Join us Saturday 27 April for Music@Outback: The Firebird Livestream
Outback at Isa is thrilled to welcome back it’s first installment of the Music@Outback series for 2021, a series of local events featuring a different music genre and experience each time.
Our first feature for 2021 will be livestreamed directly from QPAC’s Concert Hall with Queensland Symphony Orchestra performing Stravinsky’s ballet The Firebird by Australian pianist Simon Tedeschi – described by Sydney Morning Herald as ‘true greatness’. The Firebird’s astonishing orchestral work tells the story of a prince who is aided by an enchanted bird, and is regarded as one of the great masterpieces, not just of ballet music, but of all orchestral music.
For the first time in the Music@Outback Series, this event will be featured in the newly renovated, state of art Riversleigh Fossil Centre Theatre. Enjoy exclusive access and peruse the centre at your leisure with full bar service and bar snacks available, before seating for the livestream.
Grab your family and friends and meet us at Outback at Isa Riversleigh Fossil Centre *FREE for kids 12 and under*.
Access via Outback at Isa foyer, 19 Marian Street. Drinks & bar snacks available – cash and eftpos available (eftpos preferred).
Tickets are $10 inclusive of drink on arrival (house selection). Tickets available online, phone (07 4749 1555) and at the gate. Tickets are limited due to COVID-19 capacity restrictions so get yours today!
Drovers Camp – The Drovers Camp is the place to start when it comes to Camooweal and the droving history. Take a FREE guided tour through the interpretive and historical displays and artwork
Historical Cemetery – Pick a cemetery guide up from the Visitor Information Centre at the Drovers Camp
.Cairn “Those Responsible” – This cairn was erected to commemorate those American troops stationed in Camooweal during World War II who laid the first tarmac road from Mount Isa to Camooweal and beyond. The cairn sits in the position where the army camp had set up when building the Barkly Highway.
Town Bore – The first sub-artesian basin bore was drilled in 1897, thirteen years after the town was established and seven years after the first report was proposed to the House of Parliament. The 1890 report was rejected and another report was submitted suggestion they test the area for artesian water. This second report was accepted however by 1895 no progress had been made and was abandoned in 1895. The bore was run by a steam engine so two to three casual pumpers were employed to fuel the fire. Once pumped, the water was held in what was known then as earth tanks or ‘Turkey’s Nests’ which were small dams; the water was then taken by tanks to the hotels by a goat drawn cart, by dray or later by trucks. The water wasn’t reticulated until the 1930’s.There have been many other bores drilled since then to supply Camooweal’s water. Interesting fact: Raid Wardens used the tank towers to watch for enemy aircraft while stationed here in WWII.
Post Masters House – This house was originally the Post Masters house and was built around 1959. George Adams was the first postmaster to live in the residence however it is now a private residence. The post master now lives in the building behind the current post office which incidentally use to be the old Telecom Building.
Post Office -The first receiving office was on Rocklands Station as early as 1883. Prior to that you had to travel to Burketown to pick it up! The first post office service in Camooweal began in 1885 and M. Grogan was first post master. It wasn’t until 1891 that the first Post Office and residence was built and was a small wooden building that stood on the block that the Driveway Cabins now sit on. Mail was brought in by plane twice a week. The current post office was built in 1949 and the post master now makes a daily run to Mount Isa and a twice week run to all the outlying stations to collect and deliver the mail.
Cronin Park Race Course- Seven years after Camooweal became a settlement the first registered (NQ Racing Ass.) race meeting was held on October 1889; it held eleven races at £200 prize money. Aboriginal jockeys were trained in the early days and sometimes the best horses were kept for the “black boys” race, as they were called. In the early days the race club was the social hub with the likes of pioneering families such as the Beaumont’s, Miller’s, Finlay’s, Pedwell’s and of course the Cronin’s seen at the races. Since then Camooweal has held a race meeting every year in August. It also holds the yearly cricket match competition in April and the campdraft & rodeo in June. The park was named after Camooweal’s first settlement family.
Post Office Hotel- the last remaining hotel in Camooweal (there was originally three) the Post Office Hotel was first licensed to Alfred Levi Vernon in 1906. From 1911 only two pubs remained the Post Office Hotel and the Landsborough. The Landsborough burnt down in the 60’s leaving Camooweal a one-pub town.
