"You are not a real Aussie 'til you've been to Isa" Mount Isa by eviltooth

Mount Isa Travel Guide: 33 reviews and 58 photos

So this is it!

Mount Isa, never dream that I'll be able to work here one day, though I'd striven very hard to make my dream come true.

I didn't know about Isa's existence till I saw an ad on the school's notice board looking for dentist 5 years ago. For some unknown reason, the name just caught my attention. I pulled out the map. Isa, in the middle of nowhere, an oasis in a barren land. Different.

2 weeks before my final year examination, I saw the ad again.

"Full Time Graduate Dentist required for busy Mt Isa practice"

A week after I sent out my CV I got a surprise call.

The chat (or rather a disguised interview) ended with "Do you mind if I talk with your referee?" (Who would say yes?!)

1 week, 2 weeks...."Hi this is Scott, so when would you like to start work?"

By then I was about to chicken out. The thought of relocating to a place I've never been to with average temperature 40 degrees Celcius and above in summer is both scary and exciting. So I told him I'll have to think about it.

A week went by and I still haven't make up my mind. While walking along the street with VT'er Roman (dracko), Scott called again and offered to fly me up to have a look.

"You can trial us for 3 months and if you like it here you can stay longer."

Ok, this is too much. I've only heard of employee on probation but not the other way round!

3rd all expenses paid trip offered by potential employer. Friend later joke that I should start applying for jobs in places I would like to visit. Hmm....Tassie seems like a lovely place.

Anyway, that's Leichardt River in the pic taken from the bridge. The drought has caused the river on the other side of the bridge to dry up. Leichardt divides Isa in half, with the world's largest copper mine on one side and the town on the other.

My beautiful Red Dirt Town

When I told my mate Matt (it rhymes! sorry Matt! :p) I'm moving to the Isa his first reaction was "boring ugly red dirt town", and tried to dissuade me from coming here, just like everyone else did (but failed anyway :p). You should come here he said, it's 10 minutes from the beach. Surfer can't leave the coast, like fish can't leave the water. The Coast. Very tempting. But I said next time.

Toxic cloud, sulphur fume, unbearable heat, they said.

Only the unbearable heat has become a reality. Toxic cloud, no where to be seen. Sulphur fume, didn't smell any.

Average temperature has maintained above 40 degrees Celcius everyday since I touched down until recently. Yes, storms're coming. Can't wait. Please rain.

No, the cloud you see in this pic is not the toxic cloud. This is the cloud that's suppose to give us the storm we're expecting (well according to Matt who works at the QLD Bureau of Meteorolog anyway). Come on give us the rain!

I Love a Sunburnt Country

Mount Isa is one of the biggest city in the world with an area of 41,000 square kilometres - equivalent to that of Switzerland. Our nearest suburb is Camooweal, which is 180km away. ;)

The Isa is described as the Oasis in the Outback, and home to about 20,900 people who come from more than 50 different nations.

Pic was taken from the plane on the way to Isa.

If you strain your eyes, you can see the cattle stations scattered throughout the dry barren land from the sky.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Very friendly folks, in the middle of no where, quiet little town, the great outback within minutes drive, ideal place to take your driving test :p
  • Cons:Too warm in summer, difficult to get around without a car, shopaholics stay clear!
  • Last visit to Mount Isa: Dec 2003
  • Intro Updated May 16, 2004
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Reviews (17)

Comments (40)

  • angiebabe's Profile Photo
    May 31, 2011 at 3:19 AM

    I lived at Carnarvon Gorge,and Rolleston, Springsure, Blackall...was going to do a trip to Mt Isa but only got as far as Longreach!&up to Cooktown, the lovely Atherton tablelands! Maybe I'll get to Mt Isa 1 day...but I still have my Aussie passport!

  • Roadquill's Profile Photo
    Mar 31, 2011 at 8:18 PM

    Nice page on your home town..and interesting how you ended up there, although I would think that most mines are made made ;-) cheers, karl

  • Faiza-Ifrah's Profile Photo
    Jun 10, 2009 at 7:25 PM

    hello featured VT member of the day: i loved your tips, especially about 4 wheeling / off roading. llong time after leaving the UAE i heard this activity again :-) 40 C is too much but i can bargain anything for 35 C.

  • crazygal59's Profile Photo
    Apr 28, 2009 at 12:31 AM

    I complain about snow and cold, but glad we don't have your spiders.

  • Jun 28, 2007 at 2:45 PM

    Mount Isa is a great place! I have very fond memories of the town. I was there 5 years ago for 3 months working in Mount Isa Base Hospital. The town is so friendly and the nightlife is great!

  • Kumarash's Profile Photo
    Apr 1, 2006 at 9:46 AM

    Hi Eviltooth. I have finally got a job offer from Mount Isa and am considering it. I liked you page very much as it is full of information about Mount Isa. I want to know about schooling for children of ages 5-7 years. Thanks in advance.

  • whitecliff62's Profile Photo
    Dec 31, 2005 at 2:39 AM

    WOW, watta place to live, snakes, spiders, frogs, 40 degree heat, apart from that lot its ok is it LOL

  • birchy99's Profile Photo
    Oct 27, 2005 at 4:40 PM

    Picked Mount Isa at random for a week of armchair travel. Your pages are so full of information I feel like I know the city already. Thanks a bunch.

  • JennJenn's Profile Photo
    Sep 25, 2005 at 8:36 AM

    What a nice page and good story. I'm just scouting around for information about Australia (I'm pretty ignorant), because I'm planning on doing a working holiday there soon and need to decide where to live! THanks for your page!

  • Jul 21, 2005 at 8:29 PM

    Hi eviltooth. Gr8 info about Isa. I'm curr in the proc of applyng 4 a job there, everythng is stll up in the air but Im hoping for the best So I'm voraciously gathring info on Mt Isa and how it is to live there. How is the place now with Xstrata there?

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