One of the largest towns by land mass, Mount Isa strikes as an answer not many are familiar with. Romanticising the days where the town was known as “The Isa”, this quirky, old mining town holds many discoveries that will open your eyes to a whole new outlook on Outback Queensland.
With so many things to see and do, the only way to get the best experience of all is to leave it in the hands of the professionals. Don’t worry, no secret handshakes are required to jump on board these tours. But truth be told, you will be exposed to new opportunities of local favourite spots shared only through word of mouth.
Without further ado, here are the top tours to book while in Mount Isa.
Go deep in a mining tour
There is no doubt that Mount Isa was founded upon mining. With its rich mining history, it only seems logical that the best place to start your adventure is by paying tribute to its origins.
Get your hands dirty and throw on some orange overalls, gum boots and an orange hard hat with a cap lamp and join in on the Hard Times Mining Tour.
The Hard Times Mining Tour really is more than a tour – it’s an experience you won’t forget. It feels special, from the moment you begin the tour, meet your guide who has personal experience working as a miner for most of his life. Listen to his first-hand stories and envision yourself working in a mine back in the day.
The descent will make you hold your breath as you enter the Alimak Cage. Explore the history of mining and delve into stories and experiences. Learn how tunnels were formed using boom drills and mucking units.
Deep down in the dark depths, get close and personal with mining machinery. Have a swing at a jackhammer and have a good look at a mining truck. Feel the adrenaline rush and try your hand at the air drill, the slightest activity will have the earth rumbling around you as you blast away at the mine wall.
To enjoy your time here, come prepared with the right clothes. Light and loose is the way to go, and don’t forget to bring a pair of socks!
Admission is just $85 and is worth every penny. Concession prices are $75, and children are $39. There are also family prices available for two adults and two children, and groups too. Tours run 7 days a week (except for Christmas, New Years, Good Friday, and Boxing Day), and bookings are essential.
Isa Experience and Outback Park
Delve further into the mining world with the Isa Experience. Learn about the history of mining and the evolution of the industry from the 1920s to the operational Glencore mine.
The exhibit is spectacular and time is at your leisure to wander around and watch videos play on award winning multi-dual plasma screens.
After the history lesson, explore the Outback Park, home to lush native plants, a central lagoon and a waterfall inspired by Lawn Hill Gorge.
Bring yourself some lunch, nestle down under a shady spot, and take in the peaceful moment at the Outback Park before heading to adventuring more of Mount Isa that awaits you.
The Mary Kathleen Mine Tour
This isn’t a trip for the faint of heart. Not only was this site once an operational Uranium mine, but your surroundings are completed deserted and bear resembling one of John Wayne’s classic films.
A ghost town, Mary Kathleen Mine and Township has been abandoned since 1981. What draws the crowd here is the fascinating history the town holds along with water so blue the Amalfi Coast would be envious. Simply jump on board a North West Tour, in an air-conditioned coach bus, as you head toward Mary Kathleen Mine listening to stories and history alike.
The Underground Hospital and Museum
In 1929, the Mount Isa Mines opened a 40 bed community hospital in efforts to help those in need. Soon thereafter, an additional hospital was built in town, and with the expansion of such complex, residents were encouraged to use the newest one instead. Effectively reduced to a first aid and casualty station, the mine witnessed full operations as a result of World War II.
Here, a tour will reveal the historical significance the underground hospital played in caring for the sick and wounded. A fascinating concept that you’ll be hard-pressed to find elsewhere in the world, step into a different time as you enter the Underground Hospital and Museum.
Great accommodation in Mount Isa
Every great journey calls for great rest and relaxation. And what better way to ease your busy day than to retreat to luxury at the Isa Hotel?
One of the top rated hotels in all of Mount Isa, Isa Hotel promises absolute comfort in the hands of exceptional staff and spectacular amenities. With neatly pressed linen and fluffed up pillows waiting for you to rest your aching backs, you can relax knowing that you are in Mount Isa’s best.
Beyond sleep and a friendly welcome, the food here is delectable. With exquisite delights from the widely acclaimed Rodeo Bar & Grill, experience the best of Outback Queensland with juicy steaks that will have you salivating, amazing tap beers that are refreshing, and a wide array of culinary delights waiting to be tasted on the big menu.
And if you have any questions about the top things to do in Mount Isa, seek out for some local advice from the staff at Isa Hotel. They’re always happy to help you find an activity that suits your interest and will do whatever they can to make your stay nothing short of fantastic.