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Explore The AWHC

Explore the Australian Workers Heritage Centre's displays and exhibitions, set on over 5 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens surrounding a bore fed billabong. Creating a cool outback oasis and a place for reflection, the surrounds have been designed to complement your visit.

Discover At Your Own Pace

The Australian Workers Heritage Centre is a cultural and heritage styled interpretive centre celebrating working history. Home to some 14 buildings housing 22 displays and exhibitions set amidst 5 acres of landscaped surrounds.


Within this museum styled complex, visitors can journey through unique spaces and recreated historical work settings of yesteryear, which capture the spirit of our nation's workers and tell the story of a vitally important part of our Nations history ... Our Working Life.


The Centre's unique retail store features distinctively Australian gift lines and souvenirs as well as innovative eclectic homewares, jewellery and accessories.


This Oasis in the Outback offers a place for discovery, reflection and relaxation.

Family feeding wildlife at the Billabong at the Australian Workers Heritage Centre Barcaldine Queensland
Barcaldine Outback Queensland

Water - Liquid Gold

It was in the early 1900's that Barcaldine earned its tag as "Garden City of the West" which still lives on today in this charming town which has retained all the character and authenticity of the outback.

Barcaldine was indeed "green" due to the discovery of "liquid gold". Just one year after it was established in 1886, the town sunk the first fully successful free flowing bore in Queensland, making headlines across the country. It was hailed throughout the country with joy as being a discovery more important than gold, for artesian water was the liquid gold of the outback without which no development could take place.

The Ash Street Bore

This Artesian Bore, the second bore to be constructed in Barcaldine, was completed in 1893. Drilled to a depth of 402 metres the bore produced a flow of around 28 litres per second. In an attempt to increase the supply for the town the bore was deepened to 817 metres in 1904. However, the quality of the water at this depth proved inferior resulting in the bore being later abandoned.

In late 1993 when work began on Stage 2 of the Australian Workers’ Heritage Centre, the plan to create an outback oasis gained momentum with the resurrection of the Ash Street bore. This enabled the Centre to accelerate the greening of the site and supply it's own water to an Olympic swimming pool sized billabong.

Water resources officers of the Department of Primary Industries, in partnership with the Australian Workers Heritage Centre, provided the expertise and support required to reline the bore and design and construct a treatment plant thus ensuring a permanent supply of good quality water for the billabong, and gardens within the Australian Workers Heritage Centre's site, so as not to draw heavily on the town’s supply.

Artesian water is still the main source of water in Barcaldine and the town has always recognised its importance.

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