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.

The largest rodeo in the Southern Hemisphere, the Isa Rodeo, is held on the second weekend of August and while the rodeo competition in the spectacular red dirt Buchanan Park arena is world-class, there will be plenty to do during rodeo week.

The Bell & Moir Isa Rodeo Ball will kick off rodeo week celebrations on Saturday night, culminating in the crowning of the Isa Rodeo Queen and Charity Queen. Next up is the free Isa Street Festival presented by the Mount Isa City Council on Wednesday night, with a street parade, plenty of market and food stalls in the centre of town and huge free concert finishing with a fireworks finale!

Thursday sees the start of rodeo competition (gold coin entry) in the morning, followed by the Mailman Express horse races. Friday is the first full day of rodeo competition and spectacular opening ceremony in the evening, including the Introduction of the Cowboys and Cowgirls. The weekend focus is on rodeo competition, also relayed live on the Big Screen, as well as live concerts on Friday and Saturday nights at the rodeo in the lead up to the Sunday rodeo finals. The rodeo is renowned for its live entertainment, attracting an amazing lineup of artists including The McClymonts, Busby Marou, Shephard and Jimmy Barnes to name a few.

Tickets to the event, along with three to five day Swag City packages will be available online at www.isarodeo.com.au, early in the new year, along with rodeo holiday packages, combining accommodation, rodeo tickets and local attractions.

North West Tours specialise in small group tours around Mount Isa and beyond. Their comprehensive interpretative tours provide visitors with a friendly hassle-free experience of areas that are off-limits to the general public; are areas only known to locals by word of mouth. The local tour operator proudly showcases the many and varied historical aspects of the region including flora, fauna and geological formations.

Tours include 2-hour city tours, sunset tours at Lake Moondarra, exciting full-day tours and 3 & 4 day adventures to beautiful Adels Grove.  Departing from Mount Isa, the tours focus on sharing the history and adventures of our remote Outback area that can best be told by experienced tour guides.

This is your opportunity to get out of your own vehicle, sit back and relax and experience the rugged beauty, impressive stories, fantastic wildlife and Outback charm of North West Queensland.

Book a tour through their website or with the staff in the Visitor Information Centre at Outback at Isa.

The emerald waters and lush vegetation of Lawn Hill Gorge form a beautiful oasis in the Outback, attracting abundant wildlife and offering exceptional views, walks, canoeing and cultural sites.

Rich in Aboriginal history, Boodjamulla (meaning Rainbow Serpent Country) is a wonderland of red sandstone ranges, creeks, 60-metre high gorges, waterholes, rocky outcrops and rugged escarpments.  Visitors can follow a number of walking tracks that each offer their own vistas or paddle in crystal clear emerald-hued water. Hire a canoe and make your way up the gorge to the breathtaking Indarri Falls or take a guided cruise along the creek to view some spectacular scenery. Or, capture the most incredible sunset on a tour of Harry’s Hill

Aside from the exquisite natural beauty, the park is known for its rich and significant fossil fields. Well preserved, the Riversleigh Australian Fossil Mammal Site is open to the public and offers a fascinating insight into evolution on the Gondwana ancient supercontinent.

There are tent and van sites at Lawn Hill Gorge which are serviced by toilets, showers and a park office. The Miyumba bush camp is located 3.5 kilometres south of Riversleigh D Site, around 55 kilometres south-east of Lawn Hill Gorge and features six camp sites suitable for completely self-sufficient campers. A hybrid toilet is available and although there is a water tank, it may be empty. Adels Grove, located 10 kilometres from Lawn Hill Gorge, offers more accommodation options and guided tours.

Contact: For camping information and bookings phone 137 468 or visit www.nprsr.qld.gov.au

Adels Grove Camping Ground is an eco-sensitive Tourist Camping Park on Lawn Hill Creek, located 10 kilometres downstream from Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park and 50km from the world heritage Riversleigh Fossil fields. There is camping or the option of bed and breakfast accommodation in either furnished river tents or rooms.

The resort is an oasis retreat for the dusty, tired traveller: a perfect place to refresh, relax and recover. You can lie back and watch the cool aqua water meander through the park.

Heading to Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park and don’t have a 4WD? Adels Grove offers tours departing from Mount Isa to Adels Grove and Boodjamulla National Park. Tours are fully inclusive of accommodation, dinner, breakfast, lunch, tour of Riversleigh World Heritage fossil fields, cruise Lawn Hill Gorge and travel to and from Adels Grove.

To book contact Adels Grove on (07) 4748 5502 or via www.adelsgrove.com.au

Along the Barkly Highway from Mount Isa is Camooweal which is in fact a part of the city even though it is 189 kilometres away. Known as “the longest main street in the world”, the drive takes around an hour and a half. Only a couple of hundred people live in Camooweal but tourists swell the population when they make the trek out to go camping in the Outback and visit the location of the 500-million-year-old sinkhole caves. Whilst public access to the caves is not permitted, the site is still impressive to see from the safe viewing area at Great Nowranie cave.