Methodist Inland Mission – There is no record of when this church/hall was built however in 1929 the minister was Captain Howard Kettle. Methodist Inland Mission ministers use to come to Camooweal frequently to perform services and today there is still a minister who performs services on a regular basis for the Indigenous community.
Old Bridge – Take a walk down to the old bridge on the thin bitumen road that once was The Barkly Highway. This road through Camooweal to the Northern Territory was the inland defence route for World War 2 and was built by army engineers and carried over 1000 vehicles a day. The old bridge was part of this original construction however during times of flood the bridge would be under water and left the town of Camooweal isolated so a new bridge was built in 2002. The old bridge also shows how narrow the road to Mount Isa from Camooweal was before the upgrade in 2009.
Cairn for new bridge & Buffaroo – Here stands the cairn erected when the new bridge was built in 2002. Also the beloved Buffaroo stands proudly to greet travellers into the BP Station. The story goes that it was born of a rogue bull buffalo the Mother was a ‘Big Red Roo’ with a sense of adventure! It ran out of Darwin in the bombing of ’42 and was forced to live the life of a hermit. Eyes of the old timers at Camooweal shine when asked about the elusive mythical Buffaroo.
The BOND store- The store next to Freckleton’s (BP side) use to be known as the BOND store. This store has always held a two gallon licence and in the very early days of Camooweal Jamaican Rum in earthenware demijohns in wicker containers came in by boat and team to be bottled under BOND and sold in the store. It held this licence until 2009 when it closed down. This building later became the Barkly Tableland Heritage Centre museum but sadly closed in 2009
Freckleton’s General Store – This building was originally called Affleck & Dunn until purchased by Paddy Synnott in 1895 from Dunn when it was called Affleck, Synnott & Co. It grew into a large business circulating its own currency of 1.O.U.’s called “shin plasters”. In 1901 it became Synnott & Co when Affleck sold out. Later it was known as Synnott, Murray & Scholes until Jim Synnott sold it to Joe Freckleton Snr in 1943 when it became Freckleton’s General Store until 2009 when after the death of Joe Freckleton Jnr the family was unable to keep it going. It is still owned by the Freckleton family to this day but no plans are in its future. No matter what the name, it was always a provider of goods for the drovers passing through town.
St Therese Catholic Church – The church was built in 1961 by Bill McCarthy and consecrated by Bishop Ryan. The conditions were bad in the early days of the pioneering families with the heat, no electricity or running water and the roads just dirt tracks that Priests and Ministers only visited Camooweal a couple of times a year if they were lucky. Services, when they did happen, were conducted in the old Court House and later at the Shire Hall. Still today a priest comes out from Mount Isa and runs a service once a month.
Humpy-Stan Fowler owned this land and obtained the old humpy in 1945 from the army camp that was outside of Camooweal during the war years to use as a shed. He also had one on another block behind the Post Office Hotel however that has since been pulled down.
Painting – This mural was commissioned by Lorna Freckleton to commemorate her father Joseph Freckleton Snr. There is a plague on the wall next to the mural that tells the story of the depiction. The building itself, was bought off the Army who were stationed here in 1945. It was the Army’s old dining room.
Garage – This garage is the original garage built in the pioneering days of Camooweal. Joseph Freckleton Snr started the garage which was originally used to service and refuel the aircraft that came into the Cafnooweal aerodrome. In later years it also catered for the automobile as they became popular.
Old Ice Works – This was originally owned by Laura Beaumont who lived in the house and had a cafe. She sold it to drovers Clammy Cleary, Clarry Pankhurst, and Jack Charleton who turned it into a butcher shop and ice works.
State School – Emily Conroy (later McMahon) settled in Camooweal in 1890 and immediately began teaching from her home to a dozen or so children. By 1892 there were too many children for Mrs Conroy to have at her home and a committee was formed and letters were written to have a proper school established in Camooweal. The first provisional school was established in June 1893. It was a 22ft X 14ft space and held 28 students. 1928 saw the old Mt. Guthbert State School moved to town as the original building had become too small. In the sixties, two model school buildings and a modular building were erected and opened. Today the school has two multi-age classes, with enrolment currently averaging between 40 and 45 students from Prep to Year 7. 95% of those students are Indigenous.
