Outback Town of Cloncurry
Cloncurry is a town situated in north west Queensland, Australia, 770 kilometres west of the city of Townsville via the Flinders Highway. The town lies adjacent to the Cloncurry River. It is the administrative centre of the Cloncurry Shire. At the 2006 census, the town had a population of 2,384. Cloncurry was proclaimed a town in 1884, and the railway arrived in 1908. Until the advent of Mount Isa, the town was the largest settlement in north west Queensland.
The first Europeans to traverse the area were Burke and Wills on their epic, and ultimately fatal, transcontinental expedition. The Cloncurry River was named by Burke after Lady Elizabeth Cloncurry, his cousin, with the town eventually taking its name from the river.
Copper was discovered in the area in 1867, and the town sprang up to service the Great Australia Mine to the south. Cattle grazing is the significant industry in the region, and a large saleyards is located in the town.
The first ever flight of the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia took place from Cloncurry on May 15, 1928, using a de Havilland DH.50 aircraft hired from the then small airline, Qantas. A Royal Flying Doctor Service museum is situated in the town.