16-17 September – Mt Isa

A few fun river crossings as we crossed the Gregory River to leave Riversleigh behind – the water wasn’t too deep but had a good strong flow and a slippery causeway added some excitement.

Riversleigh- creek crossing

Finally we hit the highway and we were back on the bitumen after what felt like ages on the rough, corrugated back roads through the gulf savannah. Mt Isa loomed closer – or more to the point – the massive mine infrastructure on the very edge of town grew larger.

Birds- Riversleigh

We headed out to Bridgestone just out of town to see what our tyre replacement options were – we decided our spare Bridgestone Dueler would be matched with the same to have two Duelers as rear wheels and the Mickey Thomson would be relegated to the reserves bench – not quite early retirement but rather a good rest up under the hilux as the No.1 spare after some hard yards across 40,000kms of the country’s harshest tracks and trails.

GRR sign 53m road trains

Some shopping/restocking in town and a pool for the boys plus a good playground kept us busy – the mine is always in view and you look out of place if you aren’t wearing orange work clothes – it’s a mining town!

The Riversleigh Fossil Centre is at the information centre that has various exhibits but we went with a family pass to the fossil display plus a small extra fee to have one of the fossil experts take us on a tour behind the scenes. In fact, we didn’t do any of the fossil centre ourselves but rather had our guide, Peiter, take us through the whole place on an exclusive VIP tour.

Mt Isa- Riversleigh Fosssil Centre

Peiter not only works in the lab separating, sorting and identifying fossilized bones and teeth but she is also one of the researchers who collects the fossils in the field so the knowledge and passion for her work was fantastic to hear.

Mt Isa- Riversleigh Fosssil Centre (6)

It was perfect that we had been out on the Riversleigh site the day before so we could relate to a lot of what she was talking about. Looking through the microscopes to see all the tiny microbat teeth and bones was pretty cool.

Mt Isa- Riversleigh Fosssil Centre (4)

Seeing the processes they are using to treat and separate the bones was good too. The boys had checklists to work through trying to find some of the megafauna that Riversleigh has uncovered and they scored a pack of stickers and pencils and lots of stuff to keep them amused – plus lollipops to keep their sugar levels up high….

Mt Isa- Riversleigh Fosssil Centre (2)

Mt Isa Kmart had the next few Harry Potter books Lach needed so we bought the next three because of the pace he is pushing through the reading. Otherwise, it was a good spot to reload and refresh and be ready for more travels.

Riversleigh- Big Bird

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