TRAVEL FROM MOUNT ISA TO BOULIA
The Allsops head south from Mt Isa to Boulia – home to the strange phenomenon of the Min Min lights.
SUNSET TOP TOURIST PARK
We found this great little park in Mt Isa. Steve and Julie Simmons have managed Sunset Top Tourist Park for three years, and are friendly and efficient managers. The park can take large rigs, and dogs are welcome.
Most powered sites are shaded and the amenities, including disabled facilities, are well maintained and clean, as were the pool and camp kitchen, which has a playground next to it.
Leaving Mount Isa, you pass through scenic jump up country before the single lane bitumen continues on into flat grazing land of Mitchell grass and spinifex plains. The highway from Mount Isa through Boulia to Winton is all single lane bitumen, but the edges are well maintained. It is fine for a normal 2WD car towing a blacktop caravan. Remember that, on this type of road, big has right of way. So, normally, a single car or 4WD will get off the road for you if you are towing. Please stay on the bitumen if the other vehicle is giving way: do not get off and spray them with rocks. We found 85 to 90km/h was a good, safe speed to travel, as well as making time to check out the scenery and save on fuel.
MIN MIN LIGHTS
Most travellers have heard the Min Min light stories which originated around here. The cause of these very bright balls of light is unknown, but there are lots of theories. While reported in several areas of Queensland, most sightings are around Boulia. Sometimes the lights are stationary; at other times they follow or chase people and vehicles. In all cases, witnessing the lights was an eerie and frightening experience. It is all documented in the Min Min Encounter and Information Centre. Apparently, the local Aborigines were the first to encounter them but, from about 1912, the eerie lights have been seen in this area by many people.
Be sure to see the Min Min Encounter sound and light show. It takes about 40 minutes and we really enjoyed it
At the rear of the house lies Boulia’s Fossil Display. ‘Dinosaur Dick’ Suter is the caretaker and curator and may give you a guided tour round the display. The fossils are over 100 million years old and most of them have been found and dug up by Dick and his friends. Boulia was part of an inland sea, so most of the fossils are marine creatures. Dick was very talkative and a mine of information.
BOULIA CARAVAN PARK
Boulia Caravan Park deserves a special mention. It is an example of where the star system fails to really tell the traveller what to expect. Nominally two-star, this park provides RVers with what they often say they want in a park: roomy powered sites (either with a slab or grassed), clean amenities, pleasant, helpful managers and reasonable tariffs.
Situated on a reach of the Burke River that almost always has water in it, the park has a splendid position. Some powered sites with slabs back on to the river, while there are also camping sites with river views.
While the amenities are fairly basic, they are clean and have paper hand towels, something several more upmarket parks lack. There is plenty of space to move in this park.
GETTING FROM MT ISA TO BOULIA
TRAVELLING TO BOULIA
Mt Isa to Boulia in far western Queensland is 298km. The road is all bitumen, mainly single-lane.
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT BOULIA
Min Min Encounter and Information Centre: (07) 4746 3386, firstname.lastname@example.org
Stonehouse Museum and Fossil Display: (07) 4746 3386
• Lake Moondarra and other attractions at Mount Isa
• The trip itself
• The Min Min Encounter Centre Sight and Sound show
• ‘Dinosaur Dick’, the Fossil Museum and the Stonehouse Museum
• Bird life
Adapted from Caravan World #518, September / October 2013