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Life really is a highway in the Queensland Outback – the roads to RODEO in 2024

Mount Isa Rodeo Festival 5 mins read
All roads lead to RODEO!

Pack the car, download the rodeo road trip tunes and prepare to hit the highway(s) to a hell of a good time at the Mount Isa Mines Rodeo Festival – August 3 to 11


In the Queensland Outback, they reckon all roads lead to Mount Isa, and while that saves on having to ask locals for directions, it’s actually only three roads, but they are three of the most iconic in Matilda Way, Capricorn Way and Overlanders Way.

So before you settle in to watch the rodeo action this August, take your time in getting there and linger a little longer in the Outback.


Because … life really is a highway in the Queensland Outback –


Matilda Way: this epic outback adventure starts in the South East Corner and Brisbane. Head west on Warrego Way and link up to Matilda Way at Charleville, where the Cosmos Centre shows the stars in their full majesty. From there, head to Tambo and pick up your first souvenir, the Tambo Teddy - a cuddly handmade bear whose namesake has made this little town world famous. From there, 100km up the road is Blackall – home of the legendary Jack Howe, who put this town on the map after setting a world record for hand-sheared sheep - 321 sheep in seven hours and 40 minutes. He still holds that record to this day! From Blackall, drop in for a cold one at The Wellshot Hotel in Ilfracombe, voted the best Outback pub in Queensland last year. Then – on to Longreach, check out the town’s pioneer slab hut accommodation, Salt Bush Retreat for a great night or more. The final stop before Mount Isa is Australia’s own Jurassic Park, the paleontological town of Winton and home to the Age of Dinosaurs Museum as well as the Waltzing Matilda Centre. From there – it’s on to Mount Isa, and rodeo fever!

Check it out here:


Capricorn Way: leaving from Rockhampton, the Capricorn Way heads west and links up to Matilda Way. If you’re a human magpie and love precious stones and all things shiny, then the Capricorn Way is your way to go.  The first stop is Mount Hay Park where you can fossick for ancient volcanic thundereggs (similar to geodes), then to the Central Highlands gemfields to the west of Emerald and Rubyvale, where you can try your luck digging for sapphires! Keep heading west to Barcaldine, home of the Tree of Knowledge – the remains of the old ghost gum and the birth of the Australian Labor movement. From there, onwards to Mount Isa.

Check it out here:


Overlanders Way:  the Overlanders Way takes from the reef to rodeo, departing Townsville for the 904-kilometre drive. First stop is Charters Towers, the centre of an internationally noted goldfield (fun fact: Charters Town was considered the second most important city in Queensland during the gold rush in the 19th century due to production of gold, peaking at 319,572 ounces in 1899). Next up is Australia’s Grand Canyon, the Porcupine National Gorge in Hughenden, named after the Porcupine Creek which eroded the landscape to form this chasm. On down the highway and Richmond where the giant sea monster known as the Kronosauraus ruled (yes it’s the home of incredible fossils), and then check-in to Julia Cree for a long, hot soak in the artesian baths. Cloncurry, the birthplace of the Royal Flying Doctor Service and a fantastic Outback town, is the last stop before the Mount Isa Mines Rodeo!

Check it out here:


So, give yourself some extra time and turn your rodeo road trip into a two-part adventure: a tour through the heart of Queensland’s Outback, then a boot scootin’ good time at the Southern Hemisphere’s largest rodeo!


This event is supported by the Queensland Government, via Tourism and Events Queensland


Mount Isa Rodeo Festival: August 3 to 11

All information and TICKETS ON SALE: Mount Isa Rodeo - Australia's Most Spectacular Rodeos

For the best rodeo roadtrips - Isa Rodeo Road Trips - Mount Isa Rodeo

For where to stay Where To Stay - Mount Isa Rodeo

What else to do What To See & Do - Mount Isa Rodeo


Saturday 3rd August: Bell and Moir Toyota Rodeo Arena Ball

THE MOST glamorous country hoedown, held on the famous red dirt of the open-air rodeo arena, raising funds for Mount Isa-based charities. Prepare your rhinestones and sequins and get ready to boot scoot ‘til late!


Tuesday 6th August: Isa Rodeo Hall of Fame BBQ Dinner Celebrating 65 Years of Rodeo

Celebrating the pioneers and champions of the Mount Isa Mines Rodeo with four new inductees announced.


Wednesday 7th August: Isa Street Festival

It’s the party that only Mount Isa can throw, a true Outback celebration under a brilliant sunset, starring 2024 Australian Idol winner Dylan Wright and Band followed by Lucy Holmes, star of the 100% Kylie stage extravaganza.


Thursday 8th August: Zonta Bush Poet’s Breakfast


Thursday 8th August: Mailman Express Races


Thursday 8th August:  Mount Isa Mines Indigenous Rodeo Championships

  • The third year of the Mount Isa Indigenous Rodeo Championships will see more records set, and indigenous riders celebrated, and includes the first ever Ah One x Church Family Trans-Tasman Indigenous Rodeo Challenge.
  • Rodeo Rock starring Kasey Chambers + Christine Anu.
  • A Welcome to Country and cultural performance by the Sundowners Kalkutungu Dancers.
  • The 2024 logo has been designed by 19 year-old Kalkadoon graphic artist Alysha Blackey and this year’s commissioned artwork a yidaki (digeridoo)  by Yirandali and Ngnwun artist Jessie Wilson.


Thursday 8th to 11th August: Mount Isa Mines Rodeo

  • Returning champions and contenders compete in the Southern Hemisphere’s largest rodeo and the third largest rodeo in the world.
  • Entertainment: Brad Cox, James Johnston, Zac & George and Hindley Street Country Club.
  • 10 American Jnr Bull Riders to ride against the Aussies in the Junior Bull Riding Championship.
  • Saturday Grand Entry honouring the legends of 65 years of Mount Isa Mines Rodeo.
  • Bell and Moir Toyota Kalkadoon Bar and Grill, which sold out last year, returns.
  • The Shank Brothers to host Australia’s largest, richest and hottest Hot Wing Challenge and the new Rib Wrecker Challenge.
  • Sunday Family Day with free face painting, balloon makers, entertainment and the Junior and Timed finals.
  • Prosecco Paddock and the XXXX Beer Garden.




In 1959, a group of people with passion and an intrinsic sense of potential formed the Mount Isa Rotary Rodeo Inc (MIRRI). Their vision was to put the new, remote town of Mount Isa on the map and raise funds for charity organisations in the new city. Through 63 years of whip-cracking vision and dedication, the event has evolved into legendary status. The event is part of the Australian Professional Rodeo Association’s (APRA’s) national circuit. The event is supported by the Queensland Government, via Tourism and Events Queensland and is the largest in the Southern Hemisphere. The rodeo schedule includes the Bull Ride (Open, Over 40s, 2nd & Junior Division), Saddle Bronc (Open & 2nd Division), Bareback (Open & 2nd Division), Rope & Tie (Open), Steer Wrestling, Team Roping, Ladies Barrel Race, Ladies Breakaway Roping and Mini Bull Rides.


For media enquiries please contact Kath Rose | 0416 291 493 |


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