Mount Isa is a city and quite a large one at that. It came into existence because of the vast mineral deposits found in the area. Mount Isa Mines is one of the most productive single mines in world history—based on combined production of lead, silver, copper and zinc. With a population of about 20,000 in the city and 31,000 in the surrounding district, Mount Isa is the administrative, commercial and industrial centre for the state's vast, 'rough and ready' north-western region.
In a area of hills, there is a lookout that provides an excellent view of the mine and over the township. Groups congregate with cameras around sunset, but we found the daytime view more impressive. Judge for yourself.
During the day:
Mt Isa claims to be the Rodeo capital of Australia and the water tanks on the hillside make sure everyone is aware of this.
Local heroes in the rodeo have their bronze plaques that are set into the pavement on Rodeo Drive (a famous name in Los Angeles too, just a tad different though).
Preserved as a piece of historic memorabilia we found a tent house. Having never heard of such a thing, we had to go and view it. There were many such buildings in use earlier in the 20th century apparently, the frame is house-like, but the walls are canvas and the windows are roll-up - in this climate, it's all one needs.
In the historic vein, an underground hospital was built during WW2 in anticipation of a serious attack from Japan.
The Royal Flying Doctor Service has a museum here and I was allowed to try a mock up of a pedal powered short wave radio of the type used by out-lying stations. This brilliant invention revolutionised communications in the outback.