A time-honoured tradition of the Australian outback and the largest rodeo in the southern hemisphere – the 60th Mount Isa Mines Rotary Rodeo is happening this year from 8-11 August 2019 at none other than the spectacular city of Mount Isa. Planning for a few more activities outside the Rodeo will add colour to your trip especially if you are travelling with the young ones and definitely take your vacation up a notch. As with all vacation, the ultimate goal is to have fun with minimum hiccups. So, having a plan in place and being equipped with some background knowledge of the destination is important to kickstart the journey. Here’s what you should know about Mt Isa Rodeo and a few tips on how to make your trip a memorable one, for all the good reasons.
Mount Isa, a charming city surrounded by the Australian Outback is originally popular for being one of the most productive single mines in the world history and now home to the southern hemisphere’s largest rodeo. Known as the oasis of the outback, Mount Isa has plenty to offer for travellers from all directions. Ranging from wild beauty of the picturesque landscape, rugged terrain, national park, fossil fields, Mount Isa has it all.
If you want to spend some time away in a spectacular lush, green oasis or create an unforgettable picnic/ fishing experience, make your way to Lake Moondarra where the lake water is stocked with fish and the surrounding trees are home to an array of birds. For those who just want to lay back in a remote wilderness with a rugged beauty that stretches far into the horizon, you will be glad to know that Barkly Tablelands with rolling plains of grassland run from Mount Isa west to the Northern Territory.
Thanks to its rich history as a mining city, you must not miss the underground mining tour at Hard Times Mine which is an eye-opening experience. To participate in the tour, you must be properly geared with overalls and cap lamps. An experienced miner will be your guide while you slowly descend into the underground mine and explore with the enthralling events unfold with every step that you take. Next, ascend into the sky for a city lookout which is located on Hillary Street where you can see the bustling metropolitan and Buchanan Park which is home to the Mt Isa Rodeo.
There are many modes of transport which you can take to go to Mount Isa. It is easily accessible by air with direct flights to and from its very own Mount Isa Airport. REX Airlines, the Rodeo’s official air carrier has connecting flights throughout Queensland and regional Australia. To make it even more convenient for travellers, there will be a comfy coach shuttle service running from the Mount Isa Airport for Rodeo. Queensland Rail and Bus Queensland also provide service for travellers who wish to take the train or bus respectively from Brisbane and Townsville.
Mount Isa has some superb hotels, motels and caravan parks surrounding the Buchanan Park that are within walking distance. For example, the popular Redearth Boutique Hotel that features a lush vibe that is boastful of their customer experience with friendly, welcoming staff that will make your stay an absolute pleasure. Not to mention, the boutique hotel is also strategically located at just 1.8km away from the Rodeo. Accommodation may be at a premium during the 4 day event and many rooms are booked up a year in advance, so it’s always worth booking early. If you are looking to camp at Buchanan Park itself, then you must act fast and book now as the vast majority of the Rodeo-goers prefer to camp nearby the Rodeo.
Whether you are here for the concerts or the food or the rodeo itself, here’s your complete guide to having the time of your life at the Mount Isa Rodeo.
1. Activities to expect
For first time goers, you will be astonished by non-stop rodeo action ranging from bull riding, saddle bronc, rope & tie, steer wrestling, barrel racing to breakaway roping. For the faint-hearted ones, you may be pleased to know that the Mt Isa Rodeo is more than just man and beast. There are also live rodeo rock concerts and plenty of food for every appetite. It is a celebration after all!
2. Isa Street Festival
That is the appetiser before the Rodeo itself to get the vibe started. Don’t miss it as the Isa street festival will be held in the Mount Isa CBD on Rodeo Drive to welcome visitors on the Wednesday night of the rodeo week with free community concert being staged.
To fit into the east meets west ambience and a perfect chance to flaunt for the dress-up occasion, wear the right rodeo fashion essentials from head to toe. The usual suspects of leather and jeans such as cowboy boots, blue jeans, cowboy hat, button-up western shirt, leather belt, with silver belt buckle need to be part of your rodeo outfit. Oh and don’t forget to wear a piece of statement jewellery (ladies) or a neck scarf (gents) to complete your look!
4. Stay hydrated
The rodeo may be in winter but it is still very important to stay hydrated especially when it’s very natural to have your attention focused on the fun surrounding activities. Bringing a reusable water bottle or hydration pack is the key to avoid waiting in a long queue and shelling out a few dollars for a small bottle of water every time when thirst hits. Also, set a reminder to drink water on your phone at an hourly interval.
If you want to have an amazing time with your loved ones this winter, then don’t miss a chance to get mesmerised by the vibrant aura of the Mount Isa and the most celebrated Mt Isa Rodeo this winter. With so much to do here, you will not have a chance to be bored. So what are you waiting for? Grab your tickets now!