Mount Isa, Queensland - Australian city (2023)

The famous silver, lead and zinc mining town, known as the 'inland oasis'.

Mount Isa is the largest municipality in western Queensland. This is a city of self-confidence and dynamic mining. Mining is the town's raison d'être and while it dominates the skyline and local economy, Mount Isa feels like little more than just another mining pit. It's a hub of quality accommodation, great restaurants and plenty of activities to keep even the most enthusiastic traveler busy for a week.
Mount Isa boasts of being the largest city in the world. The point of contention is that the city covers 43,188 square kilometres, while the 189km road from Mount Isa to Camooweal is the longest urban road in the world.
The attractions in the area are truly outstanding: underground mining tours are still available, visit an underground hospital created during World War II, see what a mining/company house looked like in the 1930s and visit the excellent National Turf Park Mountain.


Mount Isa is located 1,823 kilometers north-west of Brisbane, passing Toowoomba and Longreach. It is located 904 kilometers west of Townsville, 160 kilometers from the Northern Territory border, at an elevation of 356 metres.

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origin of the name

John Campbell Miles discovered the silver, lead and zinc deposits that led to the formation of Mount Isa and named the settlement in 1923 after the gold deposits at Mount Ida in Western Australia. He never explained why he changed 'Ida' to 'Isa'.

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things to see and do

interior of isau
It's a great stopover destination, offering visitors a Visitor Information Center (for bookings and brochures), the opportunity to book a tour of Hard Times Mine, an indoor park, the Isa Experience, the Riversleigh Fossil Center and a coffee museum .

This unusual exhibition explores the essence of Mt Isa: its cultural diversity, its mining history, the culture of the Aboriginal Kalkadoon, its daily life, through theatrical performances, exhibits and an indoor park (with lagoons and waterfalls and lagoon trails ) and the Mount Isa Fish Hatchery Stocking Group.

Hard Times Mine Tour
Mount Isa is one of the few mines in the country where tourists can still take underground tours. The tour runs 7 days a week and can be booked at the Visitor Information Centre. The tour guide is a man who has been a miner for most of his life. Visitors are given t-shirts and lights with a hat before entering the mine in an Alimak cage. Along the way, guides tell stories of mining and the problems faced by those working deep underground. Tours include tunnels formed and shaped by drilling and scouring equipment. Visitors can see the machinery in use and can also operate the air drill and watch the blast surface being fired. Tour organizers advise participants to wear "light, loose clothing: T-shirt and shorts and don't forget a pair of socks. Extra clothes and boots will be provided." During high season, tours are usually booked two months in advance. Call (07) 4749 1555 or check

Riversley Fossil Center
The Riversleigh Fossil Center at 19 Marianne Street is part of the Isa Outback Experience and aims to introduce visitors to the fossils found in the Riversleigh Fossil Field in Lawn Mountain National Park, once part of Fosley Station, 250km north of Mt Isa. . Everything from the teeth of a bat to the bones of a giant ancient flightless birdDromornoreste- The predecessor of the EMU. The fossils are displayed as dioramas and presented to illustrate discoveries in one of the richest fossil fields in the world. The Riversleigh fossil is a window into the development of the early mammalian megafauna on the Australian continent over the past 30 million years. The center is open daily from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. verify find out more information.

Mount Isa Underground Hospital and Museum
Mount Isa Underground Hospital Located behind Mount Isa Hospital on Camooweal Street (above Joan Street), Mount Isa Underground Hospital was built in 1942 in response to the Japanese threat. The Queensland Heritage List explains the historical context: "The Mount Isa Underground Hospital, built in March/April 1942 on the premises of the Mount Isa Regional Hospital, built by off-duty miners from the Mount Isa mine. Structure built by the Mount Isa Area Designed by the hospital's director, Dr Edward Joseph Ryan. Construction work was supervised by Wally Onton, an underground foreman at the Mount Isa Mines. The Pacific War hit the coast of Australia on 19 February 1942. Darwin was captured of four aircraft carriers in the Timor Sea were bombed by planes on board in a few days, Timor fell to Japan, the Australian cruiser HMASPerthShe was sunk in a naval battle in the Java Sea, while Broome, Derby and Windham in Western Australia and Port Moresby in New Guinea were bombed by Japanese aircraft.
"The threat to Mount Isa appears very real as there appears to be little military opposition in Northern Australia following the destruction of the cities of Darwin and Western Australia. The Mount Isa copper mine is seen as an invaluable strategic resource and is recognized as one of the world's large deposits of copper, lead, zinc and silver, it was thought that, like the Japanese-controlled tin fields and rubber plantations in Malaya and the oil fields in Borneo, the Mount Isa mine was a potential target for invasion forces and air raids.In response to the perceived threat, Dr. Edward Ryan decided to take precautionary measures to protect Mount Isa District Hospital from air Subway Foreman Wally Onton While overseeing the project, the company supplied all the equipment for the project, which was volunteered by miners from Mt Isa. Drilling, blasting and cleaning were mostly completed within two weeks, with equipment costing a few extra hours. The work took place between March and April 1942, during which tunnels of approximately 100 m were excavated. For more details see
heQueensland's Second World War Historic Siteswebsite ( Note: "Restoration work from 1997 to 2001 restored the tunnel to what it looked like in 1942, based on old photographs. Some of the original furniture has been reinstalled from storage elsewhere on the hospital grounds. Beth Anderson Museum Visitor Basement Access hospital south entrance and central entrance exit. The north entrance remains closed and has not been rebuilt." From April to September, the museum is open daily from 10:00 am. to 2:00 p.m. Phone: 0407 514 918.

