15 things you didn’t know about Cloncurry

Cloncurry | 15 things you didn't know about Cloncurry


For a town where it only takes 10 minutes to get from one side to the other, there’s more to Cloncurry than meets the eye.

Rich in history and minerals, the town with a heart of gold has a lot more to offer than a place to make a pitstop.

From local natural wonders to the best coffee in town, find out why Cloncurry is one of the hottest places (literally) on your Outback bucket list.


1. It’s as hot as a Vindaloo

Cloncurry | 15 things you didn't know about Cloncurry


With average winter temperatures barely dipping below the 25 degree mark and summer shifting it into the 40’s, it’s fitting that the town’s nickname is “The Curry”.


2. It was the first in Australia to advance the education experience

For such a steamy town, it’s no surprise that it was the first in the country to implement air-conditioning in the classrooms of the local school.


3. The most expensive bull in Australia lives in Cloncurry

In 2017 a record was broken and Cloncurry welcomed its newest, beefiest resident.

The two year-old Brahman bull, bred 100km west of Rockhampton, was sold to Cloncurry beef breeders for a whopping $325,000, nine times the price of the average sales at the auction – #nobull


4. There’s a deserted town nearby

Mary Kathleen | 15 things you didn't know about Cloncurry

#OutbackQueensland photo by @anne_lieschen

Cloncurry ramps up its spook factor with its very own ghost town, Mary Kathleen. Located on the outskirts of Cloncurry, the town was deserted after its lone mine fell into disuse.

Now the remaining shell of the mine is a tourist attraction, with visitors venturing into it’s heart to imagine what it used to be.

To learn more about the deserted town, follow its timeline with a collection of photographs and memorabilia at the Cloncurry Visitor Centre and Museum, housed at the Mary Kathleen Park.


5. Copper is at the town’s core

In 1867, Earnest Henry discovered copper 120km east of Mount Isa and decided to set up camp to continue his search. To this day, Cloncurry’s core industries remain copper and gold mining.


6. It’s known as one of the friendliest towns in Queensland

Voted as Queensland’s Friendliest Town in 2013, Cloncurry’s quality outback hospitality earned itself the reputation as the friendly heart of the great north-west.


7. It’s not your typical Outback landscape

Cloncurry | 15 things you didn't know about Cloncurry


Contrary to the stereotypical image of the outback with its flat, dry backdrops with roads leading into seemingly endless horizons, Cloncurry is actually set upon a series of hills with a river flowing by the town.


8. It’s surrounded by natural beauty

Chinaman Creek Dam | 15 things you didn't know about Cloncurry


Not only is the town’s surprisingly bumpy landscape a sight to see, between the hills are other natural wonders waiting to be explored.

A visit to Cloncurry isn’t complete without a trip to Chinaman Creek Dam, a ten minute drive west of town. Don’t forget to pack a picnic and blanket to watch the candy-coloured hues of the sunset dance over Mt Leviathan.

On your way back, stop by the Cloncurry Lookout for panoramic views over the town from the banks of the Cloncurry River.


9. Let Cloncurry Entertain you

For a small country town, Cloncurry has some serious entertainment cred. It’s equipped with a community precinct (convention centre with indoor and outdoor function areas, kitchen, and bar facilities), library, art gallery, equestrian and racecourse centre, sporting and recreation grounds, as well as a Shire Hall.


10. It’s the most geologically rich town in Outback Queensland

Cloncurry | 15 things you didn't know about Cloncurry


With 11 working mines in the area, Cloncurry boasts the richest land in Outback Queensland. But those minerals won’t mine themselves, so the population mainly consists of miners.


11. It’s part of Burke and Wills country

Burke and Wills passed through the area on their expedition from Melbourne to the Gulf in 1861.

It seems the pioneering pair were so besotted with the area that they forgot their water bottle, which can be found in the Cloncurry Museum. There’s also a dedicated memorial based 43km west of town on the bank of the Corella River.


12. It’s the birthplace of the Royal Flying Doctor Service

Royal Flying Doctors | 15 things you didn't know about Cloncurry


From its humble beginnings in 1928 to its technologically advanced systems of today, the Royal Flying Doctor Service continues to provide an essential service to the residents of Outback Queensland. The John Flynn Place Museum and Art Gallery in Cloncurry plays tribute to the service and its founder with memorabilia, photographs, models, and historic artefacts.


13. It’s got more hotel rooms than streets

You don’t have to worry about bringing along a plus one, there’s plenty of space to stay and everyone’s welcome. If you’re after the ultimate outback adventure, set up camp at Cloncurry Caravan Park Oasis or Discovery Parks.

If you’re not looking to rough it, there are nine hotel/motels in town that are up for grabs.


14. You can get a taste of the local spirit with your coffee

Have you bean cafe | 15 things you didn't know about Cloncurry

When visiting “The Curry”, stopping by the Have U Bean Cafe is a must. This hot spot provides mouth-watering homemade style meals and delicious coffee from breakfast through to lunch, filling you up on their daily specials and freshly baked cakes.


15. It’s the gateway to the north-west pocket of Outback Queensland

Mount Isa | 15 things you didn't know about Cloncurry

#OutbackQueensland photo by @lovegutz

Sitting smack bang at the crossroads to the bucket-list worthy towns of the Gulf Savannah, Cloncurry opens up the path to great north-west.

To the west, explore cowboy country in Mount Isa, home to the largest rodeo in the southern hemisphere.

