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Active Retirees : Active Retirees April-May 2012
26 | www.probussouthpacific.org TRAVEL DOMESTIC garden. It’s heaven on wheels, but sorry ladies, there’s no wine on a XXXX bus. Which is all the more reason to head off to where the real action is: the stadium. Bucking bulls Take your seat and, from the moment the first gate flies open, you’ll understand why so many people are rodeo fans. Out charges a bull with the rider hanging on for dear life. Eight seconds is the time a rider needs to stay on a bull to receive marks in any rodeo event, and those eight seconds seem like an eternity, with every second worth watching. But it’s not all about bull riding. Barrel racing (women racing horses in figure eights around barrels), bucking broncos, clowns and comedians also keep young and old entertained. As dusk falls, it’s a great time to head into town and visit an institution that was created with the birth of this rowdy yet charming town: the Isa Hotel. The sprawling hotel has something for everyone, with an outdoor deck area, a restaurant serving fine food and great wine, a real back-to-the-roots pub area, and even a dance floor if you feel like kicking on. And while the rodeo is on, things do kick on. In fact, the hotel leaves a packet of earplugs next to each bed with a polite note: ‘we hope you enjoy a great night’s sleep, but pop these in, as people get noisy during rodeo time.’ Dig deep Outback at Isa is a cultural and interpretive centre that you can’t leave Mount Isa without visiting, complete with a mine that has been created to replicate a real working Mount Isa mine. At the Hard Times Mine, visitors pull on overalls and hardhats, meet guides who have really been working the mines of Mount Isa, and go underground. Did you ever wonder how heavy one of those drills that makes holes for dynamite is? You can hold one, and then be thankful you never have to lift something that weighty again. On this tour, you can experience what it's like to have a job in one of the most discussed industries today and you can ask all the questions you want.•• TRAVEL GUIDE Get there: Qantas flies from Sydney to Mount Isa via Brisbane, Skytrans flies from Cairns to Mount Isa directly, and Airnorth flies directly from Darwin to Mount Isa. If you’re on a road trip heading up or down the east coast, Mount Isa is a 10- hour journey from Townsville. See: Mount Isa underground hospital is an incredible museum based in a hospital that was dug out in preparation for possible Japanese invasion after Darwin was bombed in 1942. A small above-ground cottage houses all manner of interesting medical equipment from past eras, some as intriguing as it is scary! Stay: stylish rooms at the Red Earth Hotel have comfy beds decked out in lovely linen, as well as all mod cons. W: www.redearth-hotel.com.au Bucking broncos, clowns and comedians keep young and old entertained. Thinkstock
Active Retirees Feb-March 2012
Active Retirees June-July 2012