I called Barcaldine “home” for quite a long period. Being there was definitely something special. Not to repeat myself, please find a short article about my experiences in a nutshell by clicking here.
I liked this little town, even if it is somewhere out there a thousand miles north of nowhere. If you are heading there for some unexplainable reasons, here are some things that you should definitely check.
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How to get there
There are so many ways that ensure you to get to Barcaldine. Pretty much the only thing that you can’t use is the boat.
If you’ve never flown by a little plane (74 seats), it will definitely be an experience. The Qantas operated plane departs in Brisbane and has two stops on its way: Barcaldine and Longreach so make sure you don’t forget to take off because not everybody will leave the plane in Barcy.
An easy way, just be prepared with enough water and fuel. A comfy 10-hours ride from Brisbane.
The bus departs daily and operates between Barcaldine and Brisbane with quite a few stops in between. I’ve never used this option but as I heard, it is really comfortable as there are only a few people on the bus. More information: https://www.busqldoutback.com.au/
I loved it! Absolutely loved it! It was cheap (if you buy your ticket in advance), comfortable and not too boring. I will publish a full post about it soon but in the meantime, you can check this website: https://www.queenslandrailtravel.com.au/railexperiences/ourtrains/spiritoftheoutback
Where to stay in Barcaldine
Shakespeare Hotel. Alright, I might be a little bit partial but it is an awesome place. Gorgeous old building, a pub, pokies, Keno, a restaurant, a beer garden and a karaoke room.
Do you need more?
Alright it then: Trivia on every Thursday, Joker Draw on every Friday and so much more special events like concerts and family fun days.
What to do in Barcaldine
Pub crawl & Connect with locals
Doing a pub crawl and connecting with locals are pretty much the same things in Barcaldine. Although sometimes it made me miss the not caring attitude of the big cities as I wasn’t able to drink a beer just by myself but most of the time it was a pretty good feeling to know that people are caring about each other. It felt good that I, as a traveller was lucky enough to be in this circle as well.
There are 5 pubs in town (that I know about) at the moment.
Artesian Pub – Cuzzy Bro’s
(I was working here for a little while)
My favourite country pub so far! To be fair, I don’t know too many but if you are in Barcy you have to check this place. So homie and they have a PlayStation (if you are a long-term traveller, you know exactly how much it means. If you don’t know: it means EVERYTHING! I love PlayStation and miss it so much!)
Meet the funny owner, his amazing and always helpful sister, who is a really good friend of mine (ah, that poor girl…) and an adorable little guy, who is so chatty and a little package of pure happiness.
(I was working here too.)
Well, so many feelings and memories that I have from here. Some of them are wonderful, some of them are heartbreaking but working and living at the Shakey was definitely a thing that I will never forget. As I mentioned in the “Where to stay in Barcaldine” section, the Shakey has a lot to offer for travellers. Fun moments, special offers, cosy bed, cold beer and yummy pub food. I guess it is not a wonder that this place is in most of the posts of my The Barcaldine Diary series.
If you can, ask for going to the balcony when the sun goes down and be amazed by the view. It is just gorgeous when the sky cuddles the old windmill with its pink-purple-blue colours.
I guess this is the most popular pub in Barcaldine. Not a wonder, considering that the owner is the sweetest woman on Earth.
Plus they have Sour Monkey! Nomnomnom
Union Hotel Motel
Another alternative if your belly is empty and needed to be filled with good food.
It’s a shame but somehow I never managed to go there. As I heard from others it is a quite good place.
Tree of Knowledge, Instruments and art on the main road
Wandering on the main road you will find a huge and unique tree that plays in so many different colours at night. The tree has had a long and varied history since the age of 1891.
Continuing the walk you will find a couple of musical instruments that are the kid’s favourites.
My favourite is the wall painting that is just so colourful. There is a blue bench facing it where I used to sit at so many times for so long and just gazing at the painting. Peaceful.
Beauty and Beyond
Here you can find the most beautiful woman in Barcaldine (personal opinion), who is amazing at giving different beauty treatments (facials, waxing, makeup and more) and massage. They do weekly yoga sessions as well, early in the morning. If you want to treat yourself and to feel beautiful, go there.
This place was one of my happy places in Barcy.
Roses ‘n’ Things
The. Best. Nachos. Ever.
Not to mention the beautiful garden where you can have it.
Pool and Gym
I have really confusing feelings about these two because they are nothing special or fancy but if you spend enough time at the outback (and not really had this experience before) you truly learn to appreciate it.
It is a highly-hyped event and not only in Barcy but everywhere in Australia. Just think about the Melbourne Cup. My very first horse race happened in Barcaldine and although I never bet, it was fun. People were dressed up and having fun.
Go to the cinema
Although the cinema is not open every day, I highly recommend giving it a try. Grab the best cinnamon ice cream ever and take a comfy seat on one of the unusual chairs.
Barcaldine is packed with gorgeous, old, national heritage-listed buildings and other structures. Wandering around the town make you have a sense about Barcy’s enchanted part.
Sometimes there is a special event where you can meet with pretty much everybody from town. I went to “Colours and Cultures” where many other cultures were represented. Yummy food, fun performances, it was really interesting and entertaining.
Still in this area
If you feel wandering a little bit further there are a couple of things in this area that you should check. ( I will have some full posts about most of them soon)
A day trip with so much fun. Take your time and definitely don’t rush. Over 35 sculptures await to discover them. Some are just simply beautiful but some are really surprising.
An interesting ancient sacred healing circle which is connected to six others from all around the world. They say, if you step into the centre you are connected to the energies with all of seven circles.
Popular camping and bird-watching spot with some water sport activities and the perfect place if you want to get out of the town, just to enjoy yourself and to leave everything behind for a little while.
A cool camping spot with beautiful nature around. Try the artesian drinking water and the thermal artesian hot pool, while watching birds and taking amazing photos.
Besides the list above, there are a couple of things more that is worth a visit, for example, the Australian Workers’ Heritage Museum, The Masonic Lodge or The Barcaldine and District Folk Museum. For more fun stuff please go to the tourist centre that is placed on the main road just next to the bank and ask it away.
You will meet so many amazing, happy, a little bit crazy – in a good way – and helpful people in Barcy so don’t miss it out if you are in the region.
However, there were quite a few things that I was complaining about while I was there (i.e.: not too much private life, too much needless drama), I can honestly say: I wouldn’t change a thing that happened to me there and Barcaldine definitely owns a little piece of my heart (lucky thing that I have a big heart enough just to leave some little pieces here and there).