Mount Isa and surrounds


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The Mount Isa and surrounds area of our North Queensland region is made up of Mount Isa and some of the region’s most remote communities. We’ve compiled some information below to help you decide where you might like to teach in this part of the region.​


Mount Isa

Mount Isa is a beautiful country town and one of North Queensland’s key mining hubs. Despite its regional location, it acts as a major service centre for the area and has all the necessities, cafes, restaurants and events to satisfy your needs. With a community of approximately 22,000 people, ’The Isa’ is the perfect size to provide wonderful country hospitality alongside all the comforts and luxuries you find in larger cities.

Mount Isa is also a haven for fishing, camping and 4-wheel-driving. Only 16km out of town, you’ll find Lake Moondarra, which is the perfect spot for swimming, boating, canoeing and fishing. If these activities aren’t your style, there are plenty of picnic areas around the lake to relax with a book under a shady tree or have a BBQ with friends and family. 

When you’ve got more time to explore, the spectacular Lawn Hill Gorge in Boodjamulla National Park​ is not to be missed. 

Mount Isa also prides itself as being home to the richest and largest annual rodeo in the Southern Hemisphere, the third largest in the world.

Mount Isa fun fact

Mount Isa is in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest city in the world!

It officially ex​tends 40,977 square kilometres and has the longest city road in the world, stretching 189 kilometres to Camooweal, on the border with the Northern Territory.​

​ ​

 Mount Isa photo gallery

Rural schools

There are 5 rural schools in the Mount Isa and surrounds geographic area of the North Queensland region, most of which are situated along the Overlander's Way between Charters Towers and Mount Isa.


As birthplace of the Royal Flying Doctor Service and destination of the first Qantas flight, Cloncurry is a community that celebrates outback life... the true Australian way!

Cloncurry State School is a proud Prep to 12 school at the heart of this outback town, both geographically and socially. Their 300 students have opportunities to get involved in extra-curricular activities like sports competitions, art expos, instrumental music, learn a new language and more. Senior students also have the opportunity to undertake a school-based apprenticeship.


Hughenden is an outback town on the edge of Australia's ancient sea, with a number of important fossil finds in the area. It has 4 National Parks, gem fields, mountainous basalt country and sweeping black soil plains, along with 1,150 charming locals. It boasts fantastic fishing, swimming, hiking and bird watching, as well as the annual Stamford Races and Community Fun Day, and Hughenden Country Music Festival.

Hughenden State School is a Prep to 10 school which provides a personalised learning journey for their students, with a high percentage of senior students undertaking individualised programs including traineeships and introductory tertiary subjects. The school has a good-sized irrigated oval and the shire pool adjoins the school boundary. The student services centre accommodates the learning support staff and is the base location for the specialists, including a Speech Language Pathologist, Occupational Therapist and Physio Therapist. School buildings are air-conditioned and include a fully equipped art room, home economics room, manual arts block, construction courtyard, graphics room and a science lab. The music centre provides room for music instruction by the class teacher.

Julia Creek

Situated on Overlander’s Way, you’ll find a little town called Julia Creek, which has become colloquially known as the 'Gateway to the Gulf'. It offers excellent swimming, fishing and picnicking at 'the Punchbowl' watering hole, a naturally heated artesian spa and beautiful nature trails to explore. If you’re lucky, you may even spot the endangered Julia Creek Dunnart, an extremely shy nocturnal hunter.

The town also hosts the annual Julia Creek Dirt 'n' Dust Festival every April, which includes many events such as major triathlons, horse races, bull riding and more.

Julia Creek State School is a small school that is committed to working in partnership with parents and community to empower their students who live in Julia Creek and the surrounding areas. Their aim is to support students to be active, independent and responsible citizens who respect themselves, others and the environment. Teachers are supported by support staff, including a Guidance Officer, Speech Pathologist and learning support teacher aides. The school works closely with other small schools in and near Mount Isa to ensure consistency of standards across their schools and allows for valuable networks to be formed among teachers and principals.


Prairie is a small town with big history. 57km south of Prairie is Kooroorinya Falls Nature Reserve, offering a natural watering hole for swimming, bush walking, fishing, bush camping and bird watching. The reserve comes alive for 3 days every year when the Oakley Amateur Picnic Race Committee holds their Annual Race Meeting.

Prairie State School provides a learning environment that is fun, safe, and reflective of contemporary ideologies of primary education and the uniqueness of the local context. Students and staff work hard to ensure that everybody, every day, is learning to the best of their ability. The school also has a dedicated library and resource centre, as well as an undercover eating area. The school grounds consist of a shaded playground and half basketball court, a multi-purpose tennis/basketball court, sandpit, shaded play areas and exercise equipment.

