The Artesian MemorialPrint Page Print this page

06-October-2021 (John Huth)
06-October-2021 (John Huth)

Photographs supplied by Diane Watson / Roger Johnson / Sandra Brown / John Huth

The monument commemorates the pioneers of the Great Artesian Basin and the first commercial bore sunk at Back Creek in 1886. 

European settlers first discovered artesian water from the Great Artesian Basin in 1878 when a shallow bore sunk near Bourke in New South Wales produced flowing water. Many bores were soon drilled and by 1915 over 1,500 flowing artesian bores had been drilled throughout the Basin.

The Back Creek Bore, 38 kilometres east of Barcaldine, which was drilled in 1886 in the search for water for the advancing Central Railway, was Queensland’s first artesian bore. Artesian pressure was low, however, and it soon required pumping. The Railway Department drilled the Town Bore a year later and free-flowing water promptly filled the waterholes of  Lagoon Creek.

The bore continued to be Barcaldine’s source of water for over a century. Hundreds of bores have subsequently exploited the  aquifers of the Great Artesian Basin.



Address:Oak Street (Capricorn Highway), Barcaldine, 4725
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -23.552222
Long: 145.288333
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Landscape


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 26th August, 1978
Front Inscription


Erected In Commemoration Of The Explorative
Work Undertaken By