Mt Isa

From Alice Springs we keep driving northwards. We’ve been learning about the early Explorers on this trip and Noah now has a book about them. We’ve been learning about John McDouall Stuart and for lunch we stop by the side of the road at a spot which marks the most northerly point he got to on one of his trips. Not a bad effort when you leave from Adelaide with a couple of horses.

  

For the night we get to Devil’s Marbles Nature Reserve and camp there.

  

We spend time exploring around the rocks.

  
  

And this photo is dedicated to the Richardsons. Thanks for the idea of this photo. Thanks also for being the trailblazers and inspiring us to take this trip. 

  

That night we pack up as much gear as we can so that we can get away early in the morning. We want to embark on out longest drive for the whole trip – about 800km to get to Mt Isa. Unfortunately it’s a very windy night so when we’d planned to get a good night sleep, we barely got any, about 3 hours. But we want to do the big drive so we go for it. Along the way we do our last border crossing.
  

The logo on the sign might say ‘Where Australia Shines’ but it seems that Queensland is also where ‘Australia is in drought’. This part of the country looks very dry. It’s not pretty. 

We get to Mt Isa about 230pm and I’ve got a head ache from lack of sleep and general fatigue. We’re not at our sparkiest when we set up camp. And on top of that this caravan park is a peg-bender. It’s got to have the hardest ground we’ve encountered. I just want a peg to go in!!

In the arvo Kirst and I have a nap while the kids watch a movie. And then after dinner Noah and I go out to a local club to watch the Broncos v Roosters semi. Noah very much enjoys the excitement of going out to watch the game. 

The next day we have a full day in the town and we take it fairly easy. We start with bacon and eggs and then head out to check out the sights (as such they are). We’re amazed how the town is right on the doorstep of the mine.

  
We also went to a park and then came home. This is us having some laughs before Kirsty and I have another nap.

  
In the arvo we go out to the local lake. The kids are having some sort of a game as we walk across the weir. 

  
And this is us back at camp. The kids have a blue tongue from a McDonalds slurpee.

  
 

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2 thoughts on “Mt Isa

  1. How do you rate your tent? What features of it do you like/dislike?
    Can you reflect on what things you took that were useful/useless?

    1. Hey good questions. Going away for 3 & a half months we wanted a roomy tent that would allow us to stand up in it, have good space under the outer awning and be quick to set up. Black Wolf Turbo Cabin Tent is a top rung brand, but we got all of that with this one. We’re really happy with this tent. If we could use magic, we’d take 10kg off the weight, but such is life.

      We decided to go down the route of not towing anything so we could be flexible to go anywhere (and I wanted the pleasure of passing everyone towing a caravan), so that means we had to be minimal from the start. The tent goes on the roof, and we have a pod for all the sleeping gear and chairs, but then it’s only what we can fit in the back. So there’s never been any room for things that are useless. Though we did purchase an extra ‘screen room’ to go with the tent. We were told the insects can get really bad in NT, so this would allow us to still be in the outside annex area. But it was never that bad. We’ve never taken it out of it’s bag.

      Besides the usual stuff, the things we’ve really appreciated on this trip are – our bush dunny, my aeropress coffee maker, led lights that run off the car and some good quality saucepans that have removable handles (so they can nestle into each other ie save space). Also, Kirsty did this nifty thing where she made sheets that stay on our self-inflatable mats. So we never have to take them on & off. Anything to make set up go faster.

      One last thing – everyone these days seems to travel with a fridge/freezer. But going old school – just a good quality esky, worked fine for us. It just takes a bit more planning as you go.

      Hope you Sarah and the girls can have some great camping adventures in the future. So worth it!

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