The historic outback town of Cloncurry (population 3,000) is known as the friendly heart of the great north west because it is a welcome crossroads with a sparkling community spirit. Swimming in the river during the wet season and playing cricket in the riverbed during the dry. Street parades, horse races, football matches, and the legendary Curry Rodeo and Merry Muster. It's all part of life in Cloncurry!!!.
The original QANTAS hangar, a piece of Australian aviation history, in Cloncurry. Cloncurry is a town of many nicknames: referred to by the locals as "the 'Curry", and proud to call itself the "Friendly Heart of the Great North West" and the "Gateway to the Gulf". The town also lays claim to a number of significant achievments in the State's history. In 1889, Cloncurry set the Australian record for the maximum daytime temperature... at a sweltering 53.1 DEGREES CELSIUS. Cloncurry is also famous for being the arrival point of the first QANTAS flight with a paying passenger back in 1922, and is renowned as the birthplace of the ROYAL FLYING DOCTOR SERVICE.

Cloncurry is almost 1,100 kilometres southwest of Cairns. The first Europeans in the area were explorers BURKE AND WILLS, as they passed through this rugged country in 1860 on their way to the Gulf of Carpentaria. Thanks to the copper mines established later that decade, Cloncurry quickly became one of the most prosperous towns in the outback. The early township's population seesawed with the fluctuating price of copper and gold, and with the productivity of local mines; at one point dropping as low as 40, but always bouncing back. Like many other outback Queensland mining towns, Cloncurry had a large Chinese population, but by 1900 Cloncurry's population also included 200 Afghans working over 2,000 camels.

The Afghans were invaluable immigrants to the country. With their camel trains, they helped to open up the remote backblocks of Australia. Cloncurry was the centre of their enterprise, yet the Afghan cemetery contains just one headstone, which faces north-south to the holy city of Mecca. The Chinese cemetery also only contains one preserved grave, although great numbers of Chinese miners, cooks, gardeners and shop owners must have been buried there.

During World War I, Cloncurry was the main source of Australian copper, with 7,000 people working many mines and four smelters. After a century of boom and bust, Cloncurry entered the 21st century with the biggest mining operations in Australia. Today, the town also services the grazing properties in the surrounding district as an important sales centre for sheep, cattle and horses.

It may be of interest to note the unusual demographics of the town; in 2001 Cloncurry was home to 3,097 males and 1,731 females!

There is great fossicking in the surrounding countryside, or you can take a tour of the Ernest Henry Mine, and see the pit from which 11.5 million tones of ore and 53 million tones of waste are mined each year. At the start of 2006, the mine pit was 335 metres deep and 1,280 metres wide. Local museums will provide a glimpse into the area's fascinating past, and there are a range of regular events in the town, most notably the annual Stockman's Challenge, one of Australia's great horse events, and the first of its kind in the country. This is a genuine stockman's festival where men and women of all standards test their skills in a variety of horse events. The Challenge has become the benchmark for young performance horses in Australia, and stockmen from properties and stations all over Queensland, New South Wales and the Northern Territory start preparing horses years in advance so they can one day have the opportunity to compete at the Challenge.


Zingary Road, Phone (07) 4742 1361.
Ernest Henry Mine is named after the father of Cloncurry, Ernest Henry, who was the first explorer of the district in 1866 together with Roger Sheaffe. Their goal was to find cooper, which made him a living legend as he criss crossed the Queensland ranges looking for it. But it wasn't until the 1880's that he discovered what he was looking for. Soon after, Sheaffe established the first pastoral company in the district, Fort Constantine. Ernest Henry Mine is situated within the present day boundaries of the pastoral property. It was open in 1997 but commercial production did not start until March 1998.

It is possible to visit the mine. It is advised to start with The Pit, which in 2006 was 335 metres deep and 1,280 metres wide, with 11.5 milion tones of ore and 53 million tones of waste mined through the 2004/2005 financial year. Here you can also see the machinery that was used to excavate the material. You will also see a working crusher and a mill where the ore is concentrated to a product ready for smelting.

Do not miss this tour if you want to truly experience what the mining outback means. Tours must be booked at Information Centre afternoon prior to Tour. These leave from the Cloncurry/Mary Kathleen Memorial Park Wednesday & Friday 10.00am May to October.

