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Discover Mt Isa
mt isa rodeoVenture into Queensland's west and you will be met with intriguing countryside and small country towns that will no doubt take you by surprise. A town that is not so small, but in fact dominates the countryside around here, is Mt Isa. This mining city holds a prominent place within this part of the country, and its border extend for hundreds of kilometres in each direction, and include some of the country’s most beautiful national parks. This region is perfect for a driving holiday because there really is no better way to get up close and absorb all that this intriguing outback has to offer.

Once you arrive into Mt Isa, you will be met with some wondrous attractions that will make your time here a time to remember forever. The most obvious attractions of these if of course the mines, which are actually the employment source of a large percentage of the community. These mines also supple and produce some of the worlds richest supply of lead, silver, zinc, copper and ore. Visiting these mines offers a once-in-a-lifetime experience and will also give you a fascinating insight into how these minerals are mined. Upon arrival at the mines you will find the Tourist Information Centre, which has all the information you need, but they do book up quickly so you may need to book early.

While you are at the Tourist Information Centre you may notice some signs that will direct you to the City Lookout. This lookout offers a whole new perspective of the area and introduces you to the beauty and serenity of the surrounding area. The best times to visit are at dawn and dusk; truly spectacular!

If you are keen to find out a little about the history of Mt Isa, head up to the Frank Aston Underground Museum. This museum is home to a well preserved collection of mining equipment from the early years and will take you on a journey through the past. Explore the old chambers and explore the ancient cavities that were once busy with machinery and miners making great wealth for a quickly growing city.

Make sure you pack your swimmers because the beautiful lakes that surround Mt Isa will call your name. Enjoy a beautiful picnic lunch amongst stunning surrounds and relaxin the sunshine as you breath in the fresh country air. Lake Moondarra is closest to the actual city and offers plenty to do, including great barramundi fishing, swimming, plenty of space to relax and enjoy a game of cricket or just explore the shoreline and enjoy the beauty of the lake. If you are up for a bit of a drive, 100 kilometres to be exact, head north to Lake Julius which is just as popular, and home to some incredible birdlife and recreational facilities.

You should definitely leave room for a day trip up to the Clem Walton Park because you will be greeted by a beautiful landmark that is home to and immense lake and an abundance of wildlife and birdlife. Located between Cloncurry and Mt Isa, the drive to this park will reward you with stunning scenery in every direction and perfect photography opportunities.

Outback Queensland is fantastic when it comes to long drives that allow you to discover a wild and diverse beauty. When it comes to the best of Australia's hidden treasures, Lawn Hill Gorge will definitely be near the top of the list. Situated a four hour drive from Mt Isa this is a great place to visit if you are nearby. This pristine area is home to stunning waterfalls, sheer gorges and intriguing bush walks. There are six main walks at Lawn Hill, and one of them covers the entirety of the Constance Range. The views here will taje your breath away and there appears to be wildlife and blue waters in every direction your eyes wander. This four kilometre walk is best undertaken at sunrise or sunset and make sure you remember your camera.

The pristine camping grounds, located next to Lawn Hill creek, are an ideal base for exploration of the gorge, and even if you stay in this area alone you are rewarded with nature at its best. The views are simply indescribable, and the magnitude of the national park will blow you away. You are alone (it seems) in a true oasis, with red earth surrounding you in every direction.

Planning your holiday in Mt Isa is a smart moves because this is a city that offers a truly diverse view of the ever changing Queensland Outback. It is the perfect destination for those searching for a blend of comfort and adventure; beauty and long, red roads all leading to untouched treasures.

Christine Barton

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