After leaving Winton for the 350k drive to Cloncurry, the traveler must be prepared for long stretches of a very quiet road. Road Trains and likeminded caravaners make up 80% of the vehicular traffic. Flat and seemingly changeless scenery is your partner for the next four hours. Cruise Control and music lessoning fatigue. Out here most drivers still give courtesy finger acknowledgements.
When you reach Cloncurry from Winton the traveler is well north in Qld and the weather warmer. Even in high winter. Cloncurry has once experienced a 53.1 Celsius day in 1891. This place can get very hot.
The town lies adjacent to the Cloncurry River. Cloncurry was proclaimed a town in 1884, and the railway arrived in 1908. Until the advent of Mount Isa, the town was the largest settlement in north west Queensland.
The first Europeans to traverse the area were Burke and Wills on their epic, and ultimately fatal, transcontinental expedition. The Cloncurry River was named by Burke after Lady Elizabeth Cloncurry, his cousin, with the town eventually taking its name from the river.
Cloncurry is the town where the Flying Doctor service was born. John Flynn had the vision way back in 1920ís to who first hand saw the need and then the vision to establish what is now correctly described as an iconic development in the outback of Australia. When visiting Cloncurry a visit to the John Flynn Heritage Centre and Museum is an absolute must. The presentation and displays are informative and poignant. To give your visit justice allow plenty of time.
The Mary Kathleen Centre is also recommended. (Photos to come)
Allow a more than two days to enjoy Cloncurry.