Mt Isa is a long way from anywhere where tireless miners and their machines toil away around the clock, keeping the town prosperous.
We saw some of the equipment in a mine tour of the Hard Times Mine which is a simulated mine especially built for tourists as the real mine stopped running conducted tours after someone with a broken ankle sued.
Cameras were not supposed to be used but I smuggled mine in and took a couple of shots mainly of the crib room. This is the room where the miners underground are gathered when a new blast is taking place - it is a place of safety.
This is the emergency rescue capsule which has room for 11 people and which is equipped with oxygen and emergency food supplies in case of an emergency situation where the air is poisonous underground. It keeps the men safe for 14 hours until help arrives.
We then visited the underground hospital. This was built in 1942 after Darwin was bombed when it was expected that Mt Isa would be the next target. It was designed as an air raid shelter for patients and built fairly quickly by volunteers but in fact it never needed to be used as the expected bombings did not happen. In 1997 restoration of the small hospital commenced.
Unfortunately my photos all came out blurred apart from this one lone shot of an electric breast pump which some wit remarked was very much like a bit of a mine equipment.
I have to mention that Mt Isa has a very good club called Buffs Club. Not only is the food excellent in the restaurant - where else does one have black squid risotto at a club - but the establishment will send a bus to pick you up at your caravan park and will also deliver you back at the end of the evening. And the liquor store at the club also has available some good wines at very reasonable prices.