The thrill of watching the biggest stars on the Australian rodeo circuit will lure thousands of visitors to the 55th annual Xstrata Mount Isa Rotary Rodeo in August, all keen to experience the biggest rodeo in the southern hemisphere.
This year’s rodeo, being held from Friday to Sunday, August 9 to 11, will be the star event for Australia’s most famous mining city, this year celebrating its 90th anniversary, according to rodeo manager Ms Donna Kuskopf.
“We’re asking all Australians to head to the Isa and its famous rodeo at least once in your life if you can,” said Ms Kuskopf. “There’s nothing like sitting in our purpose-built arena watching the pinnacle of rodeo competition and all the other entertainment that’s part of the festival.
“The atmosphere builds and builds to the last event – the Open Bull Ride Finals on Sunday afternoon – where the best of the best cowboys try to make an eight second ride on bulls weighing up to one tonne.”
But other “big bucks” were also a key part of the Xstrata Mount Isa Rotary Rodeo, whose Queen Quest has has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for local charities.
“This year we have a strong contingent of five entrants, who have already raised thousands of dollars for causes as vital as the Royal Flying Doctors Service, the RACQ North Queensland Helicopter Rescue Service, the Police Citizens Youth Club (PCYC), Laura Johnson Home and Centacare,” said Ms Kuskopf. “We also offer the richest prizes on the Australian circuit, with competitors vying for more than $200,000 cash and buckles.”
The Isa literally pumps with excitement as more than 26,000 visitors arrive for an unforgettable festival of world-class rodeo action in the spectacular purpose-built Bucanan Park stadium, friendly Outback hospitality and live entertainment.
The action kicks off with the Mailman Express Sprint Horse Race on Thursday, August 8, with the rodeo competition, family mardi gras parade and opening ceremony the following day (Friday, August 9). The weekend focus is on rodeo competition and live music, leading up to the Sunday finals. Other rodeo events include Fred Brophy’s famous Outback Boxing Troupe and a popular Bush Poets Breakfast.
The Xstrata Mount Isa Rotary Rodeo won the Festival & Events category of the prestigious 2012 Queensland 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.
There’s plenty to do in the Isa – take a “Hard Times Mine Tour” at the award-winning Outback at Isa, visit Australia’s only underground hospital and Riversleigh Fossil Centre, enjoy a picnic and water sports at Lake Moondarra or visit the region’s twin jewels, Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park and the fascinating Riversleigh Fossil Fields.
For accommodation and holiday ideas visit www.queenslandholidays.com.au/destinations/outback/
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