Mary Kathleen - QLD

  Historic Site


DEG: -20.773399 139.981796
DMS: 20º 46' 24.24" S 139º 58' 54.47" E
UTM: 54 K 7702597mN 394016mE
Altitude: 357m


Place Type

Heritage - Historic Site


753.72kms SouthWest of Daintree - Driving 1303 km (14 hours 43 mins)

Address & Contact

Cloncurry QLD
Phone: N/A
Email: N/A
Web: N/A


Mary Kathleen Ghost town which was once an important mining centre.
This famous mining town has been reduced to a bitumen road leading into the bush about 55 km from Mt Isa and 62 km from Cloncurry. The site is not marked but is on the northern side of the road. All that is left of the once thriving town is a series of old streets. Everything else, including all the houses, has disappeared as the centre was completely closed down. It is now nothing more than a memory and a Memorial Park and Museum in McIlwraith St, Cloncurry.

Burke and Wills passed through the Mary Kathleen area in 1861 and it was duly settled by pastoralists in the late 1860s. It wasn't until 1954 that uranium (then the largest known deposit in Australia) was discovered by Walton and McConachy. The latter bestowed the name of his late wife, who had died a couple of weeks earlier, upon the town.

In the next four years an eight-man syndicate was formed, a model town was built, a contract was signed with the UK Atomic Energy Authority, and the mine was brought into production.

The town had two brief lives. Between 1958 and1963 a total of 4500 tonnes of uranium were produced. A world oversupply of uranium led to the mine lying idle from 1963. It was reopened in 1974 but closed again in 1976. It was finally closed down in 1982 and the following year everything in the town from the houses to the public buildings and the equipment was put up for auction.

Free camping available in the old town area, need to be fully self reliable and take out what you bring in. Short gravel road in is suitable for non-offroad caravans.
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Closest Weather Station

TemperatureFeels LikeRel. HumidityDew PointPressureRainfallWind DirectionWind SpeedGusts

Closest Climatic Station

Mount Isa Aero
Distance from Mary Kathleen 52.46km W
Mean Max. °C36.335.334.231.827.824.824.727.331.234.636.437.1
Mean Min. °C23.723.421.718.413.89.98.610.214.218.521.423.0
Mean Rain mm116.4101.364.915.

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