Mount Isa Rodeo Festival

HIT the highway(s) to a hell of a good time – all roads lead to Mount Isa

Pack the car, download the rodeo road trip tunes and prepare to hit the highway(s) to a hell of a good time at the Mount Isa Mines Rodeo Festival – August 5 to 13

In the Queensland Outback, they reckon all roads lead to Mount Isa, and while that saves on having to ask locals for directions, it’s actually only three roads, but they are three of the most iconic in Matilda Way, Capricorn Way and Overlanders Way.
So before you settle in to watch the rodeo action this August, take your time in getting there and linger a little longer in the Outback.

Because life really is a highway in the Queensland Outback –

Matilda Way: this epic outback adventure starts in the South East Corner and Brisbane. Head west on Warrego Way and link up to Matilda Way at Charleville, where the Cosmos Centre shows the stars in their full majesty. From there, head to Tambo and pick up your first souvenir, the Tambo Teddy – a cuddly handmade bear whose namesake has made this little town world famous. From there, 100km up the road is Blackall – home of the legendary Jack Howe, who put this town on the map after setting a world record for hand-sheared sheep – 321 sheep in seven hours and 40 minutes. He still holds that record to this day! From Blackall, drop in for a cold one at The Wellshot Hotel in Ilfracombe, voted the best Outback pub in Queensland last year. Then – on to Longreach, check out the town’s pioneer slab hut accommodation, Salt Bush Retreat for a great night or more. The final stop before Mount Isa is Australia’s own Jurassic Park, the paleontological town of Winton and home to the Age of Dinosaurs Museum as well as the Waltzing Matilda Centre. From there – it’s on to Mount Isa, and rodeo fever!

Capricorn Way: leaving from Rockhampton, the Capricorn Way heads west and links up to Matilda Way. If you’re a human magpie and love precious stones and all things shiny, then the Capricorn Way is your way to go. The first stop is Mount Hay Park where you can fossick for ancient volcanic thundereggs (similar to geodes), then to the Central Highlands gemfields to the west of Emerald and Rubyvale, where you can try your luck digging for sapphires! Keep heading west to Barcaldine, home of the Tree of Knowledge – the remains of the old ghost gum and the birth of the Australian Labor movement. From there, onwards to Mount Isa.

Overlanders Way: the Overlanders Way takes from the reef to rodeo, departing Townsville for the 904-kilometre drive. First stop is Charters Towers, the centre of an internationally noted goldfield (fun fact: Charters Town was considered the second most important city in Queensland during the gold rush in the 19th century due to production of gold, peaking at 319,572 ounces in 1899). Next up is Australia’s Grand Canyon, the Porcupine National Gorge in Hughenden, named after the Porcupine Creek which eroded the landscape to form this chasm. On down the highway and Richmond where the giant sea monster known as the Kronosauraus ruled (yes it’s the home of incredible fossils), and then check-in to Julia Cree for a long, hot soak in the artesian baths. Cloncurry, the birthplace of the Royal Flying Doctor Service and a fantastic Outback town, is the last stop before the Mount Isa Mines Rodeo!

Check it out here:

So, give yourself some extra time and turn your rodeo road trip into a two-part adventure: a tour through the heart of Queensland’s Outback, then a boot scootin’ good time at the Southern Hemisphere’s largest rodeo!

Mount Isa Rodeo Festival highlights include:

Saturday 5th August: Bell and Moir Toyota Rodeo Arena Ball
THE MOST glamorous country hoedown, held on the famous red dirt of the open-air rodeo arena, raising funds for Mount Isa-based charities. Prepare your rhinestones and sequins and get ready to boot scoot ‘til late!

Tuesday 8th August: Isa Rodeo Hall of Fame BBQ Dinner
Celebrating the pioneers and champions of the Mount Isa Mines Rodeo with four new inductees announced.

Wednesday 9th August: Isa Street Festival featuring Darryl Braithwaite
A street parade for the ages in Mount Isa, headlined by the man himself, Darryl Braithwaite, who will pay tribute to the horses of the rodeo with his most famous song.

Thursday 10th August: Mount Isa Mines Indigenous Rodeo Championships featuring Jessica Mauboy
The second year of the Mount Isa Indigenous Rodeo Championships will see more records set, and indigenous riders celebrated, before Jessica Mauboy takes to the stage, with DJ Deadly Jacob hosting.
A Welcome to Country and cultural performance by the Sundowners Kalkutungu Dancers and the spectacular Komet Torres Strait Islander Arts and Culture Dance Group.
Don’t miss Dancing Dexter in the Red Dirt Arena, the crowd-pleasing Bull Fighter from last year’s Mount Isa Mines Indigenous Rodeo Championships!

Friday 11th to 13th August: Mount Isa Mines Rodeo
Returning champions and contenders go ride for ride in the Southern Hemisphere’s largest rodeo and the third largest rodeo in the world.
Entertainment includes The Angels, The Screaming Jets, O’SHEA, Furnace and the Fundamentals, and Luke Geiger
The Shank Brothers return with their infamous Hot Chilli Wing Challenge – register for one of their HEATS!
NEW – Bell and Moir Toyota Kalkadoon Bar & Grill for lunch and dinner – a new dining offering which includes a two course menu prepared by Chef Jason Peppler, beer and wine and outstanding views of the rodeo arena hosted by Channel Seven’s Kimberley Busteed and a bunch of good friends. Bookings essential.
An incredible 5m high inflatable boot as part of our Kids Zone – perfect for rodeo selfies!

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