Mount Isa is one of Australia’s must visited outback locations. This guide summarises what each of the five dog friendly caravan park Mt Isa and other camping options offer – the good and the not so good – to help you decide where to camp in Mount Isa with your dog.
Queensland’s northwest is gulf country, semi arid and home to the region’s biggest outback mining town Mount Isa. Rich with history and some of the most breathtaking rugged scenery in Australia, Mount Isa attracts so many visitors each year it is often bursting at the seams. You and your dog are going to love Mount Isa.
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- Driving Distances and Times to Mount Isa
- General Tips on Booking a Dog Friendly Mount Isa Caravan Park
- Mount Isa Dog Friendly Caravan Parks
- Dog Friendly Overflow Camping
- Dog Friendly Free Camping Mount Isa
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Driving Distances and Times to Mount Isa
Here are some driving distances to give you an idea of how far and remote Mount Isa is and plan your trip:
- Three Ways Roadhouse to Mount Isa | 637 kilometres or 6 hours 40 minutes
- Longreach to Mount Isa | 647 kilometres or 7 hours
- Townsville to Mount Isa | 904 kilometres or 10 hours
- Port Augusta via the Flinders Ranges and the Birdsville Track | 1579 kilometres or 21 hours
- Darwin to Mount Isa (via Three Ways Roadhouse) | 1600 kilometres or 16 hours 35 minutes
General Tips on Booking a Dog Friendly Caravan Park Mt Isa
Since all caravan parks are pet friendly, travelling to Mount Isa with a dog should be a relaxing prospect and mostly, it is.
It is useful to know:
- Mount Isa’s visitor numbers skyrocket from June to August, so booking a campsite well in advance is highly recommended for these months.
- Mount Isa is a semi-arid climate. It is dry and dusty and so are most of the campsites at the caravan parks.
- Be prepared to pay top dollar for a site in one of Mount Isa’s caravan parks during the peak season.
- April and May or September and October are ideal months to visit Mount Isa with your dog while avoiding the worst of the crowds and still have reasonably good weather.
Dog Friendly Caravan Parks Mount Isa
Mount Isa has five caravan parks located either in residential areas of town or on the outskirts. All caravan parks in Mount Isa are dog friendly, have friendly staff, old amenities and charge a premium during peak season.
There is no stand out caravan park in Mount Isa. Deciding which one you want to stay at may come down to where sites are available for your dates, how close to town you wish to be or if you want to have an onsite restaurant or bistro. Only one offers anything additional for dogs.
AAOK Moondarra Caravan Park
AAOK Moondarra Caravan Park aims to be an oasis for travellers in the Queensland outback. Out of town, near the Mount Isa airport, this is one of the quieter parks.
Lake Moondarra is nearby, a popular spot for barramundi fishing.
For the humans: Large sites, accommodation, old clean amenities, camp kitchens and free laundry are available for guests. There is an onsite mess restaurant, a swimming pool and a kiosk. Also, the staff are super friendly and helpful.
For your dog: There are a couple of cabins here with fenced yards for your dog. Dogs are allowed inside the accommodation with the permission of the managers.
It is the only caravan park in Mount Isa that makes any effort to provide facilities for dogs above and beyond camping beside one other with pet friendly cabins.
Discovery Parks – Mount Isa
On the road into town from Cloncurry and overlooking the Leichhardt River, Discovery Parks Mount Isa is out on the edge of town. It is considered one of the quieter caravan parks.
For the humans: There are ensuite, powered and unpowered sites, some with grass, but most are dry and dusty, at this caravan park. An onsite all-you-can-eat café, an inviting swimming pool and a games room are the highlights, while the amenities are tired and old but are kept clean.
For your dog: Camping is the only dog friendly option to stay at Discovery Parks Mount Isa.
Sunset Top Tourist Park
Sunset Top Tourist Park is close to town, in a residential area of Mount Isa. Sunset Top Tourist Park is pricey.
