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22 travelers at this place

  • Day221

    Mary Kathleen Ghost town

    June 21, 2019 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    Mary Kathleen was 1st settled during the 1950s.Uranium discovered by Glen Walton & Norm Conachy in 1954, the deposit & township named after late wife of McConachy. In 1955 Rio Tinto mining formed Mary Kathleen Uranium Ltd to develop a mine & service town. A architect- designed town grew during 1956-1958, with reticulated water from the dam, Lake Corella. A sale contract with UK Atomic Energy Authority was signed end of 1958. The cost of $24 million MCU ( Mary Katherine Uranium)was to develop uranium deposits & work commenced constructing the township , mine & Dam the nearby Corella River . The ore was mined by open cut method & processed on site. 4,080 tonnes of uranium oxide extracted between 1958 & 1963. 1st phase from 1958 to 1963 treated 2.9 million tonnes of ore at average grade of 0.13% to yield 4082 t (4500short tons or 9 million pounds weight of U308) of uranium concentrate ( then actually yellow/cake- ammonium diuranate) containing 3460 tonnes of uranium . By 1963 the major supply contract had been satisfied ahead of schedule , & large reserved of ore lay on grass. Consequently the works closed down . The mine lay idle till 1974 when it re opened contracts with Japanese, German & USA power utilities prompted re/opening. By 1982 it was finally exhausted . The town was built around a shallow valley with post office, cinema, sports ovals, a school, banks & community store & churches . The school open in July 1956, temporary hospital facility in March 1957, in May 1957 saw the first water pumped from Lake Corella Dam . By 1961 1000 people lived in this new township. By 1982 the township, mine & mill were dismantled & the tailings rehabilitated by the end of 1984. The site, now only roads & concrete pads can be accessed as an overnight camping areas. It’s very strange seeing photos of what was once here, still some tiles remain which was once on a store floor. The map shows what was once. Even to this day a few flowering bushes remain. Everything was sold off & all that remains now is slabs where buildings once stood. Even a path which was at the back of a house is still the hole in concrete where once a clothes line stood. Curb stones around streets, the ole water fountain stands empty,parking area which was once a shopping town . The Ghost Gum trees I feel are very suited to this once lively mining town. Since rehabilitation , it is been found that the tailings repository at Mary Kathleen site has been subject to seepage of radioactive waters from both toe of the dam & the surface at rates much higher than initially predicted. The radioactive waste had seeped into former evaporation ponds as well as local drainage systems, causing widespread death of native vegetation . This issue to this day remains unresolved .Read more

  • Day70

    Old Cloncurry Water Tank

    October 6, 2019 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    Many places now have Silo Art and water tank art. Here in Cloncurry, high atop one of the hills is the old long disused water tank. It has been given a new lease on life. With a nice lookout over the town, you can walk around and enjoy the artwork.

  • Jun28


    June 28, 2019 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

    First picture was on a water tank high above the town on the way in. Used to be a big copper mining area before and during WW1. Sent a lot of copper to Great Britain for use in armaments. Gold also mined at towns now defunct in the surrounding area. Was told that there used to be 150+ drinking establishments in the towns hey day. The smell of the Gidget tree at this time of year is pretty bad (last for about a month) .... cross between sewerage and gas ... it is the trees pollinating apparently. We moved to a different area to cook dinner but will sleep back where the smell will waft through. It will encourage us to get an early start I think.Read more

  • Day30


    June 18, 2018 in Australia ⋅ 🌙 12 °C

    LONGREACH TO CLONCURRY 8/6/18 to 15/6/18
    Our first day in Longreach we visited the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame where we spent several hours looking around at the displays of the history of the outback pioneers and explorers and aboriginal workers who all shaped our country. There was so much information about the ordinary people who did extraordinary things in years gone by. One story really caught my attention. It was about a chap who was a shearer who married and went on to have 12 sons and 8 daughters. (Yes, 20 children!!) All his sons were shearers as well and one daughter was a qualified wool classer. His wife was the cook for the shearing sheds so she was a pretty busy lady!!! Unfortunately nobody ever thought to get the whole family to shear at the same shed at the same time or they would surely have set a world record that would never have been broken. There was also one area with information and history of the Flying Doctors.
    The next day we again drove in to Longreach and went to the Qantas Founders Outback Museum which can’t be missed as the great red tail of the decommissioned 747 jet can be seen from kilometres away. Right next to it and dwarfed by it is the restored Boeing 707. Once again we immersed ourselves in history, reading and watching videos about our national airline formed in Longreach and Winton. We had a guided tour through the original hangar where more historic planes and equipment were displayed. Late in the afternoon we boarded a bus outside the railway station to be taken for a sunset cruise on the Thomson river and dinner and show in an outdoor café called Smithy’s. The cruise was magic! The Thomson River is the water supply for Longreach and although the water looks muddy, after filtration it is fine. (According to our skipper, there is no “P” in Thomson!) There is a weir above and below the huge billabong which we were sailing on and the water was glass-like so reflections were stunning. The skipper pointed out the huge nests of whistling kites in the top of coolibah trees lining the banks and also gave information about the other vegetation and animals. We even saw several trees where aboriginal people had carved shields from the trunks leaving large permanent scars. We stopped to see some river turtles which have obviously become used to being fed by the owners of the boats. We then went ashore and enjoyed our outdoor camp-oven dinner and were entertained by a singer who played songs from our era. The weather has been very warm with clear sunny skies and even the nights have been quite mild. The following day we drove in to have a look around the centre of Longreach noting the old pubs which are a feature of all these outback towns. Being a Sunday you could have shot a gun down the wide main street and not hit a thing.
    The next day we set off along the Matilda Hwy for Winton, travelling through very flat dry countryside with yellow Mitchell grass and few trees and only the occasional sheep or cattle to be seen. As we approached Winton we noticed a range of mesas in the distance and 12 km out we turned off towards the Age of Dinosaurs exhibition. The road led up to the top of a mesa or “jump-up” as the locals call it where the centre is located. The views were impressive and we went on a tour of the dinosaur canyon which was formed when huge boulders which formed part of the crust had fallen down due to erosion over thousands of years leaving spectacular scenery. Our guide gave information about the types of dinosaurs that have been discovered in the area. We then continued our journey to Winton and set up camp in a van park in the main street. Winton boasts three historic pubs but only two of them are open at the moment. The North Gregory Hotel is reputed to be the site of the first public performance of Waltzing Matilda and the Tattersalls Hotel is a very popular spot as well.

