What else can you do in Barra Country?
Fishing of course. Barramundi is abundant in Lake Moondarra, only about 20km out of town. Pic is not the lake, but the flood plain I mistook for the lake. :p
Check out the website for more info on the Barra:
Mary Kathleen Uranium Mine
Turning left just prior to Mary Kathleen town will bring you to the open-cut mine. The existing bitumen road is in fairly good condition and the climb up to the mine is moderately difficult, with some fair size washouts. You can see the original washplant and staff offices on your right as you climb the range to the mine. Once reaching the top of the track the mine is only a short walk to the left of the pit access ramp. The spectacular blue colour of the lake within the mine is inspiring and is best appreciated at mid-afternoon. The colour is due to copper sulphide.
The water looks tempting, especially in this dry and hot weather, but strictly no swimming due to the potential health hazard (it was a uranium mine still rich in uranium deposits, what do you expect? :p).
You are not a real Aussie 'til you've been to Isa
"So this is it!"
Mount Isa, never dream that I'll be able to work here one day, though I'd striven very hard to make my dream come true.
I didn't know about Isa's existence till I saw an ad on the school's notice board looking for dentist 5 years ago. For some unknown reason, the name just caught my attention. I pulled out the map. Isa, in the middle of nowhere, an oasis in a barren land. Different.
2 weeks before my final year examination, I saw the ad again.
"Full Time Graduate Dentist required for busy Mt Isa practice"
A week after I sent out my CV I got a surprise call.
The chat (or rather a disguised interview) ended with "Do you mind if I talk with your referee?" (Who would say yes?!)
1 week, 2 weeks...."Hi this is Scott, so when would you like to start work?"
By then I was about to chicken out. The thought of relocating to a place I've never been to with average temperature 40 degrees Celcius and above in summer is both scary and exciting. So I told him I'll have to think about it.
A week went by and I still haven't make up my mind. While walking along the street with VT'er Roman (dracko), Scott called again and offered to fly me up to have a look.
"You can trial us for 3 months and if you like it here you can stay longer."
Ok, this is too much. I've only heard of employee on probation but not the other way round!
3rd all expenses paid trip offered by potential employer. Friend later joke that I should start applying for jobs in places I would like to visit. Hmm....Tassie seems like a lovely place.
Anyway, that's Leichardt River in the pic taken from the bridge. The drought has caused the river on the other side of the bridge to dry up. Leichardt divides Isa in half, with the world's largest copper mine on one side and the town on the other.
"My beautiful Red Dirt Town"
When I told my mate Matt (it rhymes! sorry Matt! :p) I'm moving to the Isa his first reaction was "boring ugly red dirt town", and tried to dissuade me from coming here, just like everyone else did (but failed anyway :p). You should come here he said, it's 10 minutes from the beach. Surfer can't leave the coast, like fish can't leave the water. The Coast. Very tempting. But I said next time.
Toxic cloud, sulphur fume, unbearable heat, they said.
Only the unbearable heat has become a reality. Toxic cloud, no where to be seen. Sulphur fume, didn't smell any.
Average temperature has maintained above 40 degrees Celcius everyday since I touched down until recently. Yes, storms're coming. Can't wait. Please rain.
No, the cloud you see in this pic is not the toxic cloud. This is the cloud that's suppose to give us the storm we're expecting (well according to Matt who works at the QLD Bureau of Meteorolog anyway). Come on give us the rain!
"I Love a Sunburnt Country"
Mount Isa is one of the biggest city in the world with an area of 41,000 square kilometres - equivalent to that of Switzerland. Our nearest suburb is Camooweal, which is 180km away. ;)
The Isa is described as the Oasis in the Outback, and home to about 20,900 people who come from more than 50 different nations.
Pic was taken from the plane on the way to Isa.
If you strain your eyes, you can see the cattle stations scattered throughout the dry barren land from the sky.
As Out Back as it Gets
Not on the regular travellers map, but somehow I ended up living there for 7 months at the end of the millenium. It is not a pretty town but the isolation is was amazed me. We took a trip up to the Lawn Hill National park & the Gulf of Carpenteria where the land is wild & humans are NOT the top of the food chain. I met real down-to-earth people there. They were all from somewhere else. Sent to the outback to fulfill a contract for big bucks. They were there for a good time, not a long time. Cops, Doctors, Nurses & Miners living it up in the middle of nowhere.
As ive pointed out with 10,000 head of cattle often the most practicle way to round them up is on horseback so you need a good supply of horses the most commonly used is the australian stockhorse, i was lucky enough to witness a foal being born whilst i was here last.Its amazing that there running around soon after birth.