Police Station – The first police station was built in 1886 and comprised of a galvanised hut of two rooms; 15 x 12 feet. II had stud r afters made of bush sapling perforated by the borer and walls and roof (which leaked) of iron. Flooring was goods cases nailed on saplings and doors were also made of goods cases. The so-called windows didn’t have any pane of glass and only a blanket nailed above the opening to keep the weather out. The water tank was an old beer barrel; a far cry from today. A cell was added in 1887, a new courthouse was built of galvanised steel in 1895; a new cell built in 1907 and a bathroom and kitchen added in 1909. This present Police Station was built in 1969 and the old one was dismantled.
Shire Hall – In 1923 the council (Camooweal had its own shire then known as Barkly Tableland Shire) were successful in getting a loan of £3000 from state treasury to build the structure and it was repaid in fifteen ears by half yearly instalments of nine pounds, 19 shillings and 3 pence. They built the hall in 1924 and in 1935 it was extended for a cost of £598. The town hall was commandeered by American troops in WWII and used as a military hospital. The building was renovated and heritage listed in 1984 and houses a display of historic photographs and two large plagues of local men who served in the two world wars; some made it back, some sadly didn’t See a cairn erected to commemorate the ANZACS as well as William Landsborough’s discovery of the Barkly Tableland in 1861.
Ellen Finlay Memorial Park – Ellen Finlay was the first white child born in Camooweal. Ellen’s father J.J. (Micky) Cronin is the first settler and store owner of Camooweal and her mother was Kate Cronin. Ellen is buried in the Camooweal cemetery and her grandson still lives in the area.
Old Picture Theatre – The metal structure on the edge of this property and the concrete slab in front of it is all that remains of the outdoor picture theatre. Though the actual date that films started to be shown here is unknown the last known film shown was “Crocodile Dundee”. The earliest recorded year is 1929 when they showed the movie ‘Wings” a 1927 silent film about World War I fighter pilots (Capt Kettles diary) .The Methodist Amenities Committee of the Methodist Church originally ran the films and Joe Freckleton Jnr was the projectionist. In the 1970’s Joe Freckleton Jnr was indisposed and it looked as if the pictures wouldn’t be shown but Paul Finlay (Ellens Grandson) had run a projector at Nudgee College so was familiar with the gear and ran the pictures in Joe’s absence. The advent of t.v. to the area in 1982 brought the demise to the outdoor picture theatres weekly pictures.
Hospital & Clinic- The first hospital was an old Telegraph Building from Yelvertoft Station known as the “Cottage Hospital” brought in and built by A.E. Brown in 1912. Prior to that neighbour helped neighbour in an emergency and doctors visited the town infrequently. Mrs Conroy (later McMahon) was the bush nurse, dentist, and mobile midwife travelling by buggy to stations delivering babies. A five bed maternity section was built in 1924. Fire burnt down this building and the current building was built in 1963 however these days the RFDS flies out serious cases to Mount Isa and a weekly outpatient clinic is held here, a nurse is at the clinic five days a week.
Steam Engine – This old steam engine was the kind long-ago used on station bores and would have been the kind used on the first town bore. See ‘Town Bore’ for more information on operation.
Aerodrome – The early runway was just a black soil strip but became a well-drained aerodrome and was on the international air route which meant quite a few well-known aviators stopped at Camooweal. Names such as Ross and Keith Smith in 1919; McGinness and Baird (QANTAS) in 1921; Bert Hinkler in 1928; Charles Kingsford Smith refuelled here on his way to England in 1929 and Maude Bonney, the first woman to circumnavigate Australia and to fly solo to England stopped frequently between 1931 and 1938. The aerodrome was also used for mail delivery from 1930 and during WWII the aerodrome runways were extended and sealed and served as an emergency landing site and fuelling stopover. Today it is used primarily for the RFDS.
The legends of the ‘Mount Isa Music Shack’ are bringing their talents to the Outback Park for one spectacular night of live entertainment. The BBQs will be sizzling and the Bar will be stocked, making for a great night with hot food, cold drinks, and the best in Outback entertainment. You won’t want to miss this!