Corner of Daintree and King Streets, Phone (07) 4742 4125, Fax (07) 474 21989
Open from Mondaty to Friday 8:00am to 4:30pm. Week-ends and Public Holidays open from May to October 9.00am to 3.00pm.(It is closed in December and January).
The John Flynn Place Museum commemorates the founding of the ROYAL FLYING DOCTOR SERVICE. It incorporates the Cloncurry Gardens, the RFDS Museum, Fred McKay Art Gallery, the Allan Vickers Outdoor Theatre and the Alfred Traeger Cultural Centre. If any of those names are unknown to you, then you definitely should head to John Flynn Place, and brush up on your history.

McIlwraith Street, Phone (07) 4742 1361
Open from 8:00am to 4:30pm on weekdays. From May till October also open on weekends and public holidays, from 9:00am to 3:00pm.
The Cloncurry/Mary Kathleen Memorial Park and Museum contains relics from the abandoned uranium mining town of Mary Kathleen, between Cloncurry and Mount Isa. When the contents of this town were auctioned off as the town was closed in 1980, the museum bought a number of different buildings, including the Police Station and Town Office, and some important relics from the site. The sign, which once stood on the road into the town, is prominantly displayed. It proclaims: 'Welcome to Mary Kathleen. This town was built by MK Uranium Ltd for the mining of the uranium deposit discovered by Walton McConickie Prospectors syndicate to produce uranium oxide. The town mine treatment plant and Lake Corella were completed between April 1956 and May 1958 and the project is under the management of CRA Ltd.'

The museum also houses an excellent collection of rocks from the area. Its prize possession is the waterbottle of early explorer Robert O'Hara Burke.

At the Information Centre, on McIlwraith Street, visitors can choose from a wide range of guided and self-guided tours that present the history of Cloncurry and special places in and around the town. The tours will take guide visitors to attractions such as the Mary Kathleen Mine and township site, historic hotels, mining sites both old and new, the Chinese and Afghan cemeteries and the town's Indigenous culture.

Sunset over Chinaman Creeek Dam, Cloncurry CHINAMAN CREEK DAM
When you've had your share of history, Chinaman Creek Dam, three kilometres from the city center, is the perfect spot for a picnic. If you're looking for somewhere to take a dip, this is the place as well. The dam has created a large lake, from which Cloncurry draws its water supply.

The dam is also fantastic for birdwatching and fishing. Birds that can be spotted in the area include; Black-necked Storks, Spinifex Pigeons and, if you are lucky, Pictorella Mannikins.

Chinaman Creek Dam is also an ideal spot from which to view the spectacular outback sunsets.

The Cloncurry Stockman's Challenge is one of Australia's great horse events, and the first of its kind in Australia. Stockmen from all over the country come together in Cloncurry to test their skills in a wide range of competitions and exhibitions. A must see is the bull and bronc ride on Friday night.

All the family will enjoy this entertaining event. The Cloncurry and District Show is famous for its fireworks, but thereÁs a lot more to it than that. An impressive display of heavy machinery, agricultural products, outdoor furniture and ladies finery is complimented with live entertainment, performers and lots of fun.

Over three days visitors can try their skills at fossicking. The Ernest Henry Mine will provide ore body for all of you who want to feel like a real miner. Or if you would rather visit the mine, tours will be departing from the park grounds on Tuesday and Wednesday at 10:00am.

But apart from fossicking, the weekend will be packed with displays, sales and activities for the whole family, including live music, didgeridoo crafting and other Aboriginal art displays and an open air concert on Friday night.

"Let's Rodeo!" People from all over the world come to see this Rodeo, a rodeo like no other, in fact the largest single ride prized event in Australia! A weekend full of excitement and entertainment for everyone.

It is a celebration for the whole community, not only rodeo lovers and locals. Over three days, wandering tourists and locals can enjoy a street festival, a Mardi Gras, rodeo queens, a UTE competition, live entertainment, horse races and of course a rodeo.

See our TROPICAL NORTH QUEENSLAND EVENTS CALENDAR for details of these and other regular events in the region.


Cloncurry offers different types of holiday accommodation to suit every one: from hotels to motels, farmstays where you can sample what's like living in the outback, and caravan parks and campgrounds.


Matilda Highway, Cloncurry
Phone (07) 4742 1599 / Fax (07) 4742 2431
All 40 rooms feature rich coloured rammed earth walls that is so characteristic of the Gidgee Inn. Jarrah furnishings and spinifex coloured carpet compliment the spacious rooms.

