The progressive city of Mount Isa is the most important industrial, commercial and administrative centre in Outback Queensland, the second largest state or territory in Australia. Situated 977 kilometres west of Townsville, Mount Isa is an important railhead; has an airport with facilities for Jets and is a key road hub for the extensive system of highways linking Brisbane, Townsville, Alice Springs and Darwin. 

Mount Isa began as a mining town, following the discovery of substantial deposits of lead in 1923. It is now one of the world’s top ten producers of copper, silver, lead and zinc. Development has kept pace as prosperity increased. Apart from mining, the gulf region’s major industry is beef cattle grazing. Beef roads, which service the northern Gulf properties, converge on Mount Isa which is also an important retail service centre for the surrounding pastoral towns and properties. 

The city has grown to be a modern, well-appointed centre of 23,000 people. It is a very cosmopolitan place, with 56 different national origins living and working together in harmony.

In August 2003 Outback at Isa opened its doors to visitors in the heart of Mount Isa. The Tourism Centre provides an array of exciting tours, activities, and attractions. The construction of Outback at Isa, and in particular the Hard Times Mine, was prompted by the closure of the Mount Isa Mines (MIM) underground tour in 2002. Visitors were still seeking an underground experience to know more about the history of Mount Isa. Outback at Isa and Hard Times Mine was the vision of the former Mayor of Mount Isa City Council (MICC) Ron McCullough and his Council. The Queensland Heritage Trails Network program with Queensland and Commonwealth Government funding, partnered with MICC and numerous generous corporate sponsors to fund the project and to proceed and after considerable toil and effort on the part of an army of volunteers, contractors, businesses and all tiers of government the project was completed.

Outback at Isa operates the Mount Isa region’s accredited Visitor Information Centre (VIC), providing vital tourism information on Mount Isa and the region in a welcoming and friendly manner – the VIC has become either first point of call for visitors arriving from the Northern Territory to explore Queensland or last point of contact for those leaving Queensland to visit the Territory.

Mount Isa may be a long way from where you call home but the city is fully accessible by sealed roads, rail and plane.

Drive

The main highways in and out of Mount Isa are  suitable for all vehicle types and there are also 4WD accessible sites in the region for the off road enthusiast. On your drive to Mount Isa you will travel through some of the most magnificent scenery in Australia. Coming in from the west you’ll pass through spectacular savannah grasslands, from the east you’ll see undulating ranges and from the south the remnants of an inland sea. 

Distances & Directions

Brisbane to Mount Isa – 1825 km
Sydney to Mount Isa – 2400 km
Melbourne to Mount Isa – 2597 km
Cairns to Mount Isa – 1250 km
Townsville to Mount Isa – 904 km
If you have any questions regarding travel in the Outback or getting to Mount Isa contact the Visitor Centre in Outback at Isa.

Road Conditions

Visit the Queensland Traffic website or RACQ Road Conditions for information on current road conditions. Staying safe on Outback roads means staying informed about current road conditions especially during the wet season!

Flights to and from Mount Isa

Getting to Mount Isa by air is a very easy feat. With flights leaving daily from Brisbane, Cairns and Townsville, our airport is the gateway to Outback Queensland and provides superior travel experience to visitors and residents alike. 

Mount Isa Airport is located off the Barkly Highway approximately 8km from the city. The airport offers a bar and café serving hot and cold beverages and light refreshments. Magazines and newspapers are also available. The café opening times correspond with arrivals and departures. The cafe is located in the terminal before passing through security into the Departures Lounge. Free WIFI is also available at the terminal. For more information please visit the Mount Isa Airport website.

Qantas

Brisbane to Mount Isa 2hr 40min and Townsville to Mount Isa 1hr 40min. Check current flight schedules here.

Virgin

Brisbane to Mount Isa 2hr 40min. Check current flight schedules here.

Rex

Mount Isa to Cairns. Check current flight schedules here.

Train

Visiting Mount Isa by rail is a magical way to see the enthralling nature of the Outback. Travelling along the Overlander’s Way, travellers can exit the train at any time and stop off at many destinations. With trains leaving Mount Isa and Townsville twice a week, many locals and tourists alike enjoy the enchantments of locomotive transport.

