Mount Isa is a city in the Gulf Country region of Queensland, Australia.
The city came into existence soon after 1923 when John Campbell Miles discovered a rich seam of silver-lead on the western edge of the Cloncurry field.
It was named after the Mount Ida goldfields in Western Australia. Mount Isa was proclaimed a city in 1968 when the population had reached 18,000.
Mount Isa has a great climate with an average of 9.5 hours of sunshine a day and only 50 wet days per year. There are two distinct seasons – the wet season from November to March and the dry season centred on June, July and August. Summer months are hot, with average minimums in the low 20s (degrees Celsius) and maximums in the high 30s.
Mount Isa is a mining town, which mines for copper, lead, silver and zinc, and has got a nickname by locals as 'The Isa'. Today Mount Isa is one of the largest producers of both lead and silver, in the Western world. It is also home to a large Rodeo, held in August.
The Leichhardt River divides the town, with the town centre on the eastern side of the river, and the mining areas on the western side. You can find out more about mining in the area by joining one of the tours around the mine itself. You can either follow the underground tour which is really good, or if you don't feel brave enough follow the surface tour.
There are plenty of attractions around Mount Isa, with something for everyone. You can see various historical artifacts at the Frank Aston Museum, learn about the local Aboriginal community at the Kalkadoon Tribal Centre and Cultural Keeping Place, see a display of fossils at the Riversleigh Fossils Interpretive Centre, and learn about the School of Distance Education.
If you would prefer something more active, then head to Lake Moondarra, which is a boating lake. You can also join a tour from Mount Isa to the wonderful Lawn Hill National Park.
Around Mount Isa there is a wide selection of accommodation, with several campsites and motels around the town. There are also a number of good restaurants, and some great pubs which often have live bands playing.
Mount Isa Gallery (Visitor Photographs)
Destinations within Outback