Bit disappointed in Mt Isa. Booked in for 3 nights as we thought being such a big city there would be lots to do and see - not so. This is very much a mining town and (as our next door neighbour said) it is not a happy town. There is a big tourist centre called Outback in Isa which sounded great in the brochures with a mine to explore and fossils etc but it would have cost us $55 each to go in - really felt this was way overpriced. Funny too because every other tourist we have met has said the same thing so I am not sure if they actually get any takers.
Did have a look at the underground hospital and this was interesting. It was built in the middle of the war as a place to retreat to in case of bombing (as was their fear after Darwin was bombed). Apparently it was never used for this though was used a few times when the air raid siren went off. The nurses on night shift also used it as a nice quiet place to catch up on sleep.
Then went to have a look at a tent house which was the typical mode of mining housing in the earlier days but was very disappointed in this. It is mentioned in all the brochures as a highlight to look at but has obviously not been looked after. It was dirty, dusty and covered with cobwebs with stuff just put in there. I didn't even bother taking a photo of this one.
Then went on a bit of a walkabout looking for Arilla Paper which was said to be a place where the Aboriginal women made hand made paper as a form of employment. Took us ages to find it as so badly sign posted (again we were not the only ones who commented on this) and then when we got there there was lovely lady there who explained that they had no work force at the moment so only had a small amount of paper on sale and a few cards. Paper was all brown (pretty boring) but I managed to get a cute card which had some painting on it. Again was a bit disappointed though as had expected it to be more than it was.
By this stage we had had enough of the town so came back to our van and spent a couple of hours just chatting to our next door neighbours (Bill and Marie) and a guy (Michael) that we have been constantly bumping into since Coober Pedy (he looks so much like Terry!!)
We are thinking we may leave tomorrow as there is not much else to see or do here - looking forward to getting to Townsville now so should be there by the end of the week. Must admit though the weather is fantastic so no complaints about that!!