Track south-east to Winton and transport yourself to the dinosaur era, or head north to Normanton to spot a creature of a different kind. Snap a picture with Krys the Savannah King, the life size replica of the largest croc in the world (at 8.6m) that was caught in the area.


Have you been to Cloncurry? Share any fun facts you know about the town in the comments below.

Post Sponsored by Cloncurry Caravan Park Oasis



Doreen Jones

My father roy leonard was born in cloncurry in 1892. Hisgrandfather carted supplies to palmer river goldgfields and he made a fortune …supposedly and owned lots of property in cloncurry. Are there any relatives left in the area. I would like to find out something about the family. Dad talked about the family living at Battlecamp station…he said his mother orgrandmother was first white baby born in fnq. I would love to find out more.
Dads mother was Mary browne.

Bev & Leister Hardie

Went to the Curry from the Isa for two weeks and left 27 years later (2000). We think it was the best time of our life. Very friendly and helpful locals. Our three children went to the state school, finishing high school and found jobs locally. We visit every other year but unfortunately old friends are getting few and far between

Ron Hall

I worked at Peters Arctic North Queensland for three years one year in Cairns and Two years in the isa, Would travel to the Curry every Tuesday Morning selling Ice Cream And all type of frozen Foods calling on 18 Shops Hotels And St Joseph School Calling in to Mary K on the return trip A great little Town.

stayed in the Isa till Xmas 1986 Working at Hilton Mine Nth of The Isa and in the isa as a Shift Boss

Kathy Kilpatrick

I brought my 88yr old mum out to Cloncurry last year to reminisce – in 1963 mum spent 5 weeks away from her husband and her 3 little girls (under 6) while she waited for the birth of our brother. I was one of those little girls, we were living on Mornington Island at the time and my dad was a missionary there. My memories are of days spent with the aboriginal people, a wonderful life. Dr Minnis was the flying doctor at the time, mum was housed at the CWA waiting mothers hostel which is still here today. Dr Minnis was drunk the night my brother was born! Mum had been sharing a meal with him and his wife and she went into labour. Mum enjoyed immensely her revisit to the Curry. Sadly she passed away in June, now I am back here recalling her memories.


Hello. This sounds like a beautiful place. My great grandmother was born in Cloncurry in 1924. Is there any other available history for this friendly town out there that anyone has come across ? Trying to track down some more of my family line before my dear great grandmother Gladdy. From Chloe

Jean Johnson

My Father, Jim Johnson, arrived in Cloncurry in 1946/47 to open an Accountancy Practice and built a big business. I worked for him for 6 years from late l957 to 1964 and was kept very busy. A new railway line, from Mt.Isa to Townsville was built during this time by Italians and Mary K.was mining uranium. Dad was Mayor a few times and died in August,1980, in Cloncurry.

Lorell Ord

Cloncurry is a most amazing place. I was born there and worked for my dad Ernie Lemmon. It has so much to offer both young and old. Truly the friendly heart of the North West. My dad arrived there in 1947 selling wool and skins. He arrived Patrick’s Day in 1947 and passed away St Patrick’s Day 2012. He loved the place with so much passion. As I say once Cloncurry gets you in its heart it never lets go.

Geoff Straker

Remember him and you Mum well. My first year in Cloncurry I lived in the home owned and rented from your parents. I taught in ‘The Curry’ in 64-65 until I transferred to Normanton in Late August 65. Loved my time there, and thankful for the warm hospitality of the Lemon Family.

Derek Lewis

Like Geoff, I have very found memories of your Mum & Dad. I was the Govt dentist there in 1980 and remember being invited to dinner (wild duck) and being told to watch out for pellets! I still have the wooden slide box they generously gave me.

John Gibson

I came as a young Canadian teen to work doing mining exploration in the Curry in 1963/4. I remember the town sign which said something like “Cloncurry, a pop. of 800 with 10 pubs”.(I could be corrected on the details of that). Fascinating to work out in the bush and a great place for a young Canuck to learn the ropes in the real Australia, especially the friendly locals and the culture of drinking beer as we seemed to do all ten pubs every time we went out. An experience and memories of a lifetime!


One of Merlin Jenkins shearers Teddy Reich (spelling?) broke Jacky Howes daily record of 321 (blades) with 323 at Brinard in the early 1950s.


My first job was a 1st year jackaroo at Cloncurry an i just loved every day there …. a great place to grow up in . i just wish i could turn back the hands of time

Garry Gearstick

back in the gold rush days it was once the biggest town in qld by area and population and almost became the capital city of QLD.

Robert Stein

Cloncurry had 2 resident shearing contractors for many years, Merlin Jenkins and Jim Scott. Their teams of shed workers shore sheep for hundreds of kms around the Curry. Over many decades. Pity no mention of those years.

Ann Manea

I agree Robert Stein. Merlin Jenkin was my grandfather and there is a lot of history there. My father Ron Jenkin would be full of knowledge of people and placers

Janelle jenkin

Hi Ann Manea, I’m janelle jenkin I’m the grand daughter of Lew and Norma jenkin. Daughter of Alan Jenkin. Mount Norma in the curry was named after my grandmother by her brother Cole Harris. Cole Harris is still alive he’s 94 and in a nursing home in Wynnum.

Bob Gilliland

Any relation to Bob Harris who worked as a soil tester with the Main Roads in the 80s. I was a surveyor there from 1984 to 1988. Great times.

James McDonald

So funny! I was scrolling down and said to my wife “Wow this is a great website” and the first comment I see is this one.

But yes such a great scroll through on this page. Great layout! Easy to read.

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