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Mount Isa

Mount Isa Queensland

Queensland's longest running mining town and an oasis in the outback.


At a Glance

Mount Isa is one of the most productive mine site in the world located between the Selwyn ranges and on the banks of the Leichhardt River. The primary industries here are mining and tourism. It's mining heritage can be easily seen from any part of the city as the chimneys of the smelter stands an amazing height of 270m. Mount Isa is also well known to be the 'Rodeo Capital of Australia' due to its popular yearly Mount Isa Rodeo event which can bring in more than twice the town's population.

One should not miss the largest rodeo event in the Southern Hemisphere of course, but other than that, there are much to be explored in Mount Isa. There are attractions such as the mines at 'Outback at Isa', the historic underground hospital building as well as annual fishing events at the nearby Lake Moondarra. Otherwise, just hop in your 4WD and drive around the rugged outback and there bound to be lots of interesting things to explore.


Mount Isa
 
 


 

Where is Mount Isa?

 

Mount Isa is 1830 kilometres northwest of Brisbane.

Mount Isa is situated inland in Outback Queensland. It is located on the banks of the Leichhardt River and near the artificial Lake Moondarra which provided drinking water and water entertainment to the city. The fastest way to get here is to fly into Mount Isa International Airport.


 

Things to see in Mount Isa

 

Mount Isa Mines Rotary Rodeo

Yearning for a wild west experience in Australia? You can have it all in Mount Isa during their famous annual rodeo, which is one of the biggest in the southern hemisphere. Here you can experience three days worth of adrenaline-inducing action, from morning to night, and watch cowboys do awesome things in this lovely mining town in the Queensland Outback.

Mount Isa Mines Rotary Rodeo

Image Courtesy Tourism And Events Queensland

 

Hard Times Mine

The Hard Times Mine Tour is truly one of the most special experience you will ever have. Here, experienced miners will give you a tour of the mine, telling you stories of the old times, the interesting history as well as the technology they used in the past as you descend into the dark caves and tunnels. You will get to walk around and have an authentic experience of what miners in the past felt like working in these tunnels, you would even get a chance to try your hand on some of the equipments.

Hard Times Mine

Image Courtesy Tourism And Events Queensland

 

Outback At Isa

Outback at Isa is Mount Isa's major tourism compound, with the visitor centre located within. Many tourism attractions such as the Hard Time Mines Tour, the Regional Art Gallery, the Riversleigh Fossil Centre and the Mount Isa Fish Hatchery Project is housed in here. Here you will receive a comprehensive experience, from a tour underground, a display of the mining history of the town, a lush and beautiful outdoor park with a lagoon, to a museum housing ancient fossils found nearby at the Riversleigh Fossil Fields.

Outback At Isa

Image Courtesy Tourism And Events Queensland

 

Mount Isa Underground Hospital and Museum

Mount Isa houses one of the most unique hospital building in the world. The Mount Isa Underground Hospital, as the name suggests, is underground. This hospital wing was built during World War 2 by off duty miners as the Japanese threat looms closer and closer, with some Australian towns suffering as victims to Japanese air raids. It was built underground to provide protection against these air-raids. Today, the underground facilities is open for the public to experience a piece of history from the War. A museum is also located near the facility, with car parking and toilets available.

Mount Isa Underground Hospital and Museum

Image Courtesy Tourism And Events Queensland

 

 
 

What's the weather like?

 

Mount Isa, located in the outback, has a semi-arid climate where the summer is subdivided further into rainy and sunny portions, the winter is generally warm and lacking in rainfall. In Summer (December to February), the average maximum temperature is 36°C with an average minimum of 23°C. In Winter (June to August), the average maximum temperature is 25°C with an average minimum of 9°C.

 

Get to know Mount Isa's history

 

Originally home to the Kalkadoon people, the area around Mount Isa was initially considered to be a poor plot of land for agricultural use by settlers. This area was rich with histories of conflict between the indigenous people, who sought to defended their homeland against foreigners, and white settlers, who wanted to explore further inland.

The conflict ended some years later and the area began to be settled with much difficulties due to harassment by native tribes as well as the poor grazing lands. Subsequently in an expedition by John Campbell Miles in 1923, a rich deposit of minerals were found around this area. Miles then quickly staked claims to the area and named it Mount Isa, inspired by the story of the gold mine called Mount Ida in Western Australia.