Fees are not always clearly stated and often only provide the minimal price for the year. There is an additional for arrivals before 11 am.
For the humans: The park has for campers ensuite, drive through and powered sites as well as unpowered sites by a creek. Some sites are small and some back onto residential properties (some with dogs that bark).
The pride of this caravan park is the friendly and helpful staff. There is also a small saltwater pool and a courtesy bus to a few clubs in town. Amenities are old and mostly kept clean.
For dogs: Dog friendly camping, studio rooms and units available.
Mount Isa Caravan Park
Mount Isa Caravan Park is the cheapest park in town, so if you are on a tight budget, you may pick this as your place to camp in Mount Isa. It is in a residential area, with the highway along one side. The noise can be an issue for some campers.
For the humans: Another one of Mount Isa’s caravan parks has ensuite, drive through, powered and unpowered sites. It also has old, dated amenities.
The highlights of this caravan park are the pool, a courtesy bus, its access to town and that it is close to the Overlander Hotel. The pub is great for meals, drinks and live entertainment.
For your dog: Dog friendly campsites.
Discovery Parks – Argylla
On the Barkly Highway from Cloncurry, on the fringes of town, this Discovery Caravan Park is expensive during peak season and local events. They offer discounts to Discovery and G’day members or look out for deals during the low season that may save you some money.
For the humans: There are pulled through, powered and unpowered sites, with typically the powered sites more likely to have grass and unpowered dirt.
A pool, near new BBQs and a fully stocked camp kitchen, are the best parts of the caravan park. The amenities are dated but are clean and there is some highway noise.
For your dog: Dog friendly campsites only.
Dog Friendly Overflow Camping
Mount Isa in the peak season and significant events cannot meet the demand for campsites. At these times, the overflow options are open and this means budget camping is available, right near town.
On the flip side, the overflow options do not have power, water hookups, a pool or camp kitchens. It comes down to what you want and are willing to spend. Also, the overflows are dog friendly for camping only.
Mount Isa Golf Club
Mount Isa Golf Club offers unpowered camping on a flat, dry and dusty area. There are hot showers and toilets plus meals and drinks are available at the club house when open. If you are a golfer you are welcome to have a hit.
All this for just $10 a night per vehicle.
Irish Club Overflow
Right near town and free, the Irish Club Overflow campground is one to consider for your stay in Mount Isa. There are some things to note before making this your choice.
The club runs a courtesy bus from the camping area to the club, where you can get meals, drinks, play the pokies, use the TAB and mingle with others. The staff are friendly and the club has a relaxed atmosphere.
Campers are given access to toilets during the day only. There are cold showers in the men’s toilets only. Sorry women, you miss out, but some use the men’s showers. The toilet and shower situation means it is best to be self-contained.
Onsite caretakers have or are responsible for looking after dogs used for security at night. Some report the dogs sometimes bark. There are also occasional reports of a septic smell in some parts of the camping area.
Dog Friendly Free Camping Mount Isa
Dog friendly free camping in Mount Isa is not actually in Mount Isa. They are actually significant distances away.
Free camping here is not about accessibility to town. It is experiencing some of Australia’s most unique and outstanding free camps. We also highly recommend doing the beautiful and fascinating dog friendly Fountain Springs Ballara Mining Heritage Trail which is very accessible from the Mount Isa free campgrounds.
Fountain Springs Rest Area is near a historic mining area and natural spring. Mary Kathleen is a ghost town and has an old mine. Clem Walton Park lies along a stunning creek and Corella Dam is breathtaking and, so very, very spacious.
Fountain Springs Rest Area
Driving distance from Mount Isa City Centre | 61 kilometres or 45 minutes
Fountain Springs Rest Area is a roadside stopover on the Barkly Highway halfway between Cloncurry and Mount Isa. The rest area is used by day users, truck drivers and overnight campers.
