Barcaldine's charming facade, one that has earned it the tag of 'Garden City of the West' hides tumultuous tales of a controversial past.
In 1891, five years after the railway push into the Outback established the township, Barcaldine became the headquarters of the Great Shearers' Strike. One thousand shearers laid down their blades in a defiant protest that reverberated around the nation and resulted in the formation of the Australia Labor Party and a graziers' group which later evolved into the National Party. An enduring symbol of the strike lives on today in the Tree of Knowledge, the imposing ghost gum in the town's main street where the strike meetings were held.
The Australian Workers Heritage Centre is a national project commemorating not just these events, which changed the course of the nation's working history, but is a tribute to all Australian working men and women. Set in over five acres of landscaped gardens, it is also home to the Wanpa-rda Matilda Outback Education Centre – a unique residential facility for schools and community groups.
Barcaldine is also home to the Australian Workers Heritage Centre and the old world Radio Theatre, complete with its canvas seats, and the working windmill that pumps water into the sculpture designed and erected by the Youth of Barcaldine, which stands outside the information centre.
Barcaldine is situated at the junction of the Capricorn and Matilda (Landsborough) Highways. Use Barcaldine as a base from which to explore the Central West of Queensland. The extensive range of accommodation and shopping facilities make Barcaldine a relaxing place to stay, recover and explore.