The Mount Isa region is a great place to 4WD as it is filled with a variety of treks that range in level. It is accompanied by wide spanning scenery and has something to offer every type of four-wheel driver from historical sights, to extreme treks and picturesque views.
We have brought together a few of the top areas to explore when you are in the Mount Isa region.
Quick Links To The Top Five 4WD Places near Mount Isa and 4wd Off-road Adventure
Here Goes Each One Of The Spot In Details:
Distance: Approximately 120 km from Mount Isa.
Difficulty: Low to Medium
The Fountain Springs trek can be done as a day trip or camping trip from Mount Isa. This circuit is one that is filled with vertical cliffs, mineral deposits and open-faced rocks, along with a wide range of 4WD tracks. Once reaching Fountain Springs itself, you will find a permanent water source bubbling up through the quartzite fault line.
The circuit begins with a calmer route, inset with a camping site about 5 km down the gravel road towards Fountain Springs. As you continue on, you will find a tranquil pool amongst the ravines, and granite based depressions growing into vertical quartz walls.
Past this point, if you head towards the Hightville township, the 4WD route becomes more challenging. From there you can do the Tunnel Track if you want a bit more of an adventure or head on to the Wee McGregor Mine. This area is also known for its Maltese Cross fossicking if you want to explore some gems and minerals.
There are many other mines available to explore in this area along with a number of side treks that are medium to difficult in level. One among many of the nearby treks you could venture onto is the Bulonga Track. If you travel about 150 meters past the track across the Corella River, you will reach the Rosebud Dam where you can take in the scenery or stop for a short picnic.
It is important to be careful in these areas as rougher tracks and abandoned mines often present hazards, one of which being unfenced shafts. Before travelling these mines, it is suggested to be aware and prepared for the area that you are driving in.
Distance: Approximately 57 km from Mount Isa
To do a trek with a bit of history involved, take your 4WD over to the old township of Mary Kathleen. The road leading to the township was at one time a sealed road but has now become deteriorated and worn through time.
Once reaching the township you will be met with a stone entranceway that leads the way into a town that enjoyed its prosperity between 1956 and 1963. After exploring the township you can make your way over to the site of the mine that was discovered for its Uranium deposits in 1954.
The mine pit is open cut and terraced and is also accessible to the public. The pit holds a reservoir of deep blue water that is set against the rough and aged rock of the pit itself.
If you feel like going beyond Mary Kathleen you can also head out to the Ballara Mining Trail which is a 23.4 km dirt 4WD track leading through an abandoned mining area. You will come across mines like the old Rosebud Copper Mine that offers different levels of 4WD opportunities.
As with other 4WD tracks located near abandoned mines, it is good to be cautious and aware of the area you are entering in as you drive.
Please visit this link from Wellswanders blog to see more photos of Mary Kathleen Mine and surrounds.
Distance: Approximately 48 km from Mount Isa
If you are looking for a tranquil view followed by a more challenging 4WD trek, catch the scenic sight of the Rigby Falls.
The Falls cascade down seven levels of rock formations and are a popular sight to both swim in and view after a heavy rainfall has occurred.
Rigby Falls is located on the Mount Frosty Trek and is considered to be a higher level of difficulty leading up to the Falls as it encompasses steep hills, large rock formations and rough surfaces. This track would be suitable for a seasoned 4W driver and could take a bit longer for those who are new to the 4WD experience.
Amongst the gorges, creeks and plant life dispersed throughout the trek, you can also explore the area by heading over to the abandoned Gypsum Mine. If you reach the mine when the sun is high, you will see the sun bouncing off the hills that are scattered with quartz crystals.
As this track is considered to be challenging, it is again important to be aware of your surroundings as you embark and explore on this adventurous trek.
Distance: Approximately 38 km from Mount Isa
Paroo Waterhole is a great place to sit and enjoy the sun, go for a swim or to spend some time camping. The waterhole itself is set in a scenic surrounding and is home to various types of wildlife and plant species.
The track to the Paroo Waterhole is one of the easier routes to use your 4WD at the beginning but becomes more difficult as it crosses the terrain and nears the site of the hole.
The waterhole is nestled within its scenic surroundings and is also located nearby the picturesque Paroo Range if you feel like doing a bit more exploring in the area.
The Paroo Waterhole is considered to be an overall easy 4WD experience, however, for the best experience it is suggested not to plan to be at the waterhole after a heavy rainfall as cattle in the area use it as a water source.
Please visit this link from Isaeagle Photography to see more photos of Paroo Waterhole and surrounds.
Distance: Approximately 17 km from Mount Isa
For a shorter 4WD trek you can travel down to the Three Steps 4WD trek (also referred to as The Three Sisters). This trek is a combination of steep hills, sharp rocks and river crossings during the wet season. The drive is approximately 2 hours in length.
As you travel along the trek and arrive at The Three Steps themselves you will be faced with three large rock formations that sit in ridges cascading towards the ground. After heavy waterfall it is a popular place to visit to see the flow of the water down the rock and take in the picturesque scenery surrounding The Steps.
The Three Steps are not only situated within an eye catching trek, but are also near by Lake Moondarra which is a great place to break for a BBQ, to stop at the lookout or to spend time sitting near the bright blue lake.
The drive out to The Three Steps and the surrounding area is one of the easier drives to take your 4WD out on when visiting the Mt. Isa region and is a good afternoon trip if you want to embark on a less challenging adventure.
Please visit Grant [email protected] to check more photos of Three Steps.
These are some great places to venture to when you are visiting Mount Isa as many of them lead to other areas and give you the opportunity to see a variety of sights and take on a range of 4-wheel driving treks.
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