The abandoned Mary Kathleen Uranium mine west of Cloncurry, which has become an instagram sensation and outback tourism attraction due to its electric blue colour amongst the arid reds of the Western Queensland. Photo Lachie Millard
The abandoned Mary Kathleen Uranium mine west of Cloncurry, which has become an instagram sensation and outback tourism attraction due to its electric blue colour amongst the arid reds of the Western Queensland. Photo Lachie Millard

Why tourists are flocking to this old mine

IT'S one of Queensland's most unlikely tourism attractions - a hauntingly beautiful nuclear site set to deliver tourism droves to the Outback.

As tourism around the abandoned town of Chernobyl explodes off the back of the hit Foxtel/HBO TV series, an abandoned uranium mine near Mount Isa is undergoing a new lease of life as an tourism star.

Mary Kathleen was a functioning uranium mine from 1958 until 1981. But in the past 12 months it has blossomed as a unique tourist attraction with its stunning blue water lake making the perfect backdrop for Instagram selfies.

While the site isn't radioactive, swimming isn't advisable.

The abandoned Mary Kathleen Uranium mine near Mount Isa. Picture: Lachie Millard
The abandoned Mary Kathleen Uranium mine near Mount Isa. Picture: Lachie Millard

Gary Murray, chairman of the Mount Isa Tourism Association and owner of North West Tours, said interest in Mary Kathleen was growing rapidly.

"We only started doing tours there last year but they are already proving really popular," he said.

"One of our major focuses out here has been to come up with new products to keep people in the area an extra night or two and this certainly ticks the box."

The electric blue of the Mary Kathleen dam is popular with tourists. Picture: Lachie Millard
The electric blue of the Mary Kathleen dam is popular with tourists. Picture: Lachie Millard

He said there were several theories for why the water was so blue.

"You talk to 10 different people and get 10 different stories, but when the mine finished they tipped a lot of the old equipment in there and the oxidisation process did the rest," he said.

"There's also a lot of peacock rock, or copper rock in the area and the minerals in that could also be the reason."

Mount Isa's Frankie Hall said Mary Kathleen was quickly becoming one of the region's tourism stars.

"The unique blue colour is so picturesque and it's a great place for a selfie," she said.

Frankie Hall takes a selfie at the abandoned Mary Kathleen uranium mine. Picture: Lachie Millard
Frankie Hall takes a selfie at the abandoned Mary Kathleen uranium mine. Picture: Lachie Millard


Friends of Bindaree rumours refuted

premium_icon Friends of Bindaree rumours refuted

Sundale’s Bindaree site manager has dispelled rumours about the closure of the...

Status quo on the weather front

premium_icon Status quo on the weather front

‘We do see increasing chances of showers and thunderstorms as we head into October...

Hay planning to have some fun Under The Trees

premium_icon Hay planning to have some fun Under The Trees

Aussie solo artist Claude Hay, from the Blue Mountains, has never been to the...