The Mount Isa Rodeo is the largest rodeo in the Southern Hemisphere and in 2019, they celebrated their 60th birthday!
In 2018, the rodeo was voted the Best Festival and Event at the Australian Tourism Awards and it’s not hard to see why! The rodeo’s program is jam-packed with events — from bucking bulls, team roping, barrel racing, saddle broncs, steer wrestling and more! Showmanship aside, at its core, the rodeo is an event that raises much-needed funds for the local community. Over its 60 years, it’s given back a whopping $5 million to the local community.
Mount Isa is in the northwest corner of Queensland, so if you’re from out of town, getting there can be quite the adventure. If you don’t want the hassle of driving, catching the train is the way to go! Queensland Rail Travel’s Inlander connects the east with the west, travelling between Townsville and Mount Isa twice a week. The trip takes in some breathtaking Outback scenery and the cherry on top is that there’s no need to navigate the Outback roads. All you’ve got to do is sit back and relax!
You might like to start your train trip from the Outback town of Cloncurry. It’s a small town but it certainly has a big heart, with plenty of stories to tell. North West Tours run the “Old Mary Kathleen and Uranium Mine” tour. It tells the story of an abandoned mine nearby and the town that was built around it. What was once a community filled with over 1,000 residents is now a ghost town. The mine itself is only a few minutes’ drive away and is an incredible sight to see! Bright blue waters and rugged cliff edges only add to the eerie silence you experience as you overlook the decommissioned mine.
Staying in Cloncurry? We suggest the Gidgee Inn!
While in Mount Isa, there’s another great trip you need to take! Adels Grove Camping Ground is about a four-and-a-half-hour drive north of Mount Isa. Much like the train trip, the drive offers some incredible Outback sights. Once you arrive, we guarantee you won’t believe your eyes! In the middle of dry, arid Outback land, lies an oasis in the desert. Lawn Hill Creek is one of the major drawcards at Adels Grove. Rod and Michelle Low Mow have owned this Outback oasis for the last 18 years.
“It’s a destination. People get on the bitumen road, get on the white lines and off they go,” said Rod. “To get out here, it’s a bit of a challenge, but when you get to the end of the track, the challenge is well worth it.”
There are so many unforgettable experiences to be had in Outback Queensland and there’s no better time to plan a trip out west. 2019 marks the Year of the Outback so pack your bags, throw in the Akubra and make the most of what this great state has to offer.