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.
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.
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.
Brisbane to Mount Isa 2hr 40min and Townsville to Mount Isa 1hr 40min. Check current flight schedules here.
Brisbane to Mount Isa 2hr 40min. Check current flight schedules here.
Mount Isa to Cairns. Check current flight schedules here.
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!
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 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.
Pamela Street Reservoirs.
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.
The Spinifex pigeon is a common resident in Mount Isa.
Seasonal visitor of Mount Isa. Flies though every year.
The Pictorella Mannikin is an uncommon resident of Mount Isa.
The Brown Falcon is an Uncommon resident of Mount Isa.
Treatment Plant Ponds.
The Australasian Gebe is a common resident of Mount Isa.
The Hardhead is a common resident of Mount Isa.
Lake Moondarra foreshore
The Comb-crested Jacana is a common resident in Mount Isa.
Green Pygmy Goose
The Green Pygmy Goose is a common resident of Mount Isa.
The Glossy IBIS is a common resident of Mount Isa.
The long-tailed finch is an uncommon resident of Mount Isa.
The Varied Lorikeet is a common resident in Mount Isa when the trees are in blossom.
Lake Moondarra Foreshore.
The black-necked stork is a common resident in Mount Isa.
White-bellied Sea Eagle.
The white-bellied Sea Eagle is a common resident to Mount Isa.
Purple Swamp Hen
The Purple Swamp Hen is a common resident of the Mount Isa waste station.
The Chestnut-Breasted Mannikin is an uncommon resident of Mount Isa.
The Painted Finch is a very common resident in Mount Isa.
The Golden-Backed Honeyeater is a common resident in Mount Isa when Melaleuca trees are in flower.
Cloncurry Ring neck Bernardus
The Cloncurry Ring neck Bernardus is a common resident in Mount Isa.
The Carpentarian Grasswren
The Carpentarian Grasswren, is also endemic to the Mount Isa region etc. (remains the same).
The most popular location, to find the Carpentaria Grass wren, was along McNamara’s Road. However, McNamara’s Road, is a private road, and has now been closed to the general public, due to safety reasons, with the increase of mining traffic on this road.
There are other areas, in the region, where the Carpentarian Grasswren can be found. However, these are all on private property, and permission for access is required, from the owners/managers, prior to entry
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
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:
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.
Enclosed footwear must be worn on all Tours
We recommend wearing light, loose clothing. Overalls and Hard Hats will be provided.
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.
The ‘Isa Experience Heritage Display’ is a must do for those interested in an in-depth look into Mount Isa from its humble beginnings more than 90 years ago. Book a self-guided tour and wander through the interactive and vibrant displays depicting Mount Isa from the early days to the thriving town of today.
The display offers a glimpse into a town shaped as it is by its rich mineral bounty and mining heritage, with a fascinating insight into one of the world’s largest mining complexes, Mount Isa Mines. From early beginnings in 1923 the mining complex has grown to become of the most productive single mines in history.
Enjoy our dual plasma display depicting the blending of the indigenous and white perspectives, as it dramatically concludes with the didgeridoo ‘morphing’ into the modern lead stack that dominates the city skyline. The Isa Experience gives an interactive and in-depth perspective to the development of a multi-cultural society that existed well before the term was coined.
Explore the newest addition to the Isa Experience, Allan’s Outback Gems a stunning rock collection found by Ian Leslie Allen (1931 – 2017). Known as 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. Generously donated to Outback at Isa, this collection will remain as a legacy to his passion and serve as an inspiration to all those who view it.
Stroll through to the Outback Park which is an extensive creative landscape that captures visitors’ attention, with a central lagoon surrounded by lush naive plantings and a relaxing waterfall, inspired by nearby oasis Lawn Hill Gorge. 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.
The Isa Experience is also home to 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.
Come and live the Isa Experience! You can visit the experience at your own pace, self-guided anytime during our opening times, please allow 1-2 hours.
*Please note: You will need to select a time when you book online, as maximum capacity numbers apply to the Isa Experience Heritage Display*
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: 8.30am – 4.30pm, 7 days a week (Closed Christmas Day, New Years Day, Good Friday and Boxing Day)