If you are planning on hitting the road and heading out West, add Barcaldine to your itinerary. This charming small town in Central West Queensland is one of our favourite spots to visit in the bush. Whether you are passing through on an Outback road-trip, or stopping in to experience the history of the area, a trip to Barcaldine is one that you will not forget!
1. Barcaldine is approximately a 578 kilometre drive west of Rockhampton.
Barcaldine is around a 578km drive west of Rockhampton, along the Capricorn Highway. It’s a great road-trip, one that we would highly recommend! If you are doing the drive, head to Emerald first to check out the town’s many attractions before heading three hours onwards to Barcaldine.
2. Barcaldine is known as the Garden City in the West
Did you know that Barcaldine is known as the Garden City of Outback? The streets in Barcaldine are even named after trees!
3. Barcaldine is home to the Tree of Knowledge
What you may or may not know is that Barcaldine played a significant role in the birth of the Australian Labor Party. In 1891, Barcaldine became the headquarters of the Great Shearers’ Strike, whereby 1000 shearers stopped shearing in a protest outside the railway station. The strike resulted in the formation of the Labor Party and a graziers’ group which evolved into what we know today as the National Party. The Tree of Knowledge is a symbol of the strike today, and is a must-see if you are ever passing through the town.
4. The name Barcaldine is Scottish!
You might be wondering how an Outback town ended up with a Scottish name. The town is in fact named after Barcaldine Downs, a sheep station that was established in 1863 by Donald Cameron, who named the property after his family’s property in Scotland
5. There is a fruit cake from 1976 on display in the town’s museum…
Did you know that there is a preserved fruit cake from 1976 on display at The Barcaldine and District Folk Museum? The cake is preserved in a special glass dome, and it is still going strong! If fruit cake is not quite your style, there is plenty of other fascinating memorabilia to see in the museum.
6. Barcaldine’s 1926 Radio Picture Theatre still operates!
If you have some spare time in Barcy, why not take some time out to see a film? The old-school Radio Picture Theatre was closed for many years, however reopened in 1995 and has been showing movies on the weekend since then.
7. There are 60,000 sheep in the Barcaldine Shire
If you think 60,000 sheep are a lot, imagine what life in Barcaldine must have been like back in 1861 when 394,655 sheep called the Shire home…
8. There are five pubs on the main street alone!
If you are in Barcy looking for a beer, you are going to be spoiled for choice! With five pubs in the main street alone, choosing where to have a schooner could be tricky…
9. Australia’s first artesian bore was found just 35 kilometres away from Barcaldine
Australia’s first artesian bore was found 35 kilometres west of Barcaldine, back in 1887.
10. A lagoon isn’t far from town!
Lagoon Creek on the outskirts of Barcaldine is a beautiful place to spend a day, whether you are into birdwatching, walking, or just want to spot some adorable Aussie wildlife. Our tip is to visit early in the morning or in the evening to catch a glimpse of some gorgeous animals and birds.
By Kate Nutting