Fun fact about Prairie State School

The classroom is housed in the original school building, built in 1917.


Once an inland sea overflowing with ancient wildlife, today Richmond is best known for its marine fossil discoveries, earning its reputation as the Fossil Capital of Australia. It is here, in this town halfway between Townsville and Mount Isa, that you’ll be blown away by the fossils, estimated to be from about 97.5 to 120 million years ago.

From the shimmer of the sun shining on the gidgee trees in the forest country, to the rolling plains of the downs country, to the main street lined with bougainvilleas, native trees and shrubs… there’s plenty to fall in love with in Richmond.

Richmond State School offers a range and variety of learning experiences for its students in Prep to Year 10. The school provides a quality education in a caring and supportive environment, where productive relationships between families, the school and community are fostered and valued. The school has excellent facilities including a modern, well equipped resource centre, undercover multi-purpose sports centre, large computer lab, a manual arts workshop and fully refurbished home economics centre.

Fun fact about Richmond State School

In 2010, a Year 10 student and the groundskeeper unearthed bones from an ichthyosaur, a marine reptile that is a cross between a dolphin and a shark, in the school’s vege garden!

Remote schools

There are 10 remote schools in the North Queensland region, with enrolments ranging from 11 to 420 students.

Remote locations offer a unique experience, a diverse lifestyle and the opportunity to explore some of the country's most beautiful landscapes. Teaching in a remote community presents you with the opportunity to strengthen your career prospects, build rewarding life-long friendships while also inspiring your students to discover their infinite potential.


The town of Boulia is full of colour and life, from the local characters and camel races to the starry nights and min min lights.

At the heart of this friendly little outback town is Boulia State School, with approximately 35 students and hardworking and dedicated staff covering a wide range of jobs. This is a place where every student can shine and everyone is a part of the vibrant school community, learning and growing together and having heaps of fun along the way. The school has a range of facilities including a tuckshop and playgroup room. The students also have access to a large well-maintained oval. There is a basketball court, which can be used as a tennis court. There is 1 play fort and an under-cover area which is always busy with children of all ages playing handball.


Burketown rests on the edge of the Gulf of Carpentaria, on the dividing line between the wetlands in the north and vast Gulf Savannah plains to the south. Every Easter, this small community of just over 200 bursts to life for the annual World Barramundi Fishing Championships. Later, in spring, tourists flock into town to see the rare and spectacular phenomenon known as the Morning Glory – clouds appear above the Gulf in a series of rolls, often stretching for more than 1,000 kilometres.

Burketown State School is committed to providing the best possible education for all their students. They provide a culture of high expectations for students and work collaboratively to ensure they are closing the gap in indigenous education. Students have access to a wide range of academic, extra-curricular, sporting and cultural programs, including a STEM program, Global Languages Program, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Aspirations Program (ATSIAP), Junior Ranger Program, Positive Behaviour System Program and Gulf Sports Health and Wellbeing Programs.

Cameron Downs

Located just 1 hour south of Hughenden on the Muttaburry Highway, Cameron Downs is a 80,000-acre cattle station located south of Hughenden on the Muttaburra Highway.

Cameron Downs State School is located on the cattle station, providing you with a unique outback experience. The school aims to nurture students’ intellectual curiosity, courtesy and pride to allow them to achieve their full potential within their unique rural learning environment. The school fosters collaborative, close-knit community partnerships and an inclusive instructional program that enables all students to meet the challenges of the future with confidence and compassion. The school is surrounded by self-irrigated lawns and towering trees, and features an airconditioned classroom, separate library, separate Prep – shed, tennis court, shade covered playground and large undercover area.


Situated 190km from Mount Isa, Camooweal is the gateway to the Northern Territory along the Barkly Highway. Visit the Drover's Camp and take a free guided tour of its impressive display of droving history and the beautiful art gallery.

Camooweal State School is committed to working with school parents and the wider community so all students have the best start in life. Every student is valued and encouraged to achieve their best at school and within the community, and to be proud of their identity and culture. The school has 2 multi-age classes, a tuckshop, Playgroup room, Resource Centre, a large well-maintained oval, a basketball court, 2 play forts and an under-cover area for children to play in.

Camooweal fun fact

The road through Camooweal to the Northern Territory was the inland defence route for World War II. This road was built by army engineers and carried over 1,000 vehicles a day and there are numerous historical sites marked along the road.


Dajarra is an outback town halfway between Boulia and Mount Isa with a rich Aboriginal heritage. Now a quiet, laid-back town, Dajarra was once the largest cattle trucking depot in the world, processing thousands of head of cattle from as far away as Western Australia.

