Blog,  Travel & Holidays

Boats and Barramundi

Day 10 – Sunday 28th August

We began Sunday by attending Mass with family:)  It happened to be World Day of Migrants and Refugees, and as many women and children attended in their national dress it was easily apparent how many different nations are represented in Mt Isa.  There were well over 20 different nationalities present that morning.  It was a unique and blessed experience to hear the Mass readings read in a couple of different languages, many nations, One Faith.

Afterwards we headed out to Lake Moondarra, a perfect place for a Sunday picnic.  The Lake was built by Mt Isa mines in 1956 for the mines use, the largest dam in Australia financed by private enterprise. Now it is also the city’s water supply.


A popular spot for boaters, it was surprising to see so many boats on the dam, not what we were expecting in an Outback town.  The dam is also a fishers ‘paradise’, stocked with plenty of Barramundi.  Glancing through the car park another obvious Outback acquisition is 4WDs.  Everybody in Mt Isa had 4WD’s, each seemed flasher and equipped with more gadgets than the previous.

The dam was a tranquil spot to picnic and relax. The children tried to swim but the dam was unattractively full of duckweed and duck lice. The cockspurs were unpopular and painful, our children were finding the need for shoewear in Outback Queensland difficult to accept.


Impressive was the amount of bird life, with a variety of 159 species.  We enjoyed lying back and watching the circling kites overhead.


The blokes fired up the ‘Barbie’, no council gas barbeques here, but an old timber and matches setup.

There were trees to climb so our little ones were happy.

Happy to pose for photos too.

For others the picnic was a chance to relax.

The dam covers an area of 2375 hectares, far more extensive than we could see.


An area that covers both Lake Moondarra and Lake Julius.


After lunch we went for a walk on the top of the wall


and saw yet another angle of the dam and surrounds.


After we left the dam we headed back to town, to the  lookout.  This cool sign, indicates just how far we really were from anywhere.

Smoke stacks always dominating the landscape.

The children then insisted we take Dad to the water park as he had missed out previously.


He enjoyed climbing on the equipment

and trialled all the ‘rides’

and declared they were lots of fun.

Of course an experiement wouldn’t be complete without including the kiddie equipment.

No wonder he was just ‘plumb tuckered’ out.

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  • Sue Elvis


    I enjoyed all your photos!

    The blokes firing up the 'Barbie' reminded me of how barbequeing used to be. We had breakfast by the lake the other morning. Andy cooked bacon and eggs on the council gas barbeque. It was all clean and gleaming before we started to cook. I reminded Andy that it wasn't that long ago, all council barbeques were rusty grates suspended close to the ground, with a stack of wood piled nearby (if we were lucky). From your post it seems not all places have been upgraded to the gas type!!

    Our barbeques might be better than in former days, but our play equipment isn't. What fun your children must have had on that playground. Everywhere councils are replacing 'fun' playground equipment with 'safe' equipment. What's the fun in sliding down a slippery dip only a metre above the ground? Bring back those tall, hot, metal slippery dips that made every mother's heart stop as she watched her child balanced at the top. Would he topple from the top or actually slide to the bottom, getting scalded backs of the legs in the process? Children were tough in those days!

  • Erin

    We even had to hunt down a bbq plate as someone had ripped this one out! Well the Outback is a whole diff world! totally with you regards play equipment! Boring, our town's certainly is. Mind you the water park cost millions, mostly funded by the mines. Remember those slippry dips:)

    we have talked about writing to council and sending pics, starting a delegation. the issue would be funds though, but our parks sure are boring, and deserted. Everyone must find them boring.

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