Mount Isa may seem like a small Outback town, but little do many know that this town has an abundance of hidden gems worth exploring. From curious gravestones to World War II history embedded upon the walls of the mines, and even discoveries of fossils and prehistoric dinosaurs, Mount Isa certainly will impress and satisfy the curious at heart.
And if there’s one way to explore Mount Isa City, it should include all the attractions listed out below!
The original 1926 Mount Isa Cemetery
Dating back to 1926, the peculiarity of the very first cemetery in Mount Isa is in its numbers and unknown. With only six graves to it, with no names or numbers, there lies a huge uncertainty as to its origin and purpose. The fascination is in the single plaque that stands as you enter the cemetery, listing all the names of those buried there. The original 1926 Mount Isa Cemetery is a Mount Isa City Explorer highlight not to be missed.
The RFDS de Havilland Aircraft
Perched aloft a pole on the banks of Leichhardt River lies the RFDS de Havilland Australia DHA-Drover, which once was used by the Flying Doctors in the 1950s. This piece of aviation history is unique in that there were only 20 built in its time, with only six or seven left around.
The plane you’ll find displayed on the pole is actually a composite of two planes – one which crashed into a site on Austral Downs Station in Northern Territory back in 1957, and the other was found rusting away after a crash in 1952 at Mooraberrie station near Bedourie.
A heritage listed establishment, Casa Grande is best known in Mount Isa for being host to Queen Elizabeth and the late Prince Philip back in 1970.
Her purpose of visitation was the Mount Isa Royal Flying Doctor Service Base, while the Duke of Edinburgh took on the Mount Isa Mines underground tour. Other activities include visiting the Buckley Avenue Flats, attending a mini rodeo at Kalkadoon Park which was held in their honour, and meeting with over 6,000 children who travelled from distances as far as Birdsville and Burketown to meet the Queen and Duke. Her majesty also presented sport trophies at the Mount Isa primary school.
The original Mount Isa Mines Headframe and Urquhart Shaft
Also known as the Mount Isa Mine Early Infrastructure, the original Mount Isa Mines headframe and Urquhart shaft is a heritage listed piece of infrastructure dating back to 1924 until around 1963. The infrastructure represents the very beginning of Mount Isa mining, which holds so much tradition and culture of the town. It comprises the Lawlor shaft and winding plant, the Urquhart shaft and headframe, the Mount Isa Mine power station and the Mount Isa Mine experimental dam.
Mount Isa’s Original Pubs
The Isa Hotel and the Redearth Boutique Hotel in Mount Isa stand on the earth of where the very first pubs of Mount Isa took establishment. These two hotels form the pillars in Mount Isa history, dating back to the early 1900s with the Mount Isa Mines development in January 1924 pushing the town to becoming a mining community with a hearty passion for pub culture.
The now known Isa Hotel was built by Samuel Allen’s in 1926 during a time of infrastructure development. Locally known as the Top Pub, or Smith’s Pub, the establishment was later named the Mount Isa Hotel. With the extremely hot weather and hardworking individuals in the town, it comes as no surprise that the town holds the record for highest beer consumption among similar Commonwealth towns.
So why not drop by the Isa Hotel and experience for yourself a fresh, cold beer on tap just like they did when the very first pubs in Mount Isa were established.
The Mount Isa City Clock
The town centre revolves around the city clock, but not many know that it holds a strong significance acting as a monument that commemorates John Campbell Miles. He is the man who discovered mineral deposits of silver, lead and zinc leading to the opening of the Mount Isa Mine.
Naturally, as part of the Mount Isa City Explorer adventure, a visit to the City Clock is an absolute must given how it commemorates the very beginning of Mount Isa’s development.
Mount Isa Mines
An exploration in Mount Isa would not be complete without venturing into the mine and understanding its history. Dating back to a 1923 discovery of silver and lead ore, the Mount Isa Mines was formed and developed to eventually become one of the world’s greatest mines. The Mount Isa Mines in the 1960s was a strong producer of copper, lead, zinc and silver with a global supply network that included smelting, refining and recycling facilities all the way in Europe.
Mount Isa Train Station
Don’t miss out on your chance to explore Mount Isa’s train station which is the end of the line for the first iron horse “Progress and Prosper”. The rail line extension to Darwin never happened.
Explore Buchanan Park, the grounds of the Mount Isa’s Rotary Rodeo which is the southern hemisphere’s biggest rodeo. You’ll have to see it to believe it, so if you’re able to schedule the right time to attend the rodeo, you will not regret making the effort to be there.
Mount Isa City Lookout
Finish off your Mount Isa City adventure with the city lookout, giving you breathtaking 360 degree panoramic views of the entire city, the mines, and its surroundings. Bring along a picnic and enjoy the views, embracing the best of Outback Queensland.
Make the Most of your Mount Isa City Exploration
If you're the type of person who likes to sit back and let someone else guide you around, then look no further! Our sister venue, Redearth Boutique Hotel now offer a Best of Mount Isa Package which will allow you to embark on a 2-hour adventure with North West Tours. During this time you will be given a detailed tour of this amazing outback city starting with its discovery by John Campbell Miles in the early 1920s. You will discover the natural fauna of the area and traditional dwellings and along the way there will be a number of unique photo opportunities to take advantage of.
For more information, head on over to this link.