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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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