From 8th August 2019 until 11th August 2019, Mount Isa will welcome tens of thousands of attendees who are drawn by the biggest rodeo in the southern hemisphere – the 60th Mount Isa Rodeo. Many people have included this event into their bucket list of 2019 and are thrilled to head to Outback Queensland to join the crowd. Whether the month of August this year marks your first or 40th visit to Mount Isa Rodeo, let our tips below on every single nook and cranny of the massive event lead the way.
1. The Voice
Who else could complement the atmosphere at the 60th anniversary of this legendary sporting event better than the Australian music legend John Farnham? He is set to mesmerise the crowd in the rodeo stadium with his greatest hits. The performance alongside with Queensland favourites, Busby Marou, Brad Cox, Blake O’Connor and Dee Jaye Bux will begin after the final rodeo event is completed on the evening of the 11th August.
The ticket to the concert is sold separately from the rodeo and is available either as part of the whole event rodeo ticket package or just the concert alone. Those who want to just sit back and relax after a whole day of adrenaline-pumping action can treat themselves to the VIP tickets with proper seating inside the arena that comes with a meal.
2. Rai Thistlethwayte Rocking Isa Street Festival
If you are lucky enough to be heading to the event that won the Best Festival and Event award at this year’s Qantas Australian Tourism Awards, don’t miss the Isa Street Festival which acts as an appetiser to the rodeo on the eve of the event (Wednesday, 7th August). This free event will be held on the main street at 5 PM.
Expect to see a full-blown celebration of street parade comprising of fascinating decorative floats intermingle with cowboys and cowgirls on horseback that fill the streets with hoof beats and music. Don’t worry about your dinner as there are food stalls, market stalls and a beer garden. For those with kiddies, you will be glad to know that there will be plenty of free kids’ activities to keep your children occupied. As the sun sets, the ambience will reach its peak accompanied by classic rock, pop and jazz performed by Rai Thistlethwayte of “Thirsty Merc” followed by the banging explosion fireworks that light up the sky.
3. Top cowgirls and cowboys
Where else do you get to see the top bull riders from all over Australia and New Zealand gather in a single location to show off their skills and talent proudly competing to be the champion? Amongst the dirt kicking exciting actions in the four days of rodeo competitions are bull riding, saddle bronc and bareback, steer wrestling, ladies barrel racing, breakaway roping and roping. With a whopping record of $230,000 in prizes, it’s bound to bring the battle with the fiercest bovine to a whole new level of excitement.
4. Behind the chute
When it’s a rider’s turn to get ready to ride his bull, he will go through a chute procedure which generally starts with the bull rider standing up on a plank that runs along the chute behind it and followed by many other detailed rituals. A tour to the chute is the closest that any non bull-rider can get to the real action. This ultimate first-hand rodeo experience is only available for gold seat holders.
This is the good news for those keen hardcore rodeo goers who decide to stay near the event and yet want to get a good rest by avoiding sleeping close to others and sharing all the noises and smells. As the glamping package includes a full set-up spacious 6 metre bell tent, comfortable real mattress with linens and blankets, furniture including lighting, chairs and tables as well as a shared common area, glamping enthusiasts do not have to lug their sleeping gear and supplies over to the Buchanan Park.
Lucky individuals will also be treated to some delicious hot cooked breakfast on the rodeo weekend. The best alternative to glamping is Isa Hotel which is strategically located at just a few minutes of walking distance away from the rodeo arena. Amenities such as restaurants, shopping centres and local attractions are just a stone throw away too. Isa Hotel is ideal for those who desire to seek comfort and pleasure to rejuvenate their mind and body after an exhausting day as the hotel takes pride in providing excellent customer service and cosy yet spacious and modern interior.
6. Refreshing tours
Your main purpose may be to have a great time at the Mt Isa Rodeo. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t take a quick break from it and unwind a little by wandering to the numerous sweet spots dotted in or around Mount Isa before heading back to the action-filled arena. Ranging from a two-hour city tour, Mount Isa Mines tour, former Mary Kathleen uranium mine to the enchanting Lake Moondarra to chase the sunset, Mount Isa has plenty to offer.
7. Gear up
Get your rodeo outfits ready and gear up to the yee-haw spirit. Rodeos are fun and fast-paced events that you will not want to feel like being left out for not wearing the right clothes! From the classic denim clothes, bush hat and check shirt to the fringe on skirts, dusters and boots, fitting in is easier than you think. Be sure to check out at the shops that take part in the Best Dressed Competition. If you have inadvertently left behind your gears, just pop by the Rodeo HQ at Buchanan Park for the memorable souvenir of your outback experience.
8. The After Party at Isa Hotel
And if there’s one thing any Aussie knows about festivals and rodeo shows, it’s the after parties that come right after! For those who don’t want to miss out on the hottest after party the town has to offer, head straight to Isa Hotel right after the Rodeo where you’ll find Fred Brophy’s Boxing Tent, Mechanical Bull Rides, Car Party Parties followed by affordable booze to keep the night alive.
The great thing about Mount Isa Rodeo is that there will always be an element of surprise whether you are a first time goer or the 60th time enthusiast. Keep your eyes open for a good show and be sure to check out the hot spots that come right after.