Located only 17km away from Mount Isa city centre, you will find the amazing jewel of manmade Lake Moondarra. This beautiful water body rests along the Leichardt River, offering an attraction with totally different spectrum from its adjacent Rodeo Capital of bull, cowboys and earth drilling. Lake Moondara was originally a dam built for Mount Isa Mines and is currently supplying water to the city.
So, whether you are looking for some solitude and closeness to nature or a place to unwind and relax with friends and family, Lake Moondarra makes for an excellent choice for serenity and fun in the sun.
Read on to discover how you can fully enjoy and appreciate the beauty of Lake Moondarra while exploring Mount Isa.
1. Enjoy the journey
The road leading to Lake Moondarra itself is already worthy of a mention.
With quiet, scenic roads and a variety of spectacular landscapes, the sealed road from Mount Isa to Lake Moondarra that follows the shoreline of the lake is a paradise for both cyclists and motorists. Upon arriving, you will be welcomed by the shimmering glory of the lake.
Don’t feel shy to take a dip into the large pool after you have peeled off your sweaty helmet as you will instantly feel refreshed and revitalised.
2. Take in the nature
The beauty of Lake Moondarra is complemented by the nature surrounding it.
A walk across the dam wall provides an excellent lookout point where you get to take in the majestic view of the whole lake. On a typical sunny day, you can see the bright blue sky reflected by the gentle, calm surface of the water well balanced by the surrounding rough rocky façade.
Thanks to the lake that provides a sanctuary for wildlife. Pelicans, roosters, peacocks and other fascinating birds are amongst the animals that go about their daily lives and roam freely around the lake.
Simply observing the animals from a distance is a spectacle by itself. And for those who desire to take a step closer and get a little acquainted with the feathery residents, bring along your binoculars and some patience.
We would advise to do it discreetly and beware of your surroundings as you can easily attract a flock of them.
Lake Moondarra is popular amongst the local anglers, and it is not hard to understand why. The experience doesn’t just stop at breathing in fresh scents emitted by the crisp trees surrounding the lake, but also extends to absorbing the ambience of the waves and cool breeze brushing across your face.
What better way to watch the white clouds float by as you relax in the refreshing sunlight? All this pleasantness is purposed to enhance your state of relaxation.
And to top it up, the Mount Isa Fish Stocking Group periodically stocks up the lake with barramundi and other kinds of native fish. With more than 20 different freshwater species from barramundi to saratoga and archerfish to cod, you are bound to reel in a satisfying catch at the lake.
If you are an enthusiastic angler, mark your diary for the last weekend of October every year when the annual three-day fishing classic is hosted right at the lake. The major prize has been very tempting for the past few years with a boat and fishing package being one of them.
4. Have a smoky BBQ and a relaxing picnic
After hours of activities, you can cook up a smoky BBQ of your fresh catch from the lake (free of charge) or prepare in advance your own meat in a chiller box.
Enjoy the moment and relax in the picturesque park or a romantic spot on the grass near the lake while you indulge in the mouth-watering smoked meat with your friends and family. Take in the sights and smells of the lake, and breathe in the fresh air you wouldn’t get in a busy, bustling town.
If you’re looking for something more convenient, you could also just pack your own food instead. A classic pizza with a pint of icy beer, a glass of wine, some coffee or tea, a handful of biscuits, or even a cold sandwich are among the popular pairings for picnics at Lake Moondarra.
If you are coming from Mount Isa city, you may consider some delicious takeaways from any of the cafes or restaurants such as the popular Bar & Grill at Isa Hotel.
One of the best aspects of having an outback style picnic at the lakeside area is the numerous trees providing shade on a sweltering summer day. You can watch your children splash in the water while you kick back and enjoy the fun.
5. Get active
There are plenty of activities that families can do together at Lake Moondarra to create extraordinary memories together. Some of these include boating, tubing, skiing, canoeing, sailing, or just a simple plunge into the water.
If no one wants to get their hair wet, then you will be glad to know that the lakeside has an abundance of space for some run around activities such as kite flying, cycling, or ball games.
Chances are, you’ll all be so distracted by the nature that surrounds you. And, you’re also going to be pre-occupied by all the activities that will help the time fly by even quicker.
As the lake surface reflects the slowly dimming, shimmering warmth of the sun, there is no better way to immerse in the beauty of Lake Moondarra than to make your way through the Wallaby Walk. This higher ground will give you the vantage point to enjoy the most romantic sunset, taking in all of the lake’s glory.
It is without a doubt that Lake Moondarra is truly a hidden recreational gem of Queensland.
As camping is not allowed around Lake Moondarra, you can choose to stay at Mount Isa, which fortunately is not short of wonderful accommodations. One of them which has garnered high ratings from travellers all around is the Isa Hotel located at the heart of the city.
Highly praised for excellent quality service, luxurious comfort and steaks, the Isa Hotel will not disappoint.
So if you are going on a trip to Mount Isa, you definitely should not pass up the chance to spend a day exploring this awe-inspiring artificial lake. After all, it’s only located at a convenient 20 minutes drive away from the city.