Travel the Capricorn Highway west to Longreach, and along the way, you’ll find yourself in the historic town of Barcaldine. This is a friendly country town with a bustling art and culture scene centred around the Tree of Knowledge art installation. Take a stroll down Barcaldine's main street to discover murals (including one by the iconic Aussie painter D’Arcy Doyle), musical instruments, and lovingly tended gardens. Taking its name from the Oban region in Scotland, Barcaldine (pronounced bar-call-din) is 100km east of Longreach. The town has a long and rich history as the reputed birthplace of the labour movement in Australia. And the Australian Worker’s Heritage Centre depicts the events of the 1891 Australian shearers’ strike that took place under the town’s now-famous ghost gum. So plan to stay a while, delve into political history and have a yarn or two at one of Barcaldine’s many outback pubs.
Make tracks for Queensland's central west on the Spirit of the Outback, an historic rail journey like no other. Then delve deep into outback life staying in Longreach, Toogunna Plains Station and Roma. Visit the Stockman's Hall of Fame and Qantas Founders Museum. Take a Station tour and Thomson River sunset cruise. Unearth dinosaurs in Winton, Waltz with Matilda, take a station tour with insights to the land overseeing all of Queensland’s iconic outback.
Take advantage of discounted low season fares and make tracks for Longreach on the Spirit of the Outback, an historic rail journey like no other. Then delve deep into outback life visiting The Stockman's Hall of Fame, Qantas Founders Museum, Camden Park Station and a trip to the Age of Dinosaurs exhibit in Winton. We then depart the Outback and make our way to the Town of 1770 where we spend 2 nights. Take in the highlights of Agnes Water by land and sea onboard a unique LARC amphibious vehicle.
Traverse the state of Queensland through Roma, Barcaldine, Emerald, Longreach, and Cloncurry to the Gulf of Carpenteria to experience an epic Gulf sunset and Sand Island dinner. See the outback come to life, learn about the heritage of mining, discover the indigenous culture, and ride the legendary Gulflander train as touring heads through Cobbold Gorge and Undara to tropical Cairns on this journey showcasing the best of Queensland.
Barcaldine attractions to add to your list include visits to the old windmill on Oak Street, the outback oasis at Lara Wetlands (which makes for a fantastic sunset photo), and the heritage-listed Masonic Lodge.
Make sure you take a stroll along Lagoon Creek to spot upwards of 200 species of birds and delve into history at The Australian Workers Heritage Centre. You can discover ancient geology on an Artesian Country Tour or learn about the region's pastoral past on a tour of Dunraven Sheep station. Following that, why not enjoy a cold beverage in one (or all) of the main street’s five pubs.
Like most of Outback Queensland, Barcaldine is best enjoyed during the winter months from April to the end of October, when temperatures during the day are warm and dry (still well into the 20s), and nights are cool. However, for those who feel they can handle Barcaldine’s summer heat and are keen to travel between November and March, there are some fantastic deals to tempt you.
Regardless of which time of year you choose, essential items for any outback journey include a hat, sunscreen and light clothes with long sleeves. For visits in winter, you will need warm clothes to rug up at night whilst you sit by a campfire and gaze at the amazing night sky.
Barcaldine is around 1000km northwest of Brisbane. The drive is long, but the roads are all sealed, and the journey into the outback is an interesting one. Coaches depart daily from Brisbane bound for Barcaldine, and our selection of Barcaldine tours provides a comfortable, hassle-free and informative option. Queensland’s iconic rail journey, ‘The Spirit of the Outback’, departs Brisbane twice a week, travelling to Longreach via Rockhampton and stopping in Barcaldine.
There are many interesting things to see in Barcaldine. A good place to start is outside the railway station with the Tree of Knowledge, the birthplace of the Australian Labor Party. The tree became a meeting place for striking shearers in 1891, who gathered under its shade to discuss the strikes and their demands for better working conditions and wages. The remnants of the tree are preserved under an award-winning art installation. Be sure to pop by at night when the structure is beautifully illuminated.
Barcaldine’s nickname is the Garden City of the West, with every single street named after a tree.
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