    The following day we drove out 110 km along a partly sealed road through flat spinifex and scrubland to a site called Lark Quarry Conservation Park where hundreds of fossilized footprints of a stampede of dinosaurs occurred 95 million years ago. We watched a short video explaining the three types of dinosaurs which left the impressions in the mud. One was a large carnivorous dinosaur which was chasing all the smaller ones. We then got a close-up view of the footprints from the walkway. The site is now inside a building to preserve it and is situated on a jump-up or mesa with great views of the countryside. The weather was over 30C. After driving back to Winton we decided to eat at the North Gregory Hotel for dinner which was great tucker.
    Then our luck ran out with the great weather we’d been having. It rained all day the next day and through the night but I was able to visit the Waltzing Matilda Centre which tells the story of the iconic song and A B Patterson as well as the history of Winton in hi-tech digital displays. The centre was totally destroyed by fire in 2015 and the brand new centre has only been open for a few months. We had planned to attend the historic outdoor cinema that evening but unfortunately the weather caused its cancellation.
    The next morning we headed north in the rain along the Landsborough Hwy through very flat Mitchell grass plains to Kynuna where the Blue Heeler Hotel is about the only building in town. The rain began to ease as we continued to McKinlay where we camped for the night at the back of the Walkabout Creek Hotel made famous in the first Crocodile Dundee film. There were also a few houses, a police station, a library and a fuel outlet. I think without the pub, the town would probably be non-existent. We enjoyed an evening meal in the pub which is adorned with plenty of Crocodile Dundee memorabilia.
    We continued up the highway under blue skies again through flat grassland with very red earth and thousands of small termite nests until we reached Cloncurry. On the way we were unlucky to hit a black kite (like an eagle) which was feeding on roadkill and was very slow to take off, then turned and flew right in front of us. No damage to us as it glanced up the bonnet and windscreen but I doubt it would have survived. The countryside near Cloncurry became a bit hilly with a mountain range in the distance.
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  • Day25

    Day 25

    June 21, 2018 in Australia ⋅ 🌙 13 °C

    What a great place even though we weren’t on the water, but we hadn’t done any washing for a week and decide we needed to move on so it was only 60kms into Cloncurry, got into the caravan park early and sorted out the washing job. Caravan park is busy usual nice spot but you are pretty jammed in, lunch at the bakery and a little food shopping, we then took a drive out to Chinamans creek dam it was a very nice spot but no camping is allowed. We wandered over to the info centre in the avo for a look and Teresa picked up a nice cow necklace souvenir, happy hour at the van and lamb chops on the baby Q.Read more

  • Day26

    Day 26

    June 22, 2018 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

    Another great day in far North Queensland, 26 degrees here at Cloncurry it was nice and quiet here overnight and good sleeping weather about 10 degrees. Cooked up a very healthy chicken schnitzel and salad lunch on the baby Q, Cloncurry is a great place to stop and stock on food etc it has a Woolworths and nice fresh vegetables. Just relaxing and enjoying the weather going to have our Friday night sips and stone cooked pizza on the Weber 😊👍
    The van is covered in red dust and in need of a clean but it will have to wait till we get home, might find some rain as we head down south to wash a bit off 😬
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  • Day2


    June 19, 2016 in Australia ⋅ 🌙 15 °C

    We didn't come across any rain on our way from Hughenden to Cloncurry however there were puddles and flowing rivers. A full moon and dinner at the Wagon Wheel (Prince of Wales) topped off a great day. A trip into the John Flynn museum (Royal Flying Doctors Service) this morning and off to Lawn Hill we go!Read more

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