Cloncurry, in Wunumara country, is 343 kilometres northwest of Winton and 124 kilometres east of Mt Isa. Cloncurry owes much of its existence to the discovery of copper.
The first Europeans in the area were Burke and Wills. In 1861, John McKinlay led an expedition in search for Burke and Wills. McKinlay reported traces of copper in the area and in 1867 Ernest Henry, a pastoralist discovered rich copper lodes, and it was decided the area was to become a settlement.
During World War 1, Cloncurry witnessed a copper boom but following the war copper prices slumped and a pastoral industry took its place.
Royal Flying Doctor Memorial
In 1928, Cloncurry became a base for the Royal Flying Doctor.
Today Cloncurry is home to John Flynn Place. John Flynn was the founder of the Royal Flying Doctor Service - the only medical service by air to assist remote station residents. The complex is a tribute to John Flynn and features a Flying Doctor Museum, art gallery, cultural centre and outdoor theatre.
Visit the cemeteries that reveal the early Chinese and Afghan inhabitants in Cloncurry.
About one hundred overgrown plots are the evidence of the harsh conditions that took their toll on Chinese prospectors during a brief goldrush.
Unnamed graves of Afghans are all aligned with Mecca. Like many other outback Australia town settlers, Afghans camel trains were relied upon - this time to transport ore from Cloncurry to Normanton where it was shipped to Europe.
The 118 kilometres, 73.75 miles between Cloncurry, Mayi-Thakurti country, and Mt Isa, Kalkadoon country, is rough terrain where you will travel past a monument to colonial explorers Burke and Wills.
Mary Kathleen Memorial Park
About halfway between Mt Isa and Cloncurry is a plaque that marks Mary Kathleen - this began as a uranium mining town in 1956 but was dismantled in 1982 when export restrictions halted mining.
The Cloncurry/Mary Kathleen Memorial Park has four of the buildings from the original town - the Police residence, Police Station, Town Office and ANZ Bank. The museum at Memorial Park houses a comprehensive mineral collection, some Aboriginal tools and historical mining equipment. The Memorial Park office provides information on old mining camps and fossicking.
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