Barcaldine Master Plan

Barcaldine, Queensland

m3architecture has designed the Barcaldine Tourism Precinct master plan. The precinct master plan includes the renewal of the historically and politically significant Tree of Knowledge, renovation of the Globe Hotel into a tourist information centre and a new tourist lookout.

The town’s tourist attractions originally sat on one side of the road, with the town’s commercial heart on the other. This discouraged visitors to stop in Barcaldine to sightsee.

m3architecture’s challenge was to reinstate tourism in the town, after the illegal poisoning of the Tree of Knowledge – a major tourist attraction.

Another major challenge of the project was retaining the historic Globe Hotel. The Globe Hotel is a century-old urban presence and gateway on the junction of two major national highways. Barcaldine council’s initial brief to demolish the hotel was a major stumbling block.

m3architecture encouraged the Barcaldine council to rethink the project as one primarily about urban design and public intervention for placemaking.

Our proposed precinct master plan relocated the information centre to the Globe Hotel on the ‘commercial’ side of town. The design also removed carparking immediately adjacent to the Tree of Knowledge, re-establishing the space as a public plaza.

These urban strategies ensure visitors walk to the Tree, and cross the road to engage with the information centre.

This urban intervention now allows tourists to interact with commercial businesses and the town’s heritage walk in ways the previous planning did not.

This design has social, commercial and environmental impacts. Redefining a town’s cultural assets (the Tree of Knowledge and the Globe Hotel) as ‘anchor tenants’ ensures tourists must now stop to view these attractions.

Tourism data is available to councils throughout the region. Prior to this precinct master plan, the Barcaldine council estimated that of all visitors to Longreach, approximately 3-5% would stop and spend money in Barcaldine. The council now estimates this number to be between 10 and 15%.

The Barcaldine Tourism Precinct Master Plan has revitalised the town’s commerce, with more visitors and a greater spend per visitor.

The Globe Hotel and Tree of Knowledge projects were designed in association with Brian Hooper Architect.


On the land of the Iningai people.

“This response connects visitors to the Barcaldine past and celebrates the local spirit of the place, building on a legacy of excellence.

A great example of using design to enliven and add value to exiting elements rather than starting again with new elements.

Clearly focused on delivering a social and economic benefit, this treatment is both respectful and appropriate for context and boldly creative.”

Good Design Awards Jury Citation

Images 1 & 2 – Barcaldine Master Plan

Images 3-6 – The Globe Hotel, photography by Christopher Frederick Jones

Image 7 – Tree of Knowledge, photography by Brian Hooper

Image 8 – Tree of Knowledge, photography by Christopher Frederick Jones

Image 9 – Tree of Knowledge, photography by Jon Linkins

Images 10 & 11 – Barcaldine Tourist Lookout