Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Perhaps the most pleasant surprise on the trip so far was the little town of Barcaldine.

We had driven west from Rockhampton away from the overcast weather to the blue skies common in the Australian winter. Here we have a large windmill that was used to pump bore water for cattle. 

Barcy, (not Barky) as it is known to the locals, has the same layout as a number of small towns heading west. On the north side of the main drag is the train line and the station. On the south side are the shops and there is a grid network of streets behind the shops.

The large cube is the memorial to the Tree of Knowledge which was the essential birthplace of the Labour movement in Australia. The tree itself was poisoned in 2006 by persons unknown and this memorial to the tree was raised.

Inside the memorial. At night, it glows green , presumably to simulate leaves.

The entrance to the train station.
Just by chance, we arrived as the train arrived from Rockhampton
It's known as the Spirit of the Outback and runs between Rockhampton and Longreach.

The carriages mostly are sleepers, but there didn't seem to be too many passengers.

The timetable.

An FJ Holden, one of Australia's icons.

Some of the buildings in town are in need of repair, but the following will show that the town is doing well.

As the centre of a large district, Barcaldine is the seat of power.

As you can see, it wasn't a great place for insurance companies.

That tells part of the story. Lots of other buildings burned down as well.

One of the pubs.

Typical pub menu. Click on the photo to see a larger version.

The local supermarket. Note the opening hours which are typical for country towns.

Click on the photo to read the sign on the left.

We were driving around the back streets and came across the Masonic Lodge. Geoff was a former member so we wandered in where a bloke was showing a couple of tourists around.

It was quite an interesting building to tour. We were taken upstairs to the room where the meetings were held but I won't show any of those photos.

Old fashioned air-conditioning. Yes, the floorboards have slits cut in them.

The side of the building covered with galvanized iron.

A nice old girl who has just been visited by the postie on his motor bike.

Leaving town. A road train is turning the corner, note the initial truck pulling three extra wagons. Prices for fuel are per liter with the Aussie dollar equal to about 90 US cents.

We both really liked Barcaldine, perhaps even enough to go back some time.

1 comment:

  1. Pleased you enjoyed Barcy and best wishes on your future travels. I came across your blog through a Google alert for Barcaldine - where we bought a house and will be retiring after growing up there. I enjoyed your terrific photos and interesting travels,and hope you make it back to Barcy some day. (PS to locals Barcy is never with a k)