5 Scarr Street, Cloncurry
Phone (07) 4742 1389

Ramsay Street, Cloncurry
Phone (07) 4742 1366

Sheaffe Street, Cloncurry
Phone (07) 4742 1411 / Fax (07) 4742 2356

46 Scarr Street , Cloncurry
Phone (07) 4742 1418 / Fax (07) 4742 2290


54 Ramsay Street, Cloncurry
Phone (07) 4742 1866 / Fax (07) 4742 1819

25 McIlwraith Street, Cloncurry
Phone (07) 4742 0786 / Fax (07) 4742 0781

56 Scarr Street, Cloncurry
Phone (07) 4742 2728 / Fax (07) 4742 2133


Matilda Highway, Cloncurry
Phone (07) 4742 5995 / Fax (07) 4742 5995
Rosegreen Station, 90 kilometres north of Cloncurry, offers you station tours and you can help with feeding the animals. Mustering takes place during winter, when it is usually dry and cool, and guests are more than welcome to watch.


Matilda Highway, Cloncurry
Phone (07) 4742 2300 / Fax (07) 4742 2303
With a salt water swimming pool,covered barbecue area, modern facilities, camp kitchen and much more, Gilbert Park Cabins is a very good option for your stay in Cloncurry.

McIlwraith Street, Cloncurry
Phone (07) 4742 2300

McIlwraith Street, Cloncurry
Phone (07) 4742 1313

Phillip Street (2km South of town), Cloncurry
Phone (07) 4742 1606 / Fax (07) 4742 1606


Matilida Highway, Cloncurry
Phone (07) 4742 1599 / Fax (07) 4742 2431
The Gidgee Grill a la carte restaurant offers a large choice of specially created meals. The menu, which changes regularly, features a selection of top quality barramundi and beef sourced fresh from the gulf and surrounding areas.

41 Sheaffe Street, Cloncurry
Phone (07) 4742 1266

11 Scarr Street, Cloncurry
Phone (07) 4742 1389

47 Sheaffe Street, Cloncurry
Phone (07) 4742 1411
Serving lunch from 12:00pm. Dinner from 6:00pm, from Monday to Saturday.


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Cairns Unlimited will find you the best deal on a rental car for your holidays in Tropical North Queensland's Northern Outback.Not everybody will be up for the challenge - and this part of the country does provide its share of challenges - but we believe that the grandeur and vastness of the Northern Outback can be best experienced form behind the wheel of your own vehicle. For the freedom and flexibility to explore at your own pace, please visit our CAR HIRE page. Simply fill out our obligation free enquiry form, and we will get back to you - usually the next working day - with the best deal on a rental car, four wheel drive or campervan to suit your needs.

Major roads in the region are sealed, but there are a number of unsealed roads. Before travelling, be sure to check CURRENT ROAD CONDITIONS. Care should be taken when travelling on roads within this remote region of the Northern Outback, as numerous ROAD TRAINS ply the highways.

Qantas fly to nearby Mount Isa from Brisbane at 9:00am from Monday to Saturday, getting to Mount Isa at 11:45am. On Fridays and Sundays there is a service that leaves Brisbane at 3:05pm and arrives at Mount Isa at 5:50pm. The route from Mount Isa to Brisbane runs from Monday to Saturday, departing from Mount Isa at 12:25pm and arriving at Brisbane at 2:30pm. On Fridays and Sundays another flight leaves Mount Isa at 6:30pm, getting to Brisbane at 8:35pm.

Check availability, compare prices and FIND THE BEST DEAL by entering your requested flight details in our simple Flight Finder above.

The Northern Outback is connected to the east coast (and to Alice Springs and Darwin) by a daily Greyhound bus service that runs from Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory through to Townsville. The bus will stop for passengers at most points in between Mount Isa and Townsville, including Cloncurry, Julia Creek, Richmond, Charters Towers, and a number of other smaller townships along the way. The westbound service departs from Townsville at 7:00am and stops for a meal break in Cloncurry from 4:50pm until 5:40pm. The eastbound stops in Cloncurry from 8:15am to 8.55am for a breakfast break, and gets you into Townsvile at 7:00pm. Drop offs and pickups are at the Cloncurry Agencies, but the meal break is at the *beep beep* Roadrunner Roadhouse.

