WELCOME TO MOUNT ISA
Nestled beneath the stunning backdrop of the Selwyn Ranges, the city of Mount Isa is an outback oasis set against a panorama of spinifex-covered hills tinted amber and rose at sunset. The rich mineral deposit at Mount Isa was discovered by chance in 1923 by the prospector John Campbell Miles, and his horse, “Hard Times”. Mount Isa has since developed into a modern city of around 23,500.
Temperatures are warm for most of the year, with temperatures averaging above the mid 30’s between October and February. Being located further inland, wet season humidity and rainfall is not high. Variability
of rainfall in the Mount Isa District is around 20-25% which is verified by annual rainfall amounts that may
be less than 250mm one year and greater than 500mm the next. A distinct wet season usually occurs
during the December - March period with a dry season covering the rest of the cooler months.
Above and below the ground, Mount Isa is teeming with history and diversity. Fossils collected from one
of Australia’s most interesting world heritage sites, Riversleigh, piece together a fascinating tale of ancient marsupials and other strange animals that roamed the area about 25 million years ago. Remains of these animals, ancestors of today’s fauna, are wonderfully preserved in limestone and are displayed and
interpreted at the Riversleigh Fossil Centre at Outback at Isa.
The ancient landscapes of the region have led to the creation of its most distinctive element, its . Today, Mount Isa leads the world in producing copper, silver, lead and zinc, and is a city built squarely over one of the world’s largest mines.
The region is also home to distinctive natural beauty, like the rugged escarpments of Lawn Hill Gorge, the Barkly Tablelands, the Selwyn Ranges in which Mount Isa is nestled and man-made lakes such as Lake Moondarra, Lake Julius and East Leichhardt Dam.
Mount Isa owes its prosperity to more than just mining, however. Through innovation and determination, the town has developed into a vital hub for people living on far-flung properties, offering a wide range of shopping, dining and accommodation experiences. Other services that Mount Isa hosts include the Royal Flying Doctors and Rural Remote Health, providing much needed emergency and medical help.
The area’s first inhabitants, the Kalkadoons, had their first brush with European settlement in the 1880s,
when the area was being opened up for mining and pastoral industries. Today, this and other aspects of Mount Isa’s unique history is showcased at Mount Isa’s premier tourist attraction, Outback at Isa. The award winning centre offers diverse and exciting activities including the Isa Experience Gallery and the Hard Times Mine underground mine tour - Australia’s ultimate underground experience.
The annual “Isa Rodeo” is the biggest in Australia and the 2nd biggest in the world, giving Mount Isa claim
to the title “Rodeo Capital of Australia”! The City boasts a week of festivities, including the Mardis Gras street parade, leading up to the August event.
The Buchanan Park Multipurpose Events Complex is the new home of rodeo in Mount Isa. The multi-million dollar facility was designed to host a range of activities including concerts, race meetings, the annual show, rodeos and balls, providing “Entertainment in the West at its Best”!
Capture a stunning 360 degree sunset from the City’s lookouts or take to the bush to discover some of Australia’s most spectacular landscapes, try your hand at fossicking or your luck for a big ‘barra’ at the picturesque Lake Moondarra. Other local attractions include the Isa Rodeo “Walk of Fame”, the School of the Air, the National Trust Tent House and the Underground Hospital. In addition to its own unique attractions, Mount Isa is also the gateway to the Gulf and the magnificent Lawn Hill Gorge and Riversleigh Fossil Field.
For more information about any of these interesting, free, fun activities and other great things to see and do in the Mount Isa Shire contact the friendly team at the Mount Isa Visitor Information Centre.