The Inlander offers comfortable Economy seating and lounge so you can sit back and relax while the scenery unfolds. Most journey’s occur overnight so guests can nap, sleep and enjoy a stunning Outback sunset. The on-board lounge car serves light refreshments and beverages and guests are more than welcome to bring their own. Travelling to Mount Isa by Rail is the perfect, stress free way to travel west!

For booking and timetable information see the Queensland Rail website.

Bus

Bus Queensland

Bus Queensland operates daily services between Mount Isa and Brisbane with additional services between Townsville and Mount Isa three days a week. Book through Bus Queensland or call 1300 287 537.

Greyhound

Greyhound operate daily services between Mount Isa and Brisbane, with additional services to Townsville and Tennant Creek (Northern Territory) Sunday & Wednesday. Bookings can be made through Greyhound or call 1300 473 946.

Bus Charter Services

For those looking for charter bus services, airport to hotel transfers, event shuttle services and more contact Mount Isa Coaches

Mount Isa has a range of accommodation options to suit everyone from budget to boutique, we have the bed for you. As Mount Isa is a thriving city and major business centre we recommend that you pre-book accommodation in Mount Isa to avoid disappointment, particularly during early August when the iconic Isa Rodeo is on.

Mount Isa is home to a plethora of stunning, rare and diverse bird life. From local species to migratory birds; some fly here from as far as Siberia. Local bird life expert Rex Whitehead has provided us with his stunning images and an insight into our local bird population. Join us as he takes us through some of Mount Isa’s most boast worthy birds.

Kalkadoon Grass Wren, Photo by Rex Whitehead

Kalkadoon Grass Wren

The Kalkadoon Grasswren is one of the most sort after birds of this region, as they are endemic, to this region alone. The Kalkadoon Grasswren can be found at the water reservoirs on the eastern end of Pamela Street. Also within the areas of Mica and Sybella Creeks. These sites are the most common locations to find the Kalkadoon Grass Wren but there is no guarantee of finding them. Luck plays a big part, says Rex.

Carpentarian Grasswren, Photo by Rex Whitehead

The Carpentarian Grasswren

The Carpentarian Grasswren is also endemic to the Mount Isa region. It was recorded in the Lawn Hill area along with the Chinawall area of the Northern Territory, but hasn’t been seen there for some time. It is thought that it may have been wiped out from these areas by wildfires.

The most popular region now to find the Carpentarian Grasswren is along Mc Namara’s Road, which is the access road to Lady Loretta and Lady Annie Mines, north west of Mount Isa. At 8km along this road, from the Barkly Highway turnoff, there is a stone cairn on the right hand side of the road in which there is a log book. In this book people record their sightings of this Grasswren along with any other birds sighted in this area. This log book is a great aid in helping to find the Carpentaria Grasswren.

Varied Lorikeets, Photo by Rex Whitehead

Varied Lorikeets

The Varied Lorikeet is one of the small parrots in the Mount Isa area. They usually follow the blossoms and wherever there are Eucalypts and Paperbarks blossoming you will find the Varied Lorikeet

Black Fronted-Dotteral, Photo by Rex Whitehead

Black-fronted Dotterel

The Black-fronted Dotterel is a common, small wader, found usually wherever there is water. They are regularly seen around Lake Moondarra and breed there. They are quite a colourful little bird and will put on what is known as the broken wing act should anyone venture close to their nest, which is just a bare scrape on the ground.


Jabiru or Black-necked Stork, Photo by Rex Whitehead

Jabiru or Black-necked Stork

The Black-necked Stork is one of our largest water birds and is regularly seen at Lake Moondarra. Where it feeds on fish, frogs, snakes and turtles and other crustations when in salt water. The bird in this image is a female as it has a yellow eye. The males have a black eye.