Greyhound also offers a daily service from Brisbane to Cloncurry and Mount Isa, which takes just over 24 hours and passes through a number of interesting southern Queensland outback towns. Departures are southbound from Mount Isa at 6:50am, stopping in Cloncurry for breakfast from 8.10am until 8:55am, and arrive in Brisbane at 8:50 the next morning. Northbound departures leave Brisbane at 5:00pm and reach Cloncurry at 5:05 the next morning, where... you guessed it... they stop for a 45 minute meal break before continuing on to Mount Isa. Drop offs and pickups are at the Cloncurry Agencies, but the meal break is at the Shell Roadhouse.

The Inlander connects Townsville with Tennant Creek, stopping in Cloncurry on its way.Queensland Rail covers the 1,000 kilometres between Townsville and Mount Isa, stopping at most points along the way, including Charters Towers, Richmond, Julia Creek and Cloncurry. The 'Inlander', as it is known, heads west from Townsville every Sunday and Thursday at 12:30pm, arriving in Cloncurry bright and early the next morning... 5:20am. The eastbound service departs Mount Isa at 1:30pm Mondays and Fridays, passes through Cloncurry at 5:43pm and rolls into Townsville at 10:10am the next day. For rail connections from Townsville, either north to Cairns, or south to Brisbane and beyond, you will find details on our GETTING TO CAIRNS page.

One of most popular attractions in Cairns is the Great Barrier Reef.

Burketown is a tiny gulf outback town that proudly proclaims itself to be 'Australia's Barramundi Capital'. The town is very laid back with a very diverse cultural mix. You're sure to meet some real characters... Click to visit our Burketown page. Karumba is quite literally the end of the road; a small town of about 700 people, where the wide Normanton River meets the Gulf of Carpenteria. It's a friendly place, relaxed but still a little bit wild. Click to visit our Karumba page. Located close to the coast of the Gulf of Carpentaria, Normanton is the major commercial centre of Carpentaria Shire, and is the northern terminal for Australia's most remote railway, the Gulflander. Click to visit our Normanton page. When gold was discovered in Croydon in 1885, the town went through an overnight boom and became one of the biggest towns in Queensland. What once was a bustling centre is today a quiet town with a very interesting past worth exploring. Click to visit our Croydon page. Nowadays, Georgetown is a sleepy little town but still is well serviced and a major point for visitors taking in the spectacular scenery and history of Australia's northern outback. Click to visit our Georgetown page. Undara Volcanic National parks is one of the highlights of Tropical North Queensland, and is less than 100 kilometres from Mount Garnet. Click to visit our Undara page. Described as the Oasis of the Outback - a luminous vision on the horizon for travellers coming from all directions - Mount Isa lies among the ochre-red Selwyn Ranges, on the borders of the Leichhardt River. Click to visit our Mount Isa page. Cloncurry is known as the friendly heart of the great north west because it is a welcome crossroads with a sparkling community spirit. Click to visit our Cloncurry page. Home to the Julia Creek dunnart, Julia Creek is packed with social and sporting events all year round, including the Dirt and Dust Festival or the Dunnart Bush Festival, both a major feature of the town's lifestyle. Click to visit our Julia Creek page. The town of Richmond has been recognised as one of the most attractive outback towns in Queensland, awarded with the title of Australia's Tidiest Town 2001 in the 'Keep Australia Beautiful' awards. Click to visit our Richmond page. There are many attractions around Hughenden, with gemfields, mountainous volcanic basalt country, sweeping black soil plains rich in fossils. Oh, the town is surrounded by four National Parks. Click to visit our Hughenden page. Charters Towers is a scenic gold mining city with proud heritage and history, a perfect example of the real Australia, surorunded by sprawling cattle stations and intensely coloured sunsets. Click to visit our Charters Towers page. Cairns is a tourist Mecca, and one of the most popular travel destinations in Australia. Click to visit our Cairns page. Townsville is the largest city in Tropical North Queensland, a bustling cosmopolitan city, and the stepping off point to popular Magnetic Island. Click to visit our Townsville page. Map of the Northern Outback region of Tropical North Queensland. Click on a destination to visit that particular page. Sunset over an old fashioned windmill in Queensland's northern outback.
The original QANTAS hangar, a piece of Australian aviation history, in Cloncurry.
Arid Cloncurry landscape. It even looks hot, doesn't it?.


In case of emergency only, dial 000. In all other cases, phone the local service :

Ambulance (07) 4742 1100 or 131233
Hospital (07) 4742 4500
Police (07) 4742 1200
Fire&Rescue (07) 4742 2358