mount Isa, the road out of town.