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Crocodile Dundee's Pub

(Reprint from News: March 16, 2002)

March 16, 2002


After leaving Tennant Creek, I turned off the Stuart Highway, my companion for the past two weeks, and headed east on the Barkly Highway.  I pulled in that evening to the mining town of Mt. Isa, just inside the Queensland border and the site of one of the richest copper, silver, lead and zinc mines in the world.  There isn't much else to say about Mt. Isa, so I won't.  No, actually it's not that bad of a town.  In fact, the fish & chips dinner that I had here was pretty darn good.


After giving the Camry a much-needed bath the next morning, I left Mt. Isa and continued my eastward journey across the Outback.  There are a couple ways of getting from Mt. Isa to the coast:  the quick way and the interesting way.  I chose, of course, the interesting way which is called Route 66, and is better known as the Matilda Highway.  After a few hours of dodging Road Trains, including a quadruple that was over 200 feet long, I pulled into the hot, dusty hamlet of McKinlay.  If you’ve seen the movie “Crocodile Dundee,” then you’ve seen McKinlay because the town’s only pub, now called “The Walkabout Creek Hotel,” was the set for the bar scene in that movie.  (By the way, a “hotel” in Australia, unlike in America, is an older pub with simple and inexpensive accommodations that are usually on the second floor). 


I really enjoy visiting towns where movies were filmed, and in the past few years I’ve been to Mystic, Connecticut (site of “Mystic Pizza” – don’t laugh); Florence, Arizona (site of “Murphy’s Romance”) and most recently, Coober Pedy, which is where the Mad Max movies were shot.  I didn’t see the second Crocodile Dundee movie but, like many Americans, I really enjoyed the first one, so I just had to see the Walkabout Creek Hotel.


I know it’s been a few years since the Crocodile Dundee films were made, but I was still expecting to see at least a couple of tourists poking around taking pictures.  When I walked into the bar, though, I was surprised to see just a barmaid and a few guys sitting at the counter drinking beer and watching the horse races on television. 


I looked around the pub for a few minutes, which is pretty much like it was in the movie.  The walls are covered with several risqué posters, some candid photos of Paul Hogan taken during the filming and a few pictures of his co-star, Linda Kozlowski (or whatever her name was) wearing the skimpy black thong at the crocodile pond, a thong that made a big impression on a lot of people – including Hogan, I guess, because shortly after he started raking in money from “Crocodile Dundee,” he dumped his wife of several years and married Linda.  Last I heard, Paul and Linda were living in southern California someplace.


The pub was interesting but it wasn’t worth spending $25 on a “Walkabout Creek Hotel” t-shirt.  I didn’t buy a beer either since I still had about 200 miles of driving ahead of me that afternoon, so after chatting a bit with the friendly folks there (none of whom, unfortunately, looked even remotely like Linda Kozlowski), I got back in the Camry and hit the road as the thermometer topped 95. 


2-2937_Termite_Mound.jpg (56277 bytes)    2-2943_Mt_Isa.jpg (34125 bytes)    2-2944_Burke_and_Wills_Monument.jpg (70114 bytes)

Above left:  One of the millions of termite mounds in northern Queensland.

Above center:  "Beautiful" downtown Mt. Isa, a mining town with about 25,000 people in the middle of nowhere.  The smokestack is from the lead smelter and, at one time, was the tallest smokestack in the world.  Lovely town.

Above right:  A memorial to Burke and Wills, the "Lewis and Clark" of Australia.  They passed through this remote area in 1861... and died shortly afterwards.  I was hoping to have a better fate.


2-2946_Outside_Walkabout_Ck_Hotel_McKinley.jpg (23772 bytes)    2-2950_Inside_Walkabout_Ck_Hotel.jpg (48422 bytes)

Above left:  The Walkabout Creek Hotel, made famous in "Crocodile Dundee."

Above right:  Cheers, mate.  Here's the inside.  Note the photos of Paul Hogan on the top.



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