The rest area has a designated area for unpowered camping with a 20 hour limit, information signs, toilets, sheltered picnic tables and bins. Telstra reception is sketchy at best. The toilet block has no lights, so take a torch.
The area is small given everyone it caters for however works well if users stay in their designated areas. So only camp in the signed camping area and leave the front space for the trucks.
The Fountain Springs Rest Area named after Fountain Springs, is a permanent waterhole. The Fountain Springs Ballara Mining Heritage Trail will lead you to see the spring and historical sites.
Mary Kathleen Town
Driving distance from Mount Isa City Centre | 60 kilometres or 50 minutes
Mary Kathleen Town was once a thriving outback town established to house mining workers and their families in a community near the Mary Kathleen uranium mine. The town closed along with the mine for good in 1982. Today it is a ghost town. Wander through the old streets and imagine how it was in yesteryear with concrete foundations of the town square, school, shops, cinema and pool remaining today.
Mary Kathleen Town is a massive free camp with plenty of room for all rig types to spread out and many caravanners set up along the small concrete slabs that people mistakenly believe are the old house foundations. The slabs were floors of the home garages; the houses were on pillars or stilts.
This free campground will suit you if you like history, space and are self-sufficient (no amenities). Trees and shrubs are scattered around for shade. The ground is dry and dusty.
For your dog, this campground offers space to go for walks, great places to sniff and the joy of not being at a caravan park.
Besides camping in a ghost town, you can visit the old Mary Kathleen open cut uranium mine. The size of the mine and the azure colour (toxic) water that now fills it, gives it a big wow factor. The road to the mine is rough in spots, so best suited to 4WD or make it super easy and a 2WD could make it.
Clem Walton Park
Driving distance from Mount Isa City Centre | 71 kilometres or 1 hour
Clem Walton Park is a stretch of free dog friendly waterfront camping along a creek with a stunning rock backdrop on the far side. There is room for a fair few setups and some spaces big enough for large rigs. You may prefer to pull up near the toilets, BBQs and picnic shelter and do a walk through to find the perfect or available spot.
There is no phone reception here. Instead, take your dog swimming or fishing, enjoy watching the bird life and wildlife, read a book or go on a short kayak. Enjoy blissful camping at its best.
Clem Walton Park, is signposted on the Barkly Highway between Cloncurry and Mount Isa. Turn off at the sign, and drive through the gates (close the gates behind you) which are not locked (the padlocks are for show only). Follow the road to a second gate and drive through. The road is a little rough from here to the creek. Take your time as it is not far from the campsites.
Driving distance from Mount Isa City Centre | 71 kilometres or 1 hour
Corella Dam is one of Australia’s best dog friendly free camps. The dam, completed in 1957, is a magnificent backdrop to this campground that seemingly stretches out in every direction. Here you can relax, swim or put your boat or kayak in the dam, spot freshwater crocodiles, fish for redclaw, walk and check out the bird life. It is truly an oasis in the outback.
It is a very popular campground in the peak season, even with its distance from Mount Isa. We were lucky enough to visit during a quiet period and nearly had the place to ourselves. We loved it so much that we stayed for a week, never venturing anywhere. Chika loved the long walks we did, swimming in the dam and that one of our camping neighbours had a campfire every night.
Please note that Corella Dam has no amenities other than skip bins for rubbish. There are no toilets and no dump points. Unfortunately, we saw, even with only a handful of other campers around, some empty their toilet canisters when they thought no one was looking.
Corella Dam shares the entry to Clem Walton Park. To get into the Corella Dam camping, go through the first gate (as stated above, it is not locked) and keep on the road until you see the dam (do not go through the second gate). As you drive in, you will see a lot of space for camping. Campers usually set up alongside the dam, in the trees and on the raised area near the boat ramp.
Wherever you choose to stay at a dog friendly caravan park Mt Isa or at a free campgrounds with your dog, we hope you have a fantastic stay.