Black-shouldered Kite, Photo by Rex Whitehead

Black-shouldered Kite

The Black-shouldered Kite is just one of the many Raptors in this area. It is a beautiful bird in its white and black, with penetrating red eyes. It is known for its hovering abilities where it can hover in the one place watching for prey on the ground. Hence the Kite name. As it is very much like a kite, in this instance.

Yellow Chat, Photo by Rex Whitehead

The Yellow Chat

The Yellow Chat is one of the rarest Chats to be found but can be found around Mount Isa at various times, along with the Crimson and Orange Chats. The male Yellow Chats gain their vivid yellow colour during the breeding season. They are nomadic so it is a bit of a hit and miss to see one of them. They are much sort after.

The Outback at Isa Cafe provides a range of fresh and homemade food to suit even the fussiest eater. Drop in today for a coffee, cake, a tasty breakfast or lunch.

We can also cater for private and corporate functions using the freshest ingredients at competitive prices. To order catering for your event or function simply choose your catering options with the forms below and send them back to us to process your order.

Please contact us for customised catering for events so we can discuss an individual catering menu according to your wishes.

Opening Times: Monday – Friday 9:00am – 2:00pm, Saturday & Sunday 8:30am – 2:30pm
(Closed Christmas Day, New Years Day, Good Friday and Boxing Day) 

Location: Outback at Isa, 19 Marian Street, Mount Isa 

Contact: Ph: (07) 4743 2225 E: cafe@mietv.com.au

Completed in 2008, the Buchanan Park Events Complex (BPEC) is the award winning venue of choice for all events – home to the largest (and richest) rodeo in the Southern Hemisphere as well as the largest mining exposition on the eastern seaboard. BPEC has also played host to touring headline acts (such as Jimmy Barnes, James Blundell, and Kate Cebrano), motorsport shows (Extreme Monster Trucks, and Crusty Demons of Dirt), right down to local business meetings and conferences. No other venue in Outback Queensland can compete with the facilities and standards on offer at BPEC.

The Entertainment Centre at Buchanan Park boasts a large flat floor with great flexibility, meaning we can cater to large gala dinners right through to expos or exhibition spaces!  

The main ‘Kalkadoon Arena’, named after the traditional owners of the area can seat in excess of 4,500 people.  This venue features arena and stock holding facilities, bar and kitchen areas, VIP Corporate area, meeting room, forecourt, ticket booths, shower and toilet facilities.

If you are interested in enquiring about or reserving an event space contact our team or submit an Event Request Form. View current fees & charges for all venues by downloading the file below:

Location: Cnr Sutton and George Street, Mount Isa

Contact: Ph: (07) 4747 3300 E: events@mietv.com.au

The Mount Isa Civic Centre offers a range of products and services, with a diverse range of spaces available to suit each individuals particular needs. With our venue spaces allowing for diversity in production ranging from conferences to dramatic performance, comedy or music. 

The Civic Centre Auditorium can hold a variety of different layouts depending on the event and style you want to engage, ranging from theatre style seating to table seating.

The perfect space for conferences and those larger seminars, the studio‘s open space can be adjusted to suit any layout. The perfect space for seating up to 100 people with bar facilities also available. 

The Board Room is perfect for corporate meetings and can comfortably sit up to 12 people for an intimate effect. With a large operational table in the middle and technical resources such as a projector and screen available, this room can be tailored to suit your individual needs.

Looking for somewhere original and groovy to hold your next event?  Then the Stack is the right venue for you. With its 70’s texture and feel, the stack is home to one of Mount Isa’s best lookouts. With its open planed atmosphere and a view to die for, this space is great for those intimate cocktail parties or event this year’s Christmas party. 

If you are interested in enquiring about or reserving an event space at the Civic Centre contact our team or submit an Event Request Form. View current fees & charges for all venues by downloading the file below:

Opening Times: 9.00am – 4.00pm, Monday – Friday
(Closed Christmas Day, New Years Day, Good Friday and Boxing Day) 

The Civic Centre is currently closed for maintenance until further notice. To contact the Civic Centre please use email below.

Location: 23 West Street, Mount Isa 

Contact: Ph: (07) 4747 3300 E: events@mietv.com.au

Outback at Isa is not only a tourism centre, we also offer spaces for hire for functions and events.

