Barcaldine, Queensland

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Barcaldine-St Peters CoE.JPG
The Register of the National Estate listed, St Peters Church of England, Barcaldine, QLD.
Barcaldine is located in Queensland
Coordinates 23°34′0″S 145°17′0″E / 23.56667°S 145.28333°E / -23.56667; 145.28333Coordinates: 23°34′0″S 145°17′0″E / 23.56667°S 145.28333°E / -23.56667; 145.28333
Population 1,337 (2006 census)[1]
Postcode(s) 4725
Elevation 266.9 m (876 ft)
LGA(s) Barcaldine Region
State electorate(s) Gregory
Federal Division(s) Maranoa
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
30.0 °C
86 °F
16.2 °C
61 °F
497.7 mm
19.6 in

Barcaldine (/bɑrˈkɔːldɨn/, locally [baːˈkoːldən])[2] is a small town and locality in the Barcaldine Region in Central West Queensland, Australia.[3][4] Barcaldine played a major role in the Australian labour movement.


Barcaldine is approximately 520 kilometres (320 mi) by road west of the city of Rockhampton. The town is situated on Lagoon Creek, which flows into the Alice River approximately five kilometres south of the Barcaldine. This is the administrative centre of the Barcaldine Region. Major industries are sheep and beef cattle rearing.

At the 2006 census, Barcaldine had a population of 1,337.[1]


The town takes its name from a sheep station called Barcaldine Downs, which was established in 1863 by Donald Cameron, whose family property in Ayrshire, Scotland, which was named for Barcaldine, Argyll and Bute, Scotland.[3][5]

Tree of Knowledge marker in Barcaldine

Barcaldine Post Office opened on 13 November 1886.[6]

Barcaldine State School opened on 4 July 1887.[7]

Labour movement[edit]

Barcaldine played a significant role in the Australian labour movement and the birth of the Australian Labor Party. In 1891, it was one of the focal points of the 1891 Australian shearers' strike, with the Eureka Flag flying over the strike camp. The landmark Tree of Knowledge, under which the strikers met, stood outside the railway station. In 2006, persons unknown poisoned the tree with the herbicide Roundup, which led to its demise.

One of the first May day marches in the world took place during the strike on 1 May 1891 in Barcaldine. The Sydney Morning Herald reported that of the 1,340 men that took part, 618 were mounted on horses. Banners carried included those of the Australian Labor Federation, the Shearers' and Carriers' Unions, and one inscribed 'Young Australia'. The leaders wore blue sashes and the Eureka Flag was carried. The Labor Bulletin reported that cheers were given for "the Union", "the Eight-hour day", "the Strike Committee" and "the boys in gaol". It reported the march:

In the procession every civilised country was represented doing duty for the Russian, Swede, French, Dane etc., who are germane to him in other climes, showing that Labor's cause is one the world over, foreshadowing the time when the swords shall be turned into ploughshares and Liberty, Peace and Friendship will knit together the nations of the earth.

Local government[edit]

In 1892, the local government area of Barcaldine Division was established, by separating it from the Kargoolnah Division which had its headquarters in Blackall. Since then, Barcaldine has been the headquarters of local government in the area, commencing with the Barcaldine Divisional Board, which became the Barcaldine Shire Council in 1903, and then the Barcaldine Regional Council in 2008. The initial local government meetings were held in a building in Oak Street, which burned down in 1896. A shire hall was then constructed in 1898 on the south-east corner of Ash and Beech Streets, which eventually became too small. In February 1912 a new larger shire hall was opened and that building (somewhat modified and extended) is still in use today and is heritage-listed.[8]

War memorial[edit]

Barcaldine War Memorial, 1928

The Barcaldine War Memorial was unveiled by Queensland Governor, Matthew Nathan, on 21 May 1924.[9]


Climate data for Barcaldine
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 35.6
Average low °C (°F) 23.1
Average rainfall mm (inches) 86.5
Average rainy days (≥ 1mm) 6.0 5.5 4.2 2.5 2.2 2.2 1.9 1.6 1.9 3.1 4.0 5.3 40.4
Source: Bureau of Meteorology[10]


Barcaldine has a public library, bowls, tennis clubs, a combined racecourse and showground near the golf course, a historical and folk museum, swimming pool and visitor information centre.[11]

Heritage listings[edit]

Shire Hall at Barcaldine, circa 1920
The Tree of Knowledge, 1997

Barcaldine has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Barcaldine (Urban Centre/Locality)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 6 April 2011. 
  2. ^ Macquarie Dictionary, Fourth Edition (2005). Melbourne, The Macquarie Library Pty Ltd. ISBN 1-876429-14-3
  3. ^ a b "Barcaldine (entry 47073)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 22 March 2014. 
  4. ^ "Barcaldine (entry 1587)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 22 March 2014. 
  5. ^ "Barcaldine and Barcaldine Shire". Queensland Places. Centre for the Government of Queensland, University of Queensland. Retrieved 22 March 2014. 
  6. ^ Premier Postal History. "Post Office List". Premier Postal Auctions. Retrieved 10 May 2014. 
  7. ^ "Opening and closing dates of Queensland Schools". Queensland Government. Retrieved 22 March 2014. 
  8. ^ a b "Barcaldine Shire Hall & Offices (entry 601274)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 6 July 2013. 
  9. ^ "Barcaldine War Memorial". Monuments Australia. 
  10. ^ "BARCALDINE POST OFFICE". Climate statistics for Australian locations. Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 24 July 2013. 
  11. ^ "Barcaldine". Centre for the Government of Queensland. Retrieved 21 December 2011. 
  12. ^ "Barcaldine War Memorial Clock (entry 600018)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 6 July 2013. 
  13. ^ "Shearers' Strike Camp Site, Barcaldine (entry 600019)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 6 July 2013. 
  14. ^ "Tree of Knowledge (entry 600021)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 6 July 2013. 
  15. ^ "Barcaldine Masonic Temple (entry 600020)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 6 July 2013. 
  16. ^ "St Peter's Anglican Church and Hall (entry 600022)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 6 July 2013. 

External links[edit]