Historically, the Mount Isa set was located on Fourth Avenue, but moved in 2014. It is now in the same space as the Municipal Museum and Underground Hospital. A legal statement at the time of its construction in 1937 explained that it was "a three-room house, galvanized iron walls and drum roof, galvanized iron roof, iron clapboards, clapboards and floors. House valued at £30, plus a bathroom and shed The construction of this style of low-cost housing began at Mount Isa Mines in 1932. The miners lived in very primitive conditions and J. L. Urquhart, interested in mining companies, began to develop Mount Isa as a company town. His first act was to build housing with low rent reasonable quality. The thermal barriers and simple design were a huge improvement over the original miners' dormitories. These houses were vital to the development of Mt Isa. They played a vital role in making the town It wasn't just mining that played a role mining.

(Video) Top 5 Best Tourist Places to Visit in Mount Isa, Queensland | Australia - English

Located on Lookout Road, Hilary Street, City Lookout offers panoramic views of Mt Isa, not only giving visitors an orientation but also providing excellent photo opportunities. At night, the lookout is a welcome plus, as the lights from streetlights and mine shafts make Mt Isa look beautiful. The sunsets are also spectacular.

Mount Isa Aviation School
Mount Isa Aviation School is located at 137-143 Abel Smith Parade (east of the city centre) and was opened in 1964 to meet the needs of children in remote Western Queensland. By 2001, 230 students from 120 families were enrolled in the school. Most families live in stations within a 450km radius of Mt Isa. The average class size is 7 people (ideally a class should be between 5-10 people) and each lesson usually lasts 30 minutes. There are 5 studies and 5 study sessions that can be done simultaneously. School inspections available: open from 10:00am. to 5:00 p.m. rice. to 3:00 p.m. Guided tours take place at 10:00 am. rice. Contact the Mount Isa Visitor Information Centre, Isa Outback, 19 Marian Street, Tel: (07) 4749 1555.

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Other attractions in the area

Moon Dala Lake
Located 17 kilometers north of the city center is the Mundara Reservoir lake, formed by a dam on the Leichhardt River. It supplies water from the Mt Isa mine and the town. It was built between 1956 and 1958 at a cost of $1.7 million, funded by Mount Isa Mines. Today it is a popular picnic and recreation destination, with ski jumps, punts, water sports facilities, large barramundi and black bass (it is home to the Lake Moondarra Barramundi Fishing Classic).

Cloncurry - Mount Isa Highway
The road from Cloncurry to Mount Isa is rugged and dramatic. The area appears to be similar to the MacDonnell Ranges in central Australia. The reason for this is that, like the MacDonnells, the Selwyn Ranges are very old. These mountains have been eroded to the bone, causing their beds to twist erratically in a thousand different directions. The people on Mount Isa will tell you that these mountains are the oldest exposed land on Earth, and you will be inclined to believe them. Clem Walton Park (on the main road between Cloncurry and Mt Isa) has a lovely pond with lots of birds.

Turf Mountain State Park
Located 315 kilometers north of Mount Isa, Lawn Mountain Canyon is one of the wonders of the Savannah Bay region. Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park has a real inner magic. It is hundreds of kilometers from any city and is a beautiful and quiet place. Kayak along Lawn Hill Canyon surrounded by cabbage palms, pandanus, eucalyptus and water lilies, then dive into the crystal clear waters of Indari Falls, a reminder of the pristine perfection of this little-known wonderland.
The highlight of Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park is the 60m high Turf Hill Gorge, which has been occupied by Aboriginal people for at least 30,000 years. Erosion caused by underground streams has created a beautiful oasis of clear fresh water, red rocks and green vegetation. You can hire canoes and there are some nice swimming spots along the river.
Located in the remote highlands of North West Queensland, the park includes world heritage gorges, sandstone ridges and fossils.
Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park lies in the ancient sandstone of the Constance Range, between the Barkley Plateau to the south-west and the black soil of the Savannah Bay Plain to the east. Lawn Hill Creek and the Gregory and O'Shanassy Rivers flow year-round, contrasting with the dry and hot landscape during the dry season.

