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!
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.
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.
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)
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.
Currently audiences in Mount Isa have a special opportunity to experience part of a major artwork by leading Australian artist Robert MacPherson, when Queensland Art Gallery, Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) tours ‘BOSS DROVERS’ to the Mount Isa Regional Art Gallery from July 24 to September 12, 2021
Australia b. 1937
1000 Frog Poems: 1000 Boss Drovers (“Yellow Leaf Falling”) For H.S. (detail) 1996-2014 / Graphite, ink and stain on paper / 2400 sheets: 30 x 42.5cm (each)
Purchased 2014 with funds from the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art Foundation, Paul and Susan Taylor, and Donald and Christine McDonald
Courtesy the artist and Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art
Photograph: Natasha Harth, QAGOMA
Opening Times: 8.30am – 4.30pm daily for self-guided access (Closed Christmas Day, New Years Day, Good Friday and Boxing Day)
The gallery 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 – keep an eye on the Outback at Isa Facebook page to stay up to date on each exhibit.
Previously featured artists have included:
Cungelella Art, Margaret Campbell, Anna Kehoe, Nancy Wing, Mariana Campbell, Catriona Fritzgerald, Leslie Bannah, Rita Murr and Priscilla Williams.
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 localsand 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)