At Camooweal Caves National Park, the rugged roads are best navigated in a four-wheel-drive but can be accessed by conventional vehicles in dry weather. Whilst camping is not permitted in the Park, it is open 24 hours a day so you can head in and marvel at the kaleidoscopic changing sky at dusk and dawn.

Camping is permitted along the Georgina River and is popular during the dry season. You can camp by an idyllic billabong where the birdlife is abundant and thriving. Pour yourself a cup of billy tea and revel in the quiet Outback atmosphere. There are no designated sites and no showers or toilets; simply set up camp and get down to the business of serious relaxation.

At The Drover’s Camp, you can immerse yourself in the bush atmosphere while enjoying the hospitality and informative talks given by the tough ex-drovers. Just 1km from the centre of town, this is a must do while in Camooweal. Take a guided tour through the interpretive and historical displays and wonderful artwork and browse through the impressive range of Australiana books. See the volunteers at the information centre for up-to-date information on roads and events and enjoy a rest break at the facilities.

Contact: The Drovers Camp – Visitor Information Centre Ph: 07 4748 2022 E: info@droverscamp.com.au

Mount Isa weather is governed by three main criteria: Tropical location (latitude), elevation, and distance from the coast. With the Gulf of Carpentaria approximately 340km to the north, and the Coral Sea 740km to the east-northeast, the climate of Mount Isa is suitably described as Tropical Continental.

Although maximum temperatures can reach well into the 40-degree scale in summer, the higher elevation of the North West uplands from the surrounding area (150m higher) has a significant moderating effect on temperatures. This can be shown by the temperature differences experienced in Mount Isa as compared to neighbouring townships such as Cloncurry, Boulia, Winton and Urandangie on the Western Plains.

Night-time temperatures in Mount Isa can often be much cooler than those of nearby centres. Mount Isa is located in a valley between two spurs of the Selwyn Ranges. On clear nights, the moderate south-easterly winds experienced on the Western Plains and Barkly Tablelands keep the temperature higher. The calm conditions experienced in Mount Isa due to the sheltering effect of the ranges leads to lower temperatures being recorded (this can be up to ten degrees lower in extreme cases).

Variability of rainfall in the Mount Isa district is in the order of 20-25%.

A district wet season usually occurs from December to March, with over 75% of the annual rainfall occurring during these months.

SPRING: September, October and November

Spring in Mount Isa is often equal to or hotter than summer in any other part of the country! We enjoy beautiful warm temperatures with low humidity, meaning you can enjoy the great outdoors without experiencing the sweaty and uncomfortable conditions often found on the coast.

You may experience a low of 15 degrees and a high of 36 degrees during these months.

SUMMER: December, January and February

Yes, summer in Mount Isa is hot! But that doesn’t stop us from having a good time. Throughout December, the humidity remains quite low, however it typically increases throughout January and February. In saying that, it generally does not exceed mid-30% humidity levels.

You may experience a mean low of 23 degrees and a mean high of 37 degrees, but we certainly do see our share of days between 40 and 45 degrees!

AUTUMN: March, April and May

Things go from hot to mild during this transitional season. March and April can see the warm weather remain, often cooling off towards the end of April and entering May. Your Easter Eggs may not melt too quickly, but best to eat them quickly just in case!

You may experience a mean low of 14 degrees and a mean high of 34 degrees between these months.

WINTER: June, July and August

Arguably the most beautiful months in Mount Isa. Crisp mornings and evenings, and gorgeous daylight hours. This is a perfect time for camping, exploring, and of course, enjoying the famous Mount Isa Rodeo! We always expect it to be cooler at Rodeo time in August, but from time to time we do experience some very warm rodeos.

You may experience a mean low of around 8 degrees and a mean high of around 27 degrees, but we definitely have some late nights and early mornings that dip below zero! Always check BOM or Weatherzone before planning your trips, especially in Wet Season!

mount isa weather

It’s important to be mindful when travelling in Outback Queensland that things work a little different to other main highways. Whilst we can guarantee a show stopping drive and famous Outback hospitality, road hazards such as livestock, long hours, hot weather and flat, straight roads can take a little to get used to. The spaces between towns can often feel overwhelming if you aren’t prepared for the distance so correct packing, planning, and knowing what to bring is going to be your life saver!

travellers' tips

These Travellers’ Tips are aimed at ensuring you experience a safe and pleasant journey through our great, red nation. Indigenous Australians have called these lands home for thousands of years and we do ask that you acknowledge and respect the values and beliefs of Indigenous Australians and the Kalkadoon People throughout your stay in Mount Isa and surrounds.