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* Prior to European settlement, the area was occupied by the Kalkadoon First Nations people.

* The Kalkadoon Aborigines resisted the arrival of pastoralists in the 1870s and early 1880s.

* Copper has been mined in the area since the 1880s.

* Aboriginal resistance ended when local police and white settlers retaliated with bloody massacres in 1884.

(Video) Mount Isa City of Opportunity 2021

* Falling copper prices in the early 1920s led to the closure of the company.

* In February 1923, prospector John Campbell Miles discovered large deposits of silver, lead and zinc.

* In the months following February 1923, Cloncurry filed more than 500 claims, but these were gradually consolidated into two large companies.

* Mount Isa Mines Ltd was established in 1924.

* There is a school at the end of 1924, part of the land has been measured. The local post office opened that year.

* By 1925, Mount Isa Mines Ltd had taken over all the leases for the field.

* Segregation and lack of amenities proved an early problem, so Mount Isa Mines began building a company town with low-rent housing and amenities in 1927.

* The railway arrived from Townsville in 1929. The Catholic Church was sent by the Duchess that year.

* By 1929, Mount Isa Mining Limited owned 370 hectares in the area.

* The cost of developing the mine in such a remote location was too high for the original Australian and British shareholders, and in the mid-1930s the US Smelting and Refining Corporation dominated production by providing millions of dollars to complete the processing plant and start the construction.

*By 1932, the cost of setting up the mine had reached around £4 million.

(Video) Downtown Mount Isa walk around

* Profit not accrued until 1937.

* In 1942, when a particularly large copper mine was discovered, the Australian government encouraged its exploitation amid strategic wartime material shortages.

* Mount Isa Mines Ltd's first dividend was paid in 1947.

* In 1948, Mount Isa Mines Ltd built a pool for the town.

* Copper was the main source of income in the 1950s.

* In 1955, Mount Isa Mines was the largest mining company in the world.

* In 1956 he opened a motel.

* In 1958 the Leichhardt River was dammed into Lake Moondarra, providing a guaranteed water supply for the town and mine.

* In 1960, the main hospital with 80 beds was completed.

* In the early 1960s, large areas of the Mount Isa housing complex were removed because they were in useful ores.

* In 1964, the Royal Flying Doctors moved their headquarters from Cloncurry to Mount Isa.

(Video) Mount Isa & Cloncurry travel video guide Queensland Australia

* Major industrial action took place in 1964-65. The dispute became so heated that the Queensland government declared martial law in the city.

* Mount Isa was declared a city in 1968.

*The local civic center opened in 1974.

* In 1976, more than 40 percent of the city's workforce worked in the mines.

* Today, Mount Isa is one of the most mechanized and profitable mines in the world. Owned by Glencore.

*Glencore acquired the Mount Isa mine in 2013. It now employs 20 percent of the Mount Isa workforce.

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visitor information

Outback en Isa Visitor Centre, 19 Marian Street, tel: (07) 4749 1555.

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useful pages

There is a useful local website you can visit

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(Video) Mount Isa - The City You Haven't Seen Yet


Is Mt Isa a town or city? ›

The City shares a boundary with the Northern Territory to the West and includes the township of Camooweal, located 191 kilometres to the North West. This makes Mount Isa the second largest city in Australia.

Is Mount Isa a good place to live? ›

The Mount Isa community is like an extended family that meets regularly at places like the family fun park, town pool, the lake, live music and entertainment venues, the golf course or the local cinema. Moving to Mount Isa certainly doesn't mean you need to leave your big city comforts behind.

Is Mt Isa the largest city in Australia? ›

With a land area of more than 43,000 square kilometres, Mount Isa City is Australia's second largest city by land area, second only to Kalgoorlie-Boulder in Western Australia.

What state is Mt Isa in Australia? ›

The City of Mount Isa is a local government area in north west Queensland. The City covers the urban locality of Mount Isa, the administrative centre, and surrounding area, sharing a boundary with the Northern Territory to the west.

