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Barcaldine - Cities, Towns and Localities

“Garden City of the West”

Founded in 1886 when the railway came through this area, Barcaldine has a colourful history that ultimately changed the political landscape in Australia. In May 1891, 3,000 shearers came together, laid down their blades in defiance of the graziers who offered poor wages and working conditions and refused to go back to work. The unions eventually lost this fight due to the backing of the NSW and QLD governments with 13 ringleaders found guilty of conspiracy and then jailed on St Helena Island at the mouth of the Brisbane River for three years.

This protest known as the 'Great Shearers Strike' made news around the country and ultimately led to the formation of the Labour Electoral Leagues which became known as the Labour Party and eventually renamed to the Australian Labour Party. At this time there were no political parties in Australia. Other parties were created soon after to provide a platform for opposition to the Australian Labour Party.

Other items of interest is the Bougainvillea and Artesian Festival held every two years. Today Barcaldine is a modern inland town with plenty of attractions to keep you entertained.

Check out our listing of Barcaldine accommodation and Central Queensland accommodation. In addition to our listed online travel guide information, contact the local tourism visitor centre for your destination for more attractions, tours, local maps and other information.

Information Centre Barcaldine Tourist Information Centre
Oak Street
Ph: 07 4651 1724
Fax: 07 4651 2435
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Barcaldine Attractions

Australian Workers Heritage Centre
• Ash Street, BARCALDINE QLD 4725 • Ph: 07 4651 2422 • Fax: 07 4651 1570 • Email

"Come what may we will not be beaten, that when the battle is over our unions will still live.
We have a right to resolve this, though disenfranchised we are,
we are the people whose labour mainly upholds Queensland"

• The Australian Workers Heritage Centre plays a key role in defining our national character. Officially opened by the Prime Minister Bob Hawke in May 1991, the centre marks the site of one of Australia's first major industrial disputes - the Great Shearers' Strike of 1891 - when on one night, more than 1000 men downed shears and rallied by torch light to march through the streets of Barcaldine demanding better conditions from graziers.

Barcaldine Historical Museum
• Gidyea & Beech Street, BARCALDINE QLD 4725
• Open from 7 am to 5 pm every day except Good Friday and Christmas Day.
• Home to a collection of memorabilia from early days in and around Barcaldine. The Barcaldine and District Folk Museum houses a collection of memorabilia from early days in and around Barcaldine. Housed in the former old National Bank (built in 1906), there are additional displays added from time to time. Family days are held on the last Sunday of the month from March to November with mini steam train rides with smoko and lunch available.
Baths Bore Site
• Barcaldine first bore drilled in 1887, was 691 foot deep and flowed at 62,200 gallons per day and heated to 100ฐC. Baths were built on the site in 1907 and used until 1980 when a new one was built near the showgrounds. The first baths never had filtration but were emptied twice weekly.
Lloyd Jones Weir
• 15 km from town take the Blackall Road. Nice billabong on the Alice River. BBQ fireplaces are provided with plenty of firewood. Good fishing by all accounts. Disabled access to the toilets. Kangaroos come down to drink in the evening.
Radio Theatre
• A must see for visitors to our town. The theatre opened in 1926 with silent movies, talking movies were introduced in 1931. After numerous years of closure the theatre reopened in 1995. The theatre still provides the old style canvas seats for comfort.
Tree of Knowledge
• In the main street of Barcaldine, in front of the railway station. The tree was the main meeting place for townspeople and was then known as the ‘Alleluia Tree’ because the Salvation Army used to meet under its branches. Meetings of bullock drivers ('bullockies") were also held under the tree.

The Tree of Knowledge holds a special place in Australian history because what happened underneath it changed the future development of Australia. Since the 1950s there have been efforts to preserve the tree and it was given emergency surgery in 1982, 1986 and in 1990, on the eve of the centenary of the Shearers Strike. Today, the tree is still growing well and can be visited in front of the railway station.

Wanpa-rda Matilda Outback Education Centre
• PO Box 26, BARCALDINE QLD 4725 • Email: Online Feedback Form
• Pronounced waarn-pra-da) is a Wangkangurru word from the Birdsville district and means “to carry”. Matilda comes from the song “Waltzing Matilda” and refers to a swag or bed roll. Hence, Wanpa-rda Matilda means “to carry your swag”. From this Centre, you can visit 42 sites from Winton to Birdsville and from Barcaldine to Boulia. These sites capture the uniqueness of the Outback and challenge visitors with their great natural beauty and historical significance.

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QLD Tours • Outback • Eco • Adventure • National Tours
Artesian Country Tours
• BARCALDINE QLD 4725 • Ph: 07 4651 2211 • Email
• Offering a range of tour packages including the '5 Days Best of the Outback', 'Aramac and Gracevale Tour, plus a range of tailored tours.

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Barcaldine Other Links

• Barcaldine Community/Local Government Links
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