A visit to Mount Isa is all about embracing the mining life, celebrating the history and appreciating the unique culture of the land. The harsh, picturesque landscape has barely changed, a big drawcard for visitors each year.
From underground tours and helicopter rides over the towering mine stack to the earth-shaking underground explosions felt through town twice a day, there are lots to experience from the outback city of Mount Isa. There are ample places to fish, and spectacular parks to explore. The rugged terrain is a four-wheeled drivers haven while the city is a melting pot of culture and industry.
To make the most of it all, make sure you pack right. Here are some suggestions as to what you should bring…
The outback summers are hot but far less humid than you find along the coastline. The most temperate weather occurs between April and October with June, July, and August getting quite chilly at night. The wet season is between October and April, however, it’s worth noting that the season’s rainfall is less than 366.7mm of rain.
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. A long-sleeved lightweight shirt is a must, both for colder mornings and to protect against sunburn.
At a minimum, you will need a pair of closed toe shoes and a pair of thongs (flip flops depending on where you’re travelling from). A third pair of waterproof sandals can come in handy too.
Trail runners are a good alternative to hiking boots as they are lightweight and can double as a pair of running shoes. Thongs are great for wearing around town and waterproof sandals are great for short walks to swimming holes, kayaking and scrambling over rocks.
Lake Moondarra is just 17km from the city of Mount Isa and is ideal for swimming, boating, sailing and canoeing. It’s also been stocked with barramundi so you might like to pack your fishing rod too. Permits are not required to fish at Lake Moondarra but catch limits do apply.
If you’re planning on day trips out of Mount Isa, it pays to have a good day pack. For the kids, something like a 1.5l Camelback Mini Mule is ideal, carrying 1.5 litres of water with a small section for snacks. These packs also come with reflective strips and a safety whistle to make kids easy to spot on the trail. For adults, the stylish Osprey Skarab pack is durable, lightweight and made for adventure.
Sunscreen is essential in Australia and 50+ SPF sunscreen is a must-pack for a trip to Mount Isa. Apply sunscreen liberally and evenly to clean dry skin 20 minutes before leaving your accommodation and reapply every two hours. As well as sunscreen, consider sun-protective clothing and always wear a broad brim hat and sunglasses.
Reusable drink bottle
The water in Mount Isa is drinkable from almost every tap so pack a stainless steel or Tritan plastic drink bottle to stay hydrated without the waste. You might also like to pack a water bottle buckle hook holder for staying hydrated on the go.
The Mount Isa scenery is completely unique and deserves to be captured by a decent camera. For taking landscape photos in the strong outback sunlight, keep your ISO down on a low setting and make sure your camera lens is shaded with a lens hood. Don’t forget to pack your camera charger, SD cards, and your tripod or selfie stick too.
First Aid Kit
When you’re hours away from the nearest town, make up your own first aid kit or purchase a ready-made one. Safety Dave’s Outback First Aid Kit is a good choice, containing everything you need for outback travel while staying compact and lightweight.
Mosquito control programs help reduce the rates of human disease caused by mosquitos in Australia but they are still about, especially at dawn and dusk. To protect yourself against mosquito bites, avoid wet areas during peak biting times, wear protective clothing and pack insect repellant. A repellent containing DEET at concentrations of 80% will protect against mosquitos for more than ten hours.
Once you’ve left the comfort of your accommodation you have slim pickings of charging your technologies. To ensure your phone and gadgets stay juiced up, pack a USB rechargeable power bank, ideal for powering your digital devices on the go.
Now that you’re prepared and ready for your trip to Mount Isa, all you need now is a place to stay the night. As the local gem in the heart of Mount Isa, the Redearth Boutique Hotel is the perfect location to unwind after a long day of travel. Check out our lovely accommodation choices and book now!