The countdown is on until the chute gates open next month at the biggest rodeo in the Southern Hemisphere – the Xstrata Mount Isa Rotary Rodeo being held from August 9 to 11.
Interest from visitors and rodeo fans was very strong this year, with Mount Isa City celebrating its 90th anniversary, according to both the rodeo manager Donna Kuskopf and Outback at Isa Manager Katrina Hughes.
Ms Kuskopf said although sustained drought conditions had unfortunately led to the cancellation of some of the region’s smaller rodeos this year, the Isa rodeo was the pinnacle of competition on the famous Northern Circuit.
“If you have never been to a rodeo, or have missed out on going locally, this is your chance to get a piece of rodeo action you’ll never forget,” she said. “Once you’ve been to the Isa rodeo, you understand why people come back year after year, or are prepared to drive hundreds of kilometres to get to rodeo weekend.”
Ms Kuskopf said more than 40 bookings had already been received for Swag City, a special caravan and camping site being set up at Rodeo HQ – the purpose-built Buchanan Park stadium. “These early bookings are very encouraging, and we also have the Variety Bash coming to rodeo, so we are expecting strong crowds which is fantastic for the event, and for the region.”
According to Ms Hughes, manager of Outback at Isa, which also incorporates the city’s Visitor Information Centre, this year’s tourism season was significantly stronger than last year’s.
“We are actually having a really great season, so many more people are travelling than last year, both Australians and people from overseas,” she said. “There are lots of people enquiring about the rodeo. We had had really strong interest in accommodation, but there is still accommodation available and we will help people who haven’t yet booked their accommodation and are planning to visit.
“Apart from the rodeo, we encourage people to stay longer and visit magnificent attractions like Lawn Hill Gorge.”
This year’s Xstrata Mount Isa Rotary Rodeo will feature world-class competition inside the arena, as well as a free Friday night mardi-gras parade, live concerts, Fred Brophy’s iconic Outback boxing tent, and a new attraction of tandem skydiving for a birds’ eye view over Mount Isa and the spectacular rodeo site.
The Xstrata Mount Isa Rotary Rodeo won the Festival & Events category of the prestigious 2012 Queensland Tourism Awards and was a finalist at the Australian Tourism Awards.
Mount Isa is located in north-west Queensland, 900km inland from Townsville along the Overlander’s Way and is easily accessed by direct flights from Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Darwin, Townsville and Cairns, as well as by road and bus.
For more information visit www.isarodeo.com.au or phone (07) 4743 2706. To keep up with all the latest news follow us on twitter.com/isarodeo, facebook.com/isarodeo or YouTube http://www.youtube.com/mountisarotaryrodeo.
For accommodation and holiday ideas visit http://www.queenslandholidays.com.au/destinations/outback/
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