Thinking of heading out to the Cloncurry Stockman’s Challenge but don’t know what else there is to do in town when you have had your fill of horse competition action? With 2017 being the 150th Year of Cloncurry, there is so much to explore and experience. Founded by Ernest Henry in 1867 with the discovery of copper, Cloncurry’s core industries include grazing, transport services, copper and gold mining. These are our top 5 picks of things to see and do:
ONE – MARY KATHLEEN PARK
Located off the main highway into Cloncurry is Mary Kathleen Park. This park has ample parking (if you bought your RV or caravan), a covered BBQ area and a children’s playground (to feed and run the sillies out of the kids), all in shaded parklands. Stretch your legs and go for a short walk up to the lookout, past the unique water feature and take in the stunning panoramic view of Cloncurry and the surrounding rugged landscape.
There is also an array of outdoor mining and farming equipment displays along the walking track. A feature of these displays is the 1941 Ford V8 Rail Ambulance. This was used when the roads were impassable and was first commissioned back in 1956 and operated until 1971. This historic vehicle is proudly part of the railway collection located in the park.
Cloncurry Unearthed (Visitor Information Centre and Museum) is also located in the park. It houses a unique collection of memorabilia from the now deserted town of Mary Kathleen. Take a step back in time with historical collections, photographs, Indigenous artefacts and one of Australia’s most comprehensive gem and mineral collections.
TWO – JOHN FLYNN PLACE MUSEUM
John Flynn Place Museum and Art Gallery celebrates the visionary bush clergyman John Flynn, and the innovations in flight and communications pioneered through to creation of the Royal Flying Doctor Service. The service was launched in Cloncurry in 1928. The museum pays homage to this crucial part of outback life and the pioneers who had a vision for the service.
Wander the museum and enjoy stories, photographs and memorabilia. View the artworks on display in the Fred McKay Art Gallery. You will find Cloncurry has enjoyed a multicultural past.
THREE – CLONCURRY LOOKOUT
On the drive to the Chinaman Creek Dam, stop at the Cloncurry Lookout which provides another fantastic panoramic view of the township and the Cloncurry River. Don’t forget your camera! This lookout is perfect for those Facebook or Instagram pics (#cloncurry #currychallenge) and making friends and family at home jealous!
FOUR – LOCAL HERO MEMORIALS
Visit the Burke and Wills Memorial 43km west of Cloncurry on the bank of the Corella River. Explorers’ Burke and Wills passed through the Cloncurry area in 1861 on their expedition from Melbourne to the Gulf.
Pay a visit to the historic cemeteries dating back to the 1880s. Here you will learn about early Afghan migrants at the cemetery on Sir Hudson Fysh Drive and the Chinese cemetery on the western side of town.
FIVE – CHINAMAN CREEK DAM
Chinaman Creek Dam is a lovely area to watch the changing colours of Mt Leviathan at sunset, stretch your legs wandering the water’s edge or enjoy a picnic.
The Cloncurry Stockman’s Challenge and Campdraft is an annual campdrafting and challenge event celebrating the talent and passion of horsemen and is regarded as one of the greatest horse events in Australia. For more information, join our mailing list to keep up to date.