We’re in Katherine waiting for Kelv to pick us up and take us out to dinner – so a few minutes spare for a quick update.
Firstly, as promised, a little bit about Mt Isa. We stayed there for three nights after leaving the station. It was good to have a bit of time to clean some of the dust out of the caravan, and to just chill down a little after that experience.
Mt Isa is a newish sort of town, located in Queensland not to far from the Northern Territory border. It was only established in the early to mid 20th century when lead, copper, zinc and tin were discovered there. It has since boomed as a mining town, providing wealth for many of the people who flocked here from all over the world.
During the 2nd world war after the bombing of Darwin, it was feared further attacks would follow with Mt Isa’s rich mineral source being a prime target. Within 15 weeks following Darwin’s bombing, the residents in Mt Isa had built an underground hospital in preparation. Much of it was built by hand, and with only a small population from which to draw volunteers from. Fortunately, the hospital was never used except as a cool place for the nurses to rest during their night shifts. The remoteness of the destination meant there was nowhere for the Japanese to refuel, so the invasion never happened and the hospital has never been more than a tourist attraction. Kudos though to the volunteers who built it in such a short time.
Mt Isa is typical of much of Australia’s mining areas – red!!!
The towns water is now supplied by Lake Moondarra., a artificial lake built on the Leichhardt River. The lake was created in 1957, a welcome treat for the townspeople who use it for water sports including swimming, boating and fishing. It’s a popular picnic spot.
And that’s about it on Mt Isa. It’s worth a stopover to have a look, but it’s not a holiday destination.
Kelv’s house is finished, and his harvest is almost due to start, so a lot happening at once for him. We’re hoping to stay here for another couple of weeks to help him get started with his garden.
It’s getting humid here now. We’ve debated staying for the build up before the wet, but we have a few things we need to attend to back in WA. That’s our excuse for escaping the humidity anyway, and we’re sticking to it!
This week I want to source some trees and palms for his garden. I love tropical gardens. It’ll be hot planting them out, but it’ll be a pleasure to come back here next winter and see how they’ve grown.