Destinations

Dead Queensland uranium mine an Instagram hotspot for local tourists

An abandoned uranium mine with outstandingly blue waters in outback Queensland is being given a new lease on life as a tourist attraction.

According to multiple media reports, the old Mary Kathleen mine has been brought out of a staid retirement and turned into a local tourist spot, with the region reportedly popular with grey nomads, thanks in no small part to its unnaturally blue and photogenic waters.

The slightly radioactive dam and abandoned mine site is becoming somewhat of a hit on Instagram, with dozens of tourists posting shots of adventures at the site, which is a short trip from the now abandoned mining town of Mary Kathleen.

Although swimming isn’t advisable, thanks to an unstable cocktail of chemicals that consequently cause the unnatural colour of the dam’s water, the destination is proving to be the perfect backdrop for travellers visiting from Mount Isa 53 kilometres from Mary Kathleen, and further afield.

Gary Murray, chairman of the Mount Isa Tourism Association and owner of North West Tours, told The Courier Mail interest in Mary Kathleen was “growing rapidly”.

“We only started doing tours there last year but they are already proving really popular,” he said.

“One of our major focuses out here has been to come up with new products to keep people in the area an extra night or two and this certainly ticks the box.”

Retired cricketer Lee Carseldine has been one of the visitors to the Mary Kathleen mine, posting a shot at the site to Instagram with the caption “Don’t quarry…be happy..”

But while taking pictures of the destination is “safe”, experts warn that travellers ought to avoid contact with the water, which happens to be radioactive but not to the levels of a “nuclear power reactor”.

“[T]he general levels of that radiation [are] above background levels but they’re not acute,” Gavin Mudd from the school of chemical and environmental engineering at RMIT told ABC News.

“There are risks to skin, risks to ingesting that water, and if you do happen to ingest some water, that may be an issue.

“I wouldn’t describe the risks as acute, but I certainly wouldn’t be swimming in that old mine pit.”

In other destinations around the world, tourists are flocking to similarly abandoned mines and chemical dumping sites with unnaturally beautiful water.

This came at the risk of tourists to a blue Siberian “Maldives” lake, which was found to be a chemical dump site.

Featured image: Instagram/@kooleahnoel

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Aviation

ACCC gives Virgin Australia’s cooperation plans with Virgin Atlantic a boost

This news couldn’t have come at a better time for Virgin Australia, given its current financial predicament.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Agent wrap: Beyond Travel’s Sri Lanka commission deal, Magellan award winners revealed + MORE!

This week’s agent wrap is somewhat of a whopper, a “Big Bertha”, a “Goliath”. Meaning there’s lots of news.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Nearly half of all new cruise builds to rely on LNG fuel: CLIA

The cruise industry is making “unprecedented” progress in going green, according to CLIA. Find out exactly how it’s making cruising more sustainable here.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Young man snagged at Indian airport after impersonating 81-year-old to enter US

In all honesty, Travel Weekly thinks this man’s disguise was pretty convincing.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

A&K reveals its 2020 ‘hot list’

Abercrombie & Kent has announced its ‘hot list’ for 2020. However, that’s not to suggest it’s made up of attractive people in the travel industry.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Maori groups threaten to boycott Air New Zealand over ‘kia ora’ trademark

The airline is seeking to trademark the masthead of its inflight magazine, Kia Ora, just in time for Maori language week.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Aussie travel bloggers detained in Iran over alleged drone activity

The pair were documenting an overland voyage from Australia to London when they were arrested for allegedly launching a drone near a military area.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Pilot’s coffee spillage causes plane carrying hundreds to divert

by Christian Fleetwood

According to the incident report, the pilot was using a single-use cup. Shame, shame, shame!

Share

CommentComments

Road & Rail

Flight Centre drives away with Uber

Look, we were going to go with the headline “Flight Centre shifts up a gear with Uber”, but thought it was too lame.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Flavour of the Week: LATAM’s new CEO, RCL gets new agency, Uber Air appoints boss + MORE!

There has been an awful lot of movement in the travel industry recently, so we’ve prepared a mammoth wrap-up of all the latest appointments to give you some to toast to down at the pub later today.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Tourism Australia names new boss

Tourism Australia has appointed its new managing director, who also happens to be the organisation’s first-ever female head.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

“It’s a complete abrogation of responsibility”: Flight Centre urged to stop selling elephant riding

by Christian Fleetwood

Flight Centre has ruffled a few feathers over its stance on elephant riding. Get the lowdown here.

Share

CommentComments