I enjoyed the trip from Mt Isa as thought the towns were a little more interesting. From Isa of course I drove to Richmond and then on to Townsville.
First stop was Cloncurry which I really liked. Coffee-stop was good as was my stroll along the street taking some snaps of the old buildings.
I couldn’t resist leaving a little reminder of my visit a short distance out of Cloncurry (wonder if I’ll ever see it again!!)
I find it fascinating that 144 to 65 million years ago, during what is known as the Cretaceous period, there was a huge inland sea (the Eromanga Sea – https://www.google.com/search?sxsrf=ACYBGNSH87QGmvdV58wxJq8r52pabVmopQ:1574740527162&q=Eromanga+Sea&tbm=isch&source=univ&client=firefox-b-d&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiIgfDN_YbmAhXYfn0KHcXXAlYQsAR6BAgGEAE&biw=1345&bih=613) across central Australia.
As I drove through varied landscapes of the outback, I tried to imagine the large underwater creatures and other sea life that inhabited this ocean.
Even today, fossils from this era are being unearthed in this part of Australia. So I was very interested to visit Kronosaurus Korner https://www.kronosauruskorner.com.au/ Australia’s premier fossil museum.
Firstly though, I was desperate for a swim in the lake at the Caravan Park where I was staying, so literally booked in to my cabin and headed for water (checked with the manager first who insisted there were no ‘nasties’ in the lake.
It was refreshing to swim in the quite cool water, however my feet only touched the bottom once, since there seemed to be a lot of weeds that had very long ‘legs’.
Exploring the museum was fantastic. There was a short film to watch, which was so life-like, with enormous reptilian and pre-historic looking creatures swimming around what is now central Australia. The displays in the museum were so well put together, and the audio descriptions very detailed. Definitely well worth a visit to Richmond for this purpose.
On my next day’s drive to Hughenden, I called into the FJ Holden Café, which I suspect any Holden-devotee would love, with its many displays of Holden memorabilia … including a few pix of Elvis Presley gracing the walls.
I was keen to talk to a local and called into an old-fashioned Drapery over the road where I met Colette, whose family owned the store. So keen was she to show me the old Gaol in Hughenden, Colette left the store and walked me around the corner to have a look at the old building. (I was actually more concerned about her leaving the store unoccupied but she assured me that everyone in town has each other’s back and were extremely honest).
Ah … it was stepping back in time.
White Mountains National Park http://maps.bonzle.com/c/a?a=p&p=59948&cmd=sp covers an area of about 110,000 hectares and is surrounded by the village of Richmond, and towns of Hughenden and Charters Towers.
I stopped to eat lunch here and found the attached views rather eye-catching. I believe that this area is frequented by avid bird-watchers.
Was pleasantly surprised to arrive at Charters Towers as didn’t expect it to be such a large town. It had a good friendly vibe about it with some well-preserved old buildings.
No one is certain about the origin of the town’s name. One popular explanation is that the gold prospector Hugh Mosman, who is credited with first finding gold in the district, saw three hills and named them Charters Tors after W.S.E.M. Charters, the mining warden at Ravenswood.
Onwards to Townsville.