Mt Isa Mines Rodeo, Longreach, Birdsville
Date and time: 29 July to 21 Aug 2020. 24 days.
Description: Road trip to Mt Isa Queensland to attend the Mt Isa Mines Rodeo which is said to be the largest rodeo in the Southern hemisphere.
Visit www.isarodeo.com.au for more detail on the rodeo itself.
The trip is suited to off-road camper trailers and caravans capable of travelling on corrugated outback dirt roads including the Birdsville Track.
We will depart Melbourne and stop overnight mainly in caravan parks in order to enjoy their showers and toilets. On the way to Isa, overnight stops are planned in Darlington Point near Griffith, Kidman’s Camp at Bourke, then two nights and a rest day at Charlotte Plains Station near Cunnamulla where we can soak in hot artesian baths whilst taking in the outback scenery. Check it out at www.charlotteplains.com.au.
The trip continues to Charleville and then on to a tiny unique town called Ilfracombe which is well worth a visit. We will take another rest day at Ilfracombe to visit the QANTAS Founders Museum at Longreach where you can get up close and personal with a jumbo jet and the famous Stockman Hall of Fame. From Ilfracombe it is a full day’s drive to the remains of a uranium mining town called Mary Kathleen where we will bush camp overnight to explore what is left of the mine and town. From Mary Kathleen it is a short drive into Mt Isa for the start of the 3-day rodeo. After the rodeo we will stay an extra day to visit the underground Hard Times Mine and let the traffic on the outback roads disperse.
Leaving Mt Isa, we start the journey home stopping the night in Boulia whilst heading south to iconic Birdsville where we will spend two days exploring this remote community and visit the Birdsville Hotel. A day trip out to the Betoota pub can be done from Birdsville. Departing Birdsville, we head down the Birdsville Track for Marree and camp at another outback icon, the Marree Hotel. From Marree we continue south and into the Flinders Ranges stopping overnight at Wilpena Pound on our way to Peterborough. Another rest day in Peterborough will allow us to visit Steamtown which is a heritage rail museum with lots of interesting trains and carriages from the days of steam and early diesel. The last two days are spent returning to Melbourne via Mildura and St Arnaud.
Distances travelled on most days will be three to five hundred kilometres with most of the driving on bitumen save the Birdsville Track and 40 kms when approaching the flinders ranges.
Weather: We should enjoy warm sunny days in the mid to high 20’s as we head north. However, the clear nights in the outback can be very cold with sub zero temperatures not uncommon.
Equipment: Well-maintained 4WD vehicle with good all terrain tyres, recovery points, standard recovery gear including dampener, rated snatch strap and shackles, shovel and UHF radio (or one borrowed from the club). A sat phone will be taken for emergency use. Mobile reception is typically available in all towns visited.
No pets or firearms as we will be visiting the Flinders Ranges National Park.
Trip Standard: Easy with some medium sections including potentially badly corrugated outback roads (Birdsville Track).
Fuel: Fuel is generally readily available on the planned routes.
Distance: Approx. total distance is 5,800 Km of mainly bitumen driving.
Duration: 24 days
Convoy limit: 6 vehicles
Meeting arrangements: First day’s travel to Darlington Point is via Yea, Seymour, and Tocumwal. We can pre-arrange convenient times and locations to meet up during the first morning.
Trip Leader: Roland Hollingsworth - email@example.com