Date: 20-21st May 2021
Travelled: 460 kms from Karumba to Cloncurry
Visited: Cloncurry, Outback Queensland.
Stayed: Cloncurry Caravan Park Oasis, $37, All services. S20.70694, E140.51752
Budget: 41 days @ $140 per day.
Departing Karumba it’s a 75km drive back to Normanton. We re-fuel at Normanton for a surprising cheap $1.42 per litre. Rolling out of Normanton on the Burke Development Highway which the tourist signs indicate as the Matilda Way.
ArrivIng at the roadhouse we planned on stopping for lunch. Cannot believe our eyes, there are possibly 50 or more motorhomes and caravans already scattered around the roadhouse and the paddock behind it. Across the highway more caravans, horse floats and trucks. Apparently there is a rodeo on here this weekend and it’s a sell out.
So we only stop long enough to take a photo and watch a grey nomad jack-knifing his caravan. We drive to the next rest stop and have a quiet lunch there.
Two hours later we roll into Cloncurry. Its been almost a 6 hour drive, so we hit the supermarket and find a spot for the night.
After a rest we head off for a late afternoon leg stretch around town. Returning to the Jayco we BBQ a piece of barramundi and have an early night.
After breakfast in the morning we walk to the Mary Kathleen Museum to start the days exploration. Although mining in one form or another is synonymous with Cloncurry, the Mary Kathleen Uranium Mine which operated during the 1950-60 is the museum’s focus. Instead of paying the $10 entry fee, we cough up $15 pp to secure a Cloncurry museum pass which includes entry to the John Flynn Place Museum.
The lady at the information centre suggests we go out and visit the Afghan and Chinese Cemeteries. It was a long walk for two Afghan headstones and one Chinese. Seven kilometres later and a little disappointed we make our way back to the Jayco for a late lunch, a swim and a rest.
Having recovered from this mornings walk we get the bicycles off the Jayco and ride to the John Flynn Place Museum. The museum outlines Flynn’s work in establishing the Flying Doctor Service, the relationship with Qantas and the establishment of the School of the Air education network. We found it well worth an hour or so visit.
Back at the Jayco we reload the bikes and get the BBQ started. The local butcher has sold us on his grain fed rump and some bangers for dinner. The slab of steak is so big we’ll eat the other half when we recover from this.
Up reasonably early, as we have another long drive today, we have a coffee and some fruit before readying the Jayco for the road. We re-fuel again, hit the bakery and the supermarket before driving up to the the lookout. The lookout with its water tank and mural is only a couple kms on the wrong side of town but the view of the water tank and the surrounding district make the drive worthwhile.
A panorama of Cloncurry from the lookout
From the lookout we drive another 3 kms around to Chinaman’s Creek Dam for a look. What a surprise this lovely expanse of water is.
A panorama of Chinaman’s Creek Dam, Cloncurry
Anyway that’s Cloncurry done, we continue south east on the Matilda Way with a long drive ahead of us.
Michael + Pam