Abandoned Mary Kathleen uranium mine in Queensland becomes Instagram hotspot💥👩💥💥👩💥

This spectacular turquoise lake is now drawing droves of tourists in search of weekend adventure – but it has a murky past

  • An old uranium mine in Queensland has become an unlikely Instagram hotspot
  • Mary Kathleen became a ghost town after the mine closed down in 1982
  • All that remains are concrete slabs where houses and shops once stood
  • But travellers now stop there to see mine pit 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 Queensland Premier Frank Nicklin.

At the time, the town boasted a population of 1,000 living less than 10 kilometres from its lifeblood – the mine – but today, all that remains are memories.

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

Photographer couple Kurt and Carly (pictured) drew stunned responses when they shared this photo of Mary Kathleen mine pit on Instagram

Photographer couple Kurt and Carly (pictured) drew stunned responses when they shared this photo of Mary Kathleen mine pit on Instagram

In a tale eerily reminiscent of Chloe Zhao’s Oscar-winning Nomadland, Mary Kathleen is now a ghost town occupied by empty slabs where houses once stood and a town square abandoned save for a sign pointing to the foundations of the old post office and grocery store.

It sounds depressing and desolate, but tourists now flock there in 4WDs to capture Instagram shots of the old mine pit that is now a sparkling turquoise – and slightly radioactive – dam.

Concrete slabs that stand where shops and houses used to be play host to campers who pitch tents and spend a night in the deserted township so they can snap photos the next morning.

Mary Kathleen is now a ghost town occupied by empty slabs where houses once stood and a town square abandoned save for a sign pointing to the foundations of the old post office

Mary Kathleen is now a ghost town occupied by empty slabs where houses once stood and a town square abandoned save for a sign pointing to the foundations of the old post office

But tourists now flock to Mary Kathleen in 4WDs to capture Instagram shots of the old mine pit that is now a sparkling turquoise - and slightly radioactive - dam

But tourists now flock to Mary Kathleen in 4WDs to capture Instagram shots of the old mine pit that is now a sparkling turquoise – and slightly radioactive – dam

Concrete slabs that stand where shops and houses used to be play host to campers who pitch tents and spend a night in the deserted township so they can snap photos the next morning

Concrete slabs that stand where shops and houses used to be play host to campers who pitch tents and spend a night in the deserted township so they can snap photos the next morning

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

There has been much speculation about what gives the lake its brilliant blue colour, but it is believed to be caused by rusted mining equipment which has oxidised the water.

The mine has recorded ‘non acute’ levels of radiation, which means it is safe to visit.

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

There has been much speculation about what gives the lake its brilliant blue colour, but it is believed to be caused by rusted mining equipment which has oxidised the water

There has been much speculation about what gives the lake its brilliant blue colour, but it is believed to be caused by rusted mining equipment which has oxidised 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 has put Mary Kathleen back on the map, with tourists from across the country stopping there for a taste of something 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 sights in Outback Queensland.

Photographer couple Kurt and Carly, who run Instagram page ‘Let’s Get Outta Here‘, stumbled across the lake and drew dozens of stunned responses after they posted a photo of themselves gazing out over the water.

Many visitors said the ‘beautiful’ colour of the dam took their breath away.

Others said the township feels so ‘truly deserted’, it sends a shiver down your spine.

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Abandoned Mary Kathleen uranium mine in Queensland becomes Instagram hotspot

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