Isisford, situated about halfway between Ilfracombe on the main highway and Yaraka, has a long history, originally being developed by two traders back in the mid 1800’s, but named Whittown until 1878 when the name was changed to Isisford.
These days, the town has an 18-hole golf course, pool, tennis court, skate park, bowling green, park with playground and fascinating little museums to discover—the old bakery, Café Arcadia and Whitman’s Memorial Museum are a must see. At Whitman’s Memorial Museum, you can discover more about the history of Isisford.
Outer Barcoo Interpretation Centre
Visit the Outer Barcoo Interpretation Centre, a museum depicting the evolution of nature from 100 million years ago to the present. Meet the Isisfordia duncani, the 98 million year old ancestor of modern crocodiles, unearthed on the edge of town in the mid 1990s. There are displays of local fauna, flora, reptiles, birds and fossils that have lived in this region, as well as the formation of the Great Artesian Basin and general history of the Isisford area. Watch an audio-visual presentation of life in the Isisford area since settlement. Relax with a snack at the Barcoo Dreaming Café while you’re there. The OBIC also has maps, a large range of brochures, and you can also pay for your camping fees here.
Camping and Bush Walks
There is camping at the Isisford Weir and Oma Waterhole with showers and toilets available (nominal fee per night). The weir also has a laundromat and barbecue areas. Oma Waterhole is a great spot for water activities with boat ramp access. The waterhole is 4km long and never dries.
There are maintained bushwalking tracks along the Barcoo at the eastern end of Isisford, wth hides along the banks for birdwatching. The countryside is a birdwatcher’s paradise, with numerous birds that are regularly sighted. There are also hides along the banks of the Weir, Oma Waterhole and at the showgrounds. Bird species that can be spotted include Sacred Kingfisher, Rufous Songlark, Nightjar, eagles and falcons.
There are a number of self-drive tours from Isisford, so pack a picnic and take a scenic drive to experience the real outback. As a number of roads are unsealed, these tours are only suitable for 4WDs. For more information and to check the road conditions, contact or visit the OBIC.
Events and Attractions
During the tourist season, there are a number of regular events that are held, including movie nights, pancakes in the park, concerts and trivia nights. You can check the community noticeboard to find out what’s on.
Other attractions in the region include Major Mitchell historical sites like Yuranigh Pond, about 6km from town. Mitchell once camped here and named the waterhole after his Aboriginal friend. There is also a cairn at the point where Mitchell named what is now the Barcoo River.
Accommodation at the Golden West Hotel
The Golden West Hotel, the only hotel out of four in 1904 to still be operating, has powered sites and amenities from $23 a night, and cheaper if you are staying for a week or more. For travellers without an RV, the air-conditioned hotel-style rooms are also very reasonably priced. Meals are availabe seven days a week, with specials on six of those days. The caravan park is also pet friendly.
Longreach Visitor Information Centre
Phone (within Australia) 07 4658 4150