The Outback Park is also an excellent venue for functions. With a fully-equipped kitchen and catering staff as well as a liquor licence, Outback at Isa can provide a unique setting for your special occasion. Cocktail functions with a string quartet, parties, performances – the possibilities are endless utilising the Outback Park facility.

The Theatrette is a state of the art cinema room that holds 45 people comfortably, a perfect place to hold your next presentation, meeting or small function.

The Underground Crib Room in the Hard Times Mine is a unique place to hold your next event. Head underground for a dinner function, meeting or party like no other! A maximum of 50 people, six weeks notice is required for venue hire.

If you are interested in enquiring about or reserving an event space at Outback at Isa contact our team or submit an Event Request Form. View current fees & charges for all venues by downloading the file below:

Opening Times: 9.00am – 4.00pm, 7 days a week
(Closed Christmas Day, New Years Day, Good Friday and Boxing Day) 

Location: 19 Marian Street, Mount Isa 

Contact: Ph: (07) 4749 1555 E: events@mietv.com.au

The  Hard Times Mine Tour is more than a tour – it’s an experience!

From the very beginning of the tour you know that this is something special. From the moment you meet your tour guide who has worked as a miner for most of his life, to the kitting-out in overalls and cap lamps, already you’re having fun and can’t wait for what comes next.

Descending into the mine in the Alimak Cage, you begin to explore the history of mining as the guides enthral you with their stories of the good times and the hard times that they had working deep under the earth. You will see how the tunnels are formed and shaped by the majestic boom drills and mucking units. Get up close with the machinery and try your hand at the air-leg drill, and feel the earth rumble with the firing of the blast face. These magnificent experiences will stay with you forever.

We recommend wearing light, loose clothing – T-shirt and shorts and don’t forget to bring a pair of socks.  All other clothing and boots will be provided.

Admission
Adult: $85.00     
Concession: $68.00
Child*: $50.00 
Family: $220.00 (2 adults + 2 children) 

Group Prices available  

Opening Times: 9.00am – 4.00pm daily
(Closed Christmas Day, New Years Day, Good Friday and Boxing Day) 

Location: Outback at Isa, 19 Marian Street, Mount Isa

Contact: Ph: (07) 4749 1555 E: info@outbackatisa.com.au

Please note:

  • A ‘Waiver of Liability’ must be signed by all participants.
  • No cameras are permitted on the tour.
  • A minimum of 3 people on each tour is required.

* The minimum age for children is seven (7) years of age and over.

The Riversleigh Fossil Discovery Centre in Mount Isa showcases the fossils from the Riversleigh World Heritage Area. Riversleigh is part of the Australian Fossil Mammal Sites and home to one of the most significant fossil deposits worldwide that tells a unique story of the evolution of Australia’s wildlife.

In the newly renovated and upgraded centre some of Riversleigh’s most unique fossil finds are exhibited with innovative interactive displays. Let the palaeontological experts tell you their stories of Riversleigh in the movie theatre or wander through an impressive diorama to see what this ancient world looked like 25 million years ago.

Why not join a guided tour to find out how specimens are sorted, cleaned and the fossils extracted from hard limestone in our Riversleigh fossil laboratory – an experience that is educational and engaging for the entire family. You might even find yourself virtually digging for fossils!

Come and discover Riversleigh! You can visit the centre at your own pace, self-guided, any time during our opening times. Book a guided tour with our fossil enthusiasts (10.00am & 2.00pm most days, bookings required) which includes behind the scenes access to the Riversleigh fossil laboratory.

