Mining is a huge part of Mount Isa's history. To really get a feel for
where the town has come from, take a look around The Hard Times Mine.
We were lucky enough to
experience one of these tours...
First off is the museum section of the tour. Earl (one of the tour
guides) provides a lot of good information on the history of the
town, like what and how they mine here in Mount Isa.
After donning the overalls, gum boots, hard hat and a cap
lamp we set out for a walk around the yard above the mine.
Seeing all the retired mining equipment and vehicles was very interesting
especially having little to no knowledge of what a mine site is really
The tour itself was very interesting and fun for all. Children learn
a lot about the mining industry and parents really enjoy
hearing the stories from the tour guides. At the beginning of the tour
your photo is taken in front of the Alimak cage before you go down into
the mine. The photo is available for purchase, at the end of the tour if
you would like a copy as souvenir.
Walking through the mine you get a feel for what it's like to be
underground without as much risk as this mine was made
purely with tourists in mind.
At the end of the tour you get some time just to sit in the crib
room and get a feeling for what it's like to be one of the
miners taking a crib break! There is the nice bonus of sandwiches, a hot
pastry and tea/coffee provided for all on the tour.
Once you are back at the surface you receive a surprise of more souvenirs
in the form of a pack of Outback at Isa playing cards and your name tag
(from the beginning of the tour). You also have the option to purchase
the photo that was taken at the beginning of the tour.
If you have a few hours to spare, the tour is well worth the admission price
, and by the end of it you will
know much more about mining and the town of Mount Isa!