Barcaldine Tree of Knowlege

The Birthplace of the Australian Labour Party

The Tree of Knowledge in Barcaldine, Queensland, is renowned as being the birthplace of the Australian Labour Party (ALP). A significant protest took place at the site of the tree, which is now a preserved truck and monument site. Back in 1891 a group of protesting sheep shearers founded the Australian Labour Party under the Tree of Knowledge Barcaldine, at the time requesting better working conditions. As such, the Tree of Knowledge is considered to be a proud monument to signify the history of unionism.

Historical natural monument feel victim to vandalism

Unfortunately, this historical natural monument fell victim to vandalism, and on 3 October, 2006 the beloved tree was declared dead by an arborist, after being poisoned with glyphosate. At the time, the Australian Labour Party offered a huge reward of A$10,000 for any information that will help identify those responsible.

The Tree of Knowledge Memorial in Barcaldine

Not to disregard what the Tree of Knowledge stood for, the remains of the tree in Barcaldine went through a preservation process. Following the death of this quaint Queensland town’s most significant monument, a new memorial site opened on 2 May, 2009. The memorial site cost approximately $5m to build, and won two significant architectural awards.

Architecturally designed timber structure

When you visit Barcaldine now, you will be welcomed with a huge timber structure where the Tree of Knowledge once stood. Immerse yourselves in the history of the Australian Labor Party at the birthplace of the workers union. Read up on story board displays found within the newly built monument, which not only explain the workers strike back in 1891, but also how the tree came to its demise. Choose to visit the Tree of Knowledge Barcaldine during the day, or visit at night when the monument lights up in the night sky, and the roots of the old tree can be underneath the glass floor. Not forgetting the wooden sculpture’s giant wind chime; a clever addition to the attraction.

A monument to signify the shaping of Australian political history

The Tree of Knowledge plays an important part in Queensland’s political history, and also the nation as a whole. The monument itself is in the middle of the town, and is a must-see if you find yourselves in Barcaldine, Australia. The Tree of Knowledge and the town of Barcaldine, can be found approximately 1215kms north of Brisbane, 580kms west of Rockhampton and 755kms east of Mt Isa.

Quick reference guide

  • Name: Barcaldine Tree of Knowledge
  • Address: 103 Oak St, Barcaldine QLD 4725
  • Phone: 07 4651 5612
  • Website:
  • Price: FREE
  • Trip Advisor rating: Rating #1 things to do in Barcaldine