Self-guided Admission
Adult: $25.00     
Concession: $20.00
Child: $12.00 
Family: $60.00 (2 adults + 2 children) 

Guided tour
Adult: $38.00     
Concession: $30.00
Child: $23.00 
Family: $99.00 (2 adults + 2 children) 

Group Prices available

Opening Times: 9.00am – 4.00pm daily for self-guided access; guided tours 10.00am & 2.00pm most days
(Closed Christmas Day, New Years Day, Good Friday and Boxing Day) 

Location: Outback at Isa, 19 Marian Street, Mount Isa 

Contact: Ph: (07) 4749 1555 E: info@outbackatisa.com.au

The Isa Experience lives, entertains and enthrals. From the fascinating insight into the mining industry development to the cultural diversity of Mount Isa shown in the theatrette movies, to the depictions of the quirkiness of daily life in the early days, the exhibit is vibrant and entertaining. 

The stunning, award-winning, dual plasma screens mysteriously begin as you enter the exhibit space. Blending the indigenous and white perspectives, it dramatically concludes with the didgeridoo ‘morphing’ into the modern lead stack that dominates the city skyline. The Isa Experience gives an intimate and in-depth perspective to the development of a multi-cultural society that existed well before the term was coined. 

The Outback Park is an extensive creative landscape that captures visitors’ attention, with a central lagoon surrounded by lush naive plantings and a Lawn Hill gorge inspired waterfall. A bridge extends across the lagoon and the paths lead around the park to various shaded rest spots where you can stop and relax or enjoy your lunch. 

Visit also the Rodeo Hall of Fame which was opened in 2018. The display gives you a great insight into the history of the biggest rodeo in the southern hemisphere – the Mount Isa Mines Rodeo. Learn about the most famous cowboys & cowgirls, the most prestigious bucking horses and bulls, the people who made the rodeo into what it has now become and much more.

The newest addition to the Isa Experience is the Allan’s Outback Gems rock collection. A stunning display of rocks found by Ian Leslie Allen (1931 – 2017), the ‘Rock Man’ of Mount Isa. Ian’s private collection was considered by many as one of the most comprehensive private collections of crystals, rocks and minerals in Australia and has been donated to Outback at Isa, where it will remain as a legacy to his passion, and hopefully an inspiration, to all those who view it.

Admission
Adult: $22.00     
Concession: $18.00
Child: $14.00 
Family: $58.00 (2 adults + 2 children) 

Group Prices available

Opening Times: 9.00am – 4.00pm daily for self-guided access
(Closed Christmas Day, New Years Day, Good Friday and Boxing Day) 

Location: Outback at Isa, 19 Marian Street, Mount Isa 

Contact: Ph: (07) 4749 1555 E: info@outbackatisa.com.au

At Outback at Isa, Mount Isa’s major tourism facility, you will find the Mount Isa Visitor Information Centre (VIC), Hard Times Mine Underground Tour, Isa Experience and Outback Park, the Mount Isa Regional Art Gallery, Riversleigh Fossil Discovery Centre and the Outback at Isa Cafe

You can plan your trip and book tours with the help of our friendly staff in the award-winning Visitor Information Centre. Discover Mount Isa’s mining  and rodeo history in the Isa Experience Heritage Display and Rodeo Hall of Fame, get hands on with mining on an underground tour in the Hard Times Mine, travel back to an ancient world in the Riversleigh Fossil Discovery Centre, explore the native flora and fauna in the Outback Park or wander through an exhibition in our art gallery. Or simply sit back and relax in the cafe, use the free Wifi or grab a souvenir in the gift shop.

All in one place – at Outback at Isa!

Opening Times: 9.00am – 4.00pm, 7 days a week
(Closed Christmas Day, New Years Day, Good Friday and Boxing Day) 

Location: 19 Marian Street, Mount Isa 

Contact: Ph: (07) 4749 1555 E: info@outbackatisa.com.au

Visit our Facebook page for the latest news and updates!

The Mount Isa Regional Art Gallery located at Outback at Isa features a stunning array of artworks from local and regional artists.  From sculptures to paintings, portraits to landscapes, abstract to Indigenous, the gallery has something for everyone.

Admission is free for all visitors. So come and wander through one of the many exhibitions that are on display throughout the year.

The current exhibition showcases the amazing artwork of various local artists. We are very proud to be able to present the paintings of our very talented artists in the Mount Isa community – come over to support them and take a stroll through the gallery! Featured artists: Margaret Campbell, Anna Kehoe, Nancy Wing, Mariana Campbell, Catriona Fritzgerald, Leslie Bannah, Rita Murr and Priscilla Williams. Some paintings are available for sale.

