‘The Curry’, as Cloncurry is affectionately known by locals, is most famous for being the birthplace of the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS). Conceived and launched by the Reverend John Flynn in the 1920s, this flying medical service is just as integral to the people of the outback today as it ever was. At the John Flynn Place Museum and Art Gallery, learn about the founding of the RFDS and how Flynn harnessed the emerging technology of the pedal radio to pioneer outback communication.
On the theme of aviation, visit the original Qantas hangar where the first passenger flew from Longreach to Cloncurry in 1922. Some say that Qantas was conceived in Winton, born in Cloncurry and grew up in Longreach, so all three towns played a massive part in the Australian icon’s development.
Cloncurry was named by explorer Robert O’Hara Burke and you can see his drink bottle at the Burke and Wills display in the Cloncurry Unearthed Museum at the Cloncurry/Mary Kathleen Memorial Park, where you can learn about the former Mary Kathleen uranium mine. Mining still plays a huge role in the town’s economy with some of Australia’s largest copper deposits in the region.
If your visit coincides with the Cloncurry Stockman’s Challenge and Campdraft, you’ll be able to witness skillful displays of bush horsemanship in a tribute to the Australian horseman. Horses and their riders work together to overcome obstacles, move cattle and demonstrate their ability, training and presentation in a series of timed events.
Other attractions include the Cloncurry Cemetery with graves dating back to the 1880s, the Court House, which was built in 1898, and Chinaman Creek Dam where you can swim, picnic and take in an outback sunset.