Pre-Trip Planning & Fuel Stops

A little bit of preparation goes a long way on long Outback drives, so ensuring you have a good map and a plan for the trip ahead is imperative. If your plans include going ‘off the beaten track’ then preparing your communication options and alternative routes are key, especially if you’re travelling during Mount Isa’s wet season (November – April).

These months often invite the most rainfall.  You’ll find a large detailed Queensland map within the Outback Queensland Travellers Guide, which details the distances between towns and petrol stations.

Fuel stops on major highways are rarely more than 200 km apart, so it should not be necessary to carry spare fuel. However, where you do see a “no fuel” sign, it means exactly that. A mechanically sound vehicle packed with extra water, a first aid kit and spares for tyres, radiator hoses and fan belts together with a good tool-kit are also recommended.  Don’t forget to ensure that your spare tyre is at the correct pressure. Please keep in mind if you are carrying extra weight on your vehicle, you will notice the fuel depleting quicker than usual.

Road Conditions

You will notice Road Condition signs between townships throughout your drive. If you are concerned, have something to report or just keen to get more info call 19 40 for current road conditions.

Weather Conditions

Whilst the Outback summers are hot, they are far less humid than the coastline. Most tourist facilities and transport tour services are air-conditioned and suitable for those on long haul experiences. As storms and heavy rains can occur during summer, minor flooding can cut access towns you may be travelling to. The most temperate weather occurs between the beginning of April and the end of October. For those heading to the remote areas of Outback Queensland, we recommend checking the road and weather conditions prior to your adventure. For more details on our weather click here.

Heavy Vehicle & Single Lane Driving

Always take care when passing and overtaking road trains, heavy vehicles and other caravans. If you need to overtake, then ensure you have a clear line of sight, allow plenty of room and be prepared for large vehicles to move a little from side to side as you pass. Remember that if a road train is approaching to overtake you, move as far to the left as possible and stop if necessary to allow it to overtake safely. Always be patient of the stock, kangaroos and emu friends when travelling. It always pays to be vigilant when driving in the Outback, given kangaroos tend to be most active during sunrise, sunset and at night.

 View the Outback’s Frequently Asked Questions

Station Properties

Many roads are gated and cross station properties. The rule of the Outback is to leave gates in the same way that you find them. If the gate is closed when you get there, close it after you drive through, if it is open as you drive through, leave it open.

Visitor Information Centres

Outback at Isa can help you grab the latest local and regional information for our surrounding areas. If you’re on your way here, all regional Outback Queensland Visitor Information Centres will carry any local information you should require for your journey.  Click here to view the list of the accredited Visitor Information Centres in Outback Queensland.

Ever thought about investing in Mount Isa? Our latest Investment Prospectus showcases the abundance of investment opportunities in Mount Isa. With a comprehensive overview of industries and mining operations in Mount Isa and the good signs of things to come, the 2019 Investment Prospectus is the first produced by Mount Isa City Council in many years.

Positive signs for healthy growth and investment have been making waves recently. We’ve seen a mining industry resurgence, strong rental market activity and rising house prices, in the last 12 months alone. With so  much  growth and  potential  in recent years,  Mount Isa is the perfect place to invest, be it in property, business or industry.

Mount Isa City Council celebrates a wealth of talent, success and creativity in our community. Our city is home to professionals, educators, artists, musicians, tradespeople, health workers, business owners, community leaders and many other passionate and successful people, from many different backgrounds. 

Aimed at informing and communicating with our community and residents as readily as possible, our corporate publications are the best ways to see Mount Isa City Council’s vision and success unfolding.

Keep up to date with our publication’s and plans here, as well as our social media for updates on all things Mount Isa, its people, businesses and residents.

Want to know about investing in Mount Isa? Check out our latest Investment Prospectus

Economic Development Strategy

Mount Isa City Council Operational Plan 2017 – 2018

Corporate Plan 2018 – 2023

2017-18 Mout Isa City Council Annual Report

The Mount Isa to Townsville Economic Development Zone (MITEZ) a regional development organisation covering seven local government areas – Mount Isa, Cloncurry, McKinlay, Richmond, Flinders, Charters Towers and Townsville

Keep up to date with the latest news from MITEZ with their newsletters, annual reports and updated resource list.

MITEZ, September Newsletter

Other industry updates available here

Keep up to date with local industry updates from some of Mount Isa’s most prominent industry employers.


Industry updates
Mount Isa to Townsville Economic Development Zone

Mount Isa Mines Industry Updates

industry updates
Glencore’s quarterly publication

Mount Isa City Council

Mount Isa is a learning hub for those looking to develop skills, training or higher education. With a University campus, TAFE and a multitude of registered training organisations there’s plenty of opportunities to gain tickets, experience and qualifications in Mount Isa.

Do you have a training organisation not listed? Contact us today!

Wondering what employment agencies are looking for? Check out our Working in Mount Isa  page