Opening Times: 9.00am – 4.00pm daily for self-guided access
(Closed Christmas Day, New Years Day, Good Friday and Boxing Day) 

Location: Outback at Isa, 19 Marian Street, Mount Isa 

Contact: Ph: (07) 4749 1555 E: info@outbackatisa.com.au

Lake Moondarra is situated just 17 kilometers north of the city centre of Mount Isa. Access to the lake is by a sealed road and offers a picturesque shoreline drive.

The lake is one of the most popular places to visit for locals and tourists spectacular Outback scenery guaranteed! The lake’s safe still water encourages swimming, boating, sailing and canoeing. It has also been stocked with barramundi to lure the anglers for an excellent spot of fishing. Permits are not required to fish at Lake Moondarra, but catch limits do apply.

There are several scenic picnic areas located around the lake with large shady trees and these are some of the best places in Mount Isa to have barbecues.

Lake Moondarra hosts an array of bird life such as pelicans, cormorants, galahs and ducks, just to name a few, giving excellent photographic opportunities. Avid bird watchers can obtain a species list from Outback at Isa.

Opening Times: 6.00am to 10.00pm daily, free entry. Pets are not permitted at the lake and camping is only permitted during the Lake Moondarra Fishing Classic (annually, in October)

When World War II visited the shores of Darwin in 1942 and left North West Queensland vulnerable to invasion, Mount Isa’s authorities were concerned that their district hospital could be targeted by air raids. So, civilians – in particular, off-duty miners – built a new hospital underground in a matter of weeks.

Today, visitors can wander through the Underground Hospital and learn how it functioned. Exhibits have been installed based on photos from 1942 and include medical equipment and furnishings from the original fitout.

The Beth Anderson Museum, which forms part of the Underground Hospital exhibit, features a compelling array of antique medical equipment, including anatomy posters and a real human skeleton, used to educate students. 

On your visit, you will also take in the Tent House, part of a community established in 1930 to accommodate the booming population. Hundreds of tent houses sprang up, thanks to the ready availability of canvas which formed the walls and roof, around a timber frame.

Opening Times: 10.00am to 2.00pm in the cooler months: 1st April to 30th September. Enquire about opening hours from October to March. Be sure to arrive at least one hour prior to closing. Bookings not essential.

Location: Joan Street, Mount Isa

Contact: Ph: (07) 4749 3087 E: info@undergroundhospital.com 

Visit the Underground Hospital Facebook page for the latest updates.

Get a spectacular bird’s eye view of Mount Isa from the city’s Hilary Street lookout. The lookout with its global signpost, offers a 360-degree panorama of the city and mine area.

Drop by when you arrive to town to gain an excellent idea of the lay of the land. Take a selfie at the World Traveller signpost and catch an Outback sunset as it unfolds; the sparkly night-time view with its city lights and billions of stars is highly recommended, or enjoy a casual meal at one of the shaded picnic tables.

Visit Outback at Isa for a free map to enable you to identify landmarks from the lookout.

Location: Hilary Street, Mount Isa. Not suitable for caravans.

More proof of Mount Isa’s resourcefulness is its School of the Air, available to around 200 isolated Outback students from prep to year 10.

It is in Abel Smith Parade and visitors can join a tour to see just how lessons are delivered using mail, telephone and the internet. The catchment extends from the NT border in the west to Richmond in the east, Burketown in the north, Birdsville in the south and Winton in the south-east. Although students only come together in person for sports days and other special occasions during the year, the wonderful sense of community and culture of encouragement is palpable throughout the school.

Tour Times: 10am weekdays during the school terms. On-air lessons are Monday to Thursday; tours operate on Fridays too, but without on-air lessons.

Location: 137-143 Abel Smith Parade, Mount Isa

Contact: Ph: (07) 4744 8333

Visit the Mount Isa School of the Air website for the latest updates.