The Isa literally pumps with excitement as more than 26,000 visitors arrive for a spectacular festival of world-class rodeo action, live entertainment and unmistakable Outback atmosphere.
Rodeo manager Tricia Esdaile has already been working for months fine-tuning this year’s massive event, which she says will be bigger and better with some new attractions – plus Outback classics like Fred Brophy’s Boxing Troupe and the nation’s best stock like famous bulls, Evil Eyes and Suicidal Blonde- returning to the Isa.
“We are introducing mini rodeos within the three day competition so people can see the top competitors in a fast-paced showcase of the standard events of bull riding, saddle bronc and bareback, steer wrestling, roping, ladies barrel racing and breakaway roping,” said Tricia.
“It will be the rodeo equivalent of 20/20 Cricket – fast and furious – a chance to see all the stars in action on the Friday night, and again on Saturday after lunch and at 7.30pm.”
The arena action will be super sized on a 40 square metre screen with instant action replays including footage from specially-placed cameras – on the timed event chutes which release the bucking bulls, horses and steers plus on the helmet of the rodeo protection clown. “This footage will give the crowd the feeling of being right among the action from the safety of their seats,” said Tricia.
The action kicks off on Friday, August 10 with the rodeo getting underway at midday, leading into the opening mardi gras parade, spectacular opening ceremony and mini rodeo. The weekend focus is on rodeo competition, leading up to the Sunday finals. Other rodeo week events include the Zonta Bush Poets Breakfast and Mailman Express Sprint Horse Race, a 200 metre sprint from a running start open to non-thoroughbred horses.
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.
Visitors coming earlier or staying on after the rodeo can explore local attractions including Outback at Isa where you can take a “Hard Times Mine Tour” or visit the Riversleigh Fossil Centre, Lake Moondarra, and 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/
PHOTOGRAPHY CREDIT: Mike Kenyon
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