What is Mount Isa famous for? ›

Mount Isa's existence and its main financial base is the huge Mount Isa Mine, the world's largest single producer of copper, silver, lead and zinc. In 1923, John Campbell Miles found a silver-lead ore outcrop. This rich deposit is still producing high volumes of ore and is classed as one of the world's great mines.

What is the closest town to Mount Isa? ›

The nearest town to Mount Isa is Cloncurry about 106 km away. Cloncurry has a population of about around 2,700 (based on the 2001 census).

Does it get cold in Mt Isa? ›

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!

What is the average rent in Mount Isa? ›

Mount Isa has a population of 18,668 people and 34.17% of its occupants live in rental accommodation. The median listing price for houses is $310,000 and this has changed -4.62% over the past year and changed 1.63% over 2 years. The median rent in for houses is $460 per week and the median rental yield is 7.71%.

Is Mt Isa expensive? ›

The mining town of 20,000 residents has earned a name as one of the most expensive places to live in Queensland.

What is the main industry in Mt Isa? ›

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.

What is the economy of Mount Isa? ›

Mount Isa is the largest economic, logistic and services centre for a huge portion of Northern Australia. It is a 'hub' of demand and supply for services including business, health, education, retail and wholesaling, transport, mechanical repairs and hotels and restaurants/cafes.

What climate zone is Mount Isa in? ›

Zone 3 - northern central Australia from Carnarvon on the Western Australian coast across the deserts to Alice Springs and north of Tennant Creek (Northern Territory), to Mount Isa (Queensland) and down the Queensland hinterland to the New South Wales border, but not the coast, and to Charleville (Queensland).

Does Mount Isa flood? ›

Floodwaters in Mount Isa are extremely dangerous.

Is Mount Isa rural or remote? ›

The Mount Isa and surrounds area of our North Queensland region is made up of Mount Isa and some of the region's most remote communities.

Is it safe to stay in Mt Isa? ›

Mount Isa has been dubbed the Alice Springs of Queensland as new police data reveals the city's crime rate is the worst in the state.

What do you wear to Mount Isa? ›

The best clothing to pack is patterned or dark, lightweight layers that will help you stay cool during the day and warm in the mornings and evenings. Avoid light coloured clothing – the red dirt of outback Australia is unforgiving on light coloured clothing.

What is a fun fact about Mount Isa? ›

Mount Isa proudly claims to be the largest city in the world. The argument is that the city extends for 43,188 square kilometres, and that the road from Mount Isa to Camooweal, a distance of 189 km, is the longest city road in the world.

Are there Crocs in Mt Isa? ›

According to the Mount Isa Water Board, there's at least 50 freshwater crocodiles in the Lake - and that's just counting the ones that have been spotted.

What is the largest city in the world Mt Isa? ›

Mount Isa City municipality covers an area of over 43,310 square kilometres, making it geographically the second largest city in the world to Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Western Australia.

Is there public transport in Mount Isa? ›

Public transport in Mount Isa is limited to taxis only. The taxi number is 131 008. However, there are a number of car hire companies that service the region. Mount Isa Airport is located 8 kilometres from Buchanan Park and taxis can be called on arrival.

Can you drink the water in Mt Isa? ›

Is Mount Isa's water safe to drink? Yes. Mount Isa's water is safe. The Mount Isa Water Board conducts more than 10,000 water-quality tests per year to ensure the water meets Australian Drinking Water Guidelines.

How hot does Mount Isa get in summer? ›

Mount Isa summer

There's no getting around it, Mt Isa summers can get very hot. Summer days can be hot and windy with 40 degrees temperatures not uncommon. According to the most recent Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) statistics, December averages 7.5 days per month over 40 degrees, while January averages 5.6.

What is the hottest month in Mount Isa? ›

Average Temperature in Mount Isa

The hot season lasts for 5.3 months, from October 13 to March 22, with an average daily high temperature above 93°F. The hottest month of the year in Mount Isa is December, with an average high of 97°F and low of 74°F.

How much should rent be 70k? ›

The general rule of thumb is that you should spend no more than 30% of your gross income — that is, your income before taxes — on housing per year.
What percentage of your income should go to rent?
Annual gross incomeMaximum monthly rent
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Jun 22, 2022

How much do Americans pay for rent on average? ›

The rent-to-income ratio was calculated by comparing the national median household income, $71,721, with the average monthly rent, $1,794, for 2022. The current 30 percent figure is an increase from 28.5 percent in 2021, and from 25.7 percent in 2020.

What percentage of income goes to rent on average? ›

A study published by Forbes Home found that California renters spend an average of 28.47% of their income on rent. The data is based on the average California annual income of $76,614. California's average monthly rent in 2021 was $1,818 — which includes the state as a whole.

