Mary Kathleen’s abandoned uranium mine in Queensland becomes Instagram hotspot

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This spectacular turquoise lake now draws crowds of weekend adventure seekers – but it has a murky past

  • Former uranium mine in Queensland has become an unlikely Instagram hotspot
  • Mary Kathleen became a ghost town after the mine closed in 1982
  • Only concrete slabs remain where houses and shops once stood
  • But travelers now stop there to see the mine which is now a brilliantly blue dam










An abandoned nuclear site in Outback Queensland has become one of Australia’s most unlikely Instagram hotspots.

The town of Mary Kathleen and a uranium mine of the same name were officially opened in 1958 by then Prime Minister Robert Menzies and Premier of Queensland Frank Nicklin.

At the time, the city had 1,000 inhabitants living within 10 kilometers of its lifeblood – the mine – but today only memories remain.

This abandoned nuclear site in Outback Queensland has become one of Australia’s most unlikely Instagram hotspots

Photographer couple Kurt and Carly (pictured) elicited stunned reactions when they shared this photo of Mary Kathleen's mine on Instagram

Photographer couple Kurt and Carly (pictured) elicited stunned reactions when they shared this photo of Mary Kathleen’s mine on Instagram

In a tale that is strangely reminiscent of Chloe Zhao’s Oscar-winning film Nomadic country, Mary Kathleen is now a ghost town occupied by empty flagstones where houses and an abandoned town square once stood, except for a sign showing the foundations of the old post office and grocery store .

It sounds depressing and sorry, but tourists now flock there in 4x4s to capture Instagram photos of the old mine which is now a sparkling turquoise – and slightly radioactive – dam.

Concrete slabs that stand where shops and homes once played host to campers pitching tents and spending a night in the deserted township so they can take photos the next morning.

Mary Kathleen is now a ghost town occupied by empty flagstones where houses and an abandoned town square once stood, except for a sign showing the foundations of the old post office

Mary Kathleen is now a ghost town occupied by empty flagstones where houses and an abandoned town square once stood, except for a sign showing the foundations of the old post office

But tourists are now flocking to Mary Kathleen in a 4x4 to capture Instagram photos of the old mine which is now a sparkling turquoise - and slightly radioactive - dam.

But tourists are now flocking to Mary Kathleen in a 4×4 to capture Instagram photos of the old mine which is now a sparkling turquoise – and slightly radioactive – dam.

Concrete slabs that stand where shops and homes were once host to campers pitching tents and spending a night in the deserted township so they can take photos the next morning

Concrete slabs that stand where shops and homes were once host to campers pitching tents and spending a night in the deserted township so they can take photos the next morning

The dam is so alluring that several tours are now being organized in the area that served as a booming uranium factory for 24 years, before it became Australia’s first major uranium mine rehabilitation project, completed in 1985 at a cost of approximately $ 19 million (AUD).

There has been a lot of speculation about what gives the lake its brilliant blue color, but it is believed to be caused by rusty mining equipment that has oxidized the water.

The mine has recorded “non-acute” radiation levels, which means it can be visited safely.

But while the water looks inviting, visitors are advised not to swim.

There has been a lot of speculation about what gives the lake its brilliant blue color, but it is believed to be caused by rusty mining equipment that has oxidized the water.

There has been a lot of speculation about what gives the lake its brilliant blue color, but it is believed to be caused by rusty mining equipment that has oxidized the water.

Hundreds of Instagram photos are linked to the mine's location tag on Instagram

Hundreds of Instagram photos are linked to the mine’s location tag on Instagram

The dam put Mary Kathleen back on the map, with tourists from across the country stopping there to taste something a little different.

Hundreds of Instagram photos are linked to the mine’s location tag on Instagram, with travel bloggers and “van-lifers” calling it one of the most striking sites in Outback Queensland.

Photographer couple Kurt and Carly, who run the ‘Let’s Get Outta Here’ Instagram page, stumbled across the lake and garnered dozens of stunned responses after posting a photo of themselves looking overhead. water.

Many visitors said that the “beautiful” color of the dam took their breath away.

Others have said that the township feels so “really deserted” it makes you shiver.



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