Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Qld - Mt Isa
Mt Isa is one of the largest cities in the world with an area of 41,000 square kilometres and a population of around 20,000.
The Mt Isa mine stacks are the first things that you see as you arrive. The mine is huge and the city is built on part of its’ eastern boundary. These massive open cut and underground mines obtain zinc, lead, copper, silver. The land lease takes in an area of approximately 55klms x 5 klms.
We went on a guided tour of the open cut mine and into some of the processing area and found it fascinating.
Lake Moondarra is a huge man- made lake about 15 klms out of town which caters for all the local water sports- skiing, kayaking, jet skis and fishing. They have done a beautiful job creating picnic areas with many shelters, barbeques and grass. Grass out here is rare, so when we see it we get rather excited.
During WW2 they built an underground hospital here in case of attack from the Japanese. The miners drilled out an area that could fit about 30 patient beds, a delivery corner, nursery and a small operating area. Volunteers over the last 15 years have restored the previously abandoned tunnels and re constructed the hospital to its former glory.
This tour was very interesting and lovely and cool compared to the 35 degrees outside. We decided to stay at Mt Isa for three nights as the swimming pool at the caravan park was heaven in this heat and we needed power to run the air conditioner.
We have found the roads in general very good. Sometimes when there is only a single lane, and a road train over fifty metres long is coming towards you, your heart jumps. We pull right off onto the shoulder and give them the entire road. At least by doing that we don’t get showered with red dust and rocks.
The area around Mt Isa has some intriguing rock formations which always keeps the drive interesting.