What suburbs to avoid in Mount Isa? ›

Avoid Pioneer, Sunset (most of) and Mornington.

Does it snow in Mt Isa? ›

When can you find snow in Mount Isa? Weather stations report no annual snow.

What language did the Aboriginals speak in Mount Isa? ›

Kalkatungu (also Kalkutungu, Galgadungu, Kalkutung, Kalkadoon, or Galgaduun) is an extinct Australian Aboriginal language formerly spoken around the area of Mount Isa and Cloncurry, Queensland.

What ethnic group is Mount Isa? ›

Mount Isa is situated on the traditional lands of the Kalkadoon people who followed patterns of hunting and gathering, fishing and trade for many thousands of years before the arrival of the first Europeans.

What is the biggest indigenous tribe in the world? ›

China is the country with the biggest indigenous population in absolute terms. More than 125 million indigenous people – Tibetans, Uyghurs, Zhuang and 52 other recognized groups – still make up only 8.9 percent of the Chinese population.

What foods are produced in Mount Isa? ›

What to eat in Mount Isa? 4 Local Foods You Have To Try in Mount Isa
  • Jam. Rosella Jam. Queensland. Australia. shutterstock. Wanna try? ...
  • Slipper Lobster. Moreton Bay Bug. Brisbane. Australia. shutterstock. Wanna try? ...
  • Herb. Lemon Myrtle. Queensland. Australia. shutterstock. Wanna try? ...
  • Nuts. Macadamia. Queensland. Australia. shutterstock.

Where does Mt Isa get its electricity? ›

Mica Creek Power Station is located 5 km south of Mount Isa in north-west Queensland, Australia.
Mica Creek Power Station
Primary fuelNatural gas
Turbine technologySteam turbine and gas turbine
Combined cycle?5 units
Power generation
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Is Mt Isa in a desert? ›

Surrounded by arid desert, Mount Isa has been nicknamed the Oasis of the Outback.

What is the unemployment rate in Mount Isa? ›

Unemployment rate remains at 3.4 per cent | The North West Star | Mt Isa, QLD.

What is the future of Mount Isa? ›

Glencore's 300,000 t/y Mount Isa copper smelter in Queensland has been pegged to close in 2023. However, Glencore has pointed to extending the life of the operation to 2026.

Who owns Mt Isa mines? ›

Glencore acquired Mount Isa Mines in May 2013.

What is the coldest temperature on Mount Isa? ›

Min temp history
Coldest ever1.8°31/05/2011
Coldest this year9.4°01/05/2023
Coldest this month9.4°01/05/2023
Long term average13.9°
Average this month14.4°
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How far is Mount Isa from the ocean? ›

Mount Isa is about 361m above sea level. Mount Isa is one of the westernmost cities in Queensland. The nearest sea is the Arafura Sea which is part of the Indian Ocean about 340km north of Mount Isa.

Does it rain in mt isa? ›

A yellow cell indicates a probable monthly record for this site (sites with ≥ 10 years of records only). The number of years of records available for the relevant field for this month is indicated in black.
Mount Isa Rainfall Reports.
daterain to 9aminterval
Jan-May 1967-2023 Average Total306.928.1 day(s)
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Will Mount Isa boom again? ›

The tide is beginning to turn for the Mount Isa housing market after a few tough years. National property market analyst Simon Pressley said the next five years is expected to be better than the past five in Mount Isa. “The property markets' biggest influence is the local economy,” Mr Pressley said.

How does pollution affect Mount Isa? ›

Mount Isa hosts copper, lead, zinc and silver mines, with 17 facilities reporting pollutants of concern to the NPI. Mines in around the city emitted 400,000 tonnes of sulfur dioxide, 3,800 tonnes of oxides of nitrogen and 860kg of mercury and compounds in the air in the 2020/21 reporting period, according to the NPI.

Will the flooding in Yellowstone affect the volcano? ›

Will the historic flooding cause any changes in seismic, hydrothermal, or volcanic activity in Yellowstone National Park? Probably not immediately, and possibly not at all. Most of the rainfall and snowmelt from the recent flooding ended up in rivers draining the area, but some of the water percolated into the ground.

Is Mt Isa a nice place to live? ›

The Mount Isa community is like an extended family that meets regularly at places like the family fun park, town pool, the lake, live music and entertainment venues, the golf course or the local cinema. Moving to Mount Isa certainly doesn't mean you need to leave your big city comforts behind.

What is the closest airport to Mount Isa? ›

The nearest airport to Mount Isa is Mount Isa (ISA) Airport which is 6.4 km away. Other nearby airports include Cloncurry (CNJ) (105.4 km).


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