Dajarra State School has been in operation since 1920 and caters for students in Kindy to Year 6. The school uses the P–6 Small School Curriculum model which allows flexibility in delivering the curriculum but ensuring it is aligned to the Australian Curriculum. The community is proud of past achievements and the school continues to provide quality education for current and future students.


Doomadgee, a township of around 1,200 people, is nestled in the pristine wilderness of native title land alongside the Nicholson River. The Doomadgee community is keen to develop its tourism industry and to showcase its strong and vibrant culture.

Doomadgee State School provides the essential service of education to the 1,200 strong community, predominantly made up of Gangalidda, Garrawa and Waanyi first peoples of Australia. The school has a long tradition of positive outcomes since its establishment in the early 1970s and is establishing itself within Doomadgee as a place of supported teaching and learning within the community’s cultural context. Explore the school’s Facebook page to get a feel for ‘The Doomadgee Way’.

Karumba (TR 7B)

Karumba is located at the base of the Gulf of Carpentaria, at the mouth of the Norman River. In summer, monsoonal rain replenishes the waterways and attracts a variety of birdlife, making it a birdwatcher’s paradise. In winter, the town becomes a fishing hub, with fishing enthusiasts descending on Karumba to try their luck at catching some of the best wild caught barramundi in Australia.​

Karumba State School is a small school that caters for the educational needs of their students who are split into 2 multi-age classes. The school is passionate about creating the best possible educational opportunities for students, which is seen in the classrooms and the way they go about each day. Each classroom has a dedicated literacy reading block each day which community members and parents are encouraged to contribute to as reading volunteers. Despite being a remote school, students and teachers have access to many sporting, cultural and academic opportunities, including participation in the annual, Croydon Touch Football Carnival and Eisteddfod, the Festival of Sport held in Karumba and the cluster Athletics Carnival held in Normanton.

Mornington Island

Kuba waga kilmu (Lardil language: Hello everybody!).

Located in the Gulf of Carpentaria, Mornington Island is the largest and northernmost of 22 islands in the Wellesley Islands group.

Mornington Island State School is a Kindy to Year 10 campus located in the town of Gununa, the largest settlement on the island. The school believes in working together within, and for, the community and encourages students to be proud of themselves and of their rich cultural history. Teachers work together in professional learning teams to understand their students, collaboratively plan targeted, explicit and engaging learning experiences, share challenges and ideas, and celebrate successes. The vision is that all students believe that they are strong, smart and deadly learners.

Visit the school’s Facebook page for a glimpse into teaching here.


Established on the Norman River, Normanton is situated in a safari of golden savannah grasslands with an abundance of wildlife. Just after wet season, the wetlands between Normanton and Karumba come alive with wildlife, especially birds, making it an excellent place for birdwatching.

Normanton has all you need to make this your new home, with local grocery shops, a bakery, a sports centre, golf course, bowling green, library, racecourse, rodeo ground, water park, TAFE, hospital and a small airport.

Normanton State School is a Prep to Year 10 school which supports and encourages students in many areas, including academic, sporting and social opportunities. The programs focus on engaged learning time, quality teaching and high expectations in supportive and disciplined classrooms. The school works with parents by encouraging them to be active partners in the education of their children. The school has fully airconditioned buildings and facilities include a home economics room (with a fully equipped kitchen), manual arts room and welding facilities, computer lab and hub, an art room, sports shed and football oval, greenhouse and a library. The school also has access to the local swimming pool, football overall, athletics track and sports shed for students.


Urandangi is a small town located 187km south-west of Mount Isa, near the Northern Territory border and was founded in 1885 with the humble beginnings of a general store. Historically, Urandangi used to be considered a meeting place for all local Indigenous tribes to meet to discuss cultural perspectives. The town is still a meeting place, but in a different context. The nearby Georgina River will provide you with a tranquil backdrop that’s not hard to see why it has had songs and poems written about it.

Urandangi State School is a small Prep to Year 6 school that serves the surrounding town and its Indigenous communities. It is a small school capable of big things! The small numbers of students mean teachers can easily zone in on their students’ learning and focus on individualised teaching and learning. With a small cohort of staff on board, you will have the opportunity to learn so much more about the management of schools that you don’t get in a larger school. Living in this community feels like being part of a big family, so as a teacher in Urandangi, you can expect to build strong and positive relationships with the local community. The school takes a holistic approach to support their students, looking after their academic, nutritional, pastoral and hygienic needs.


 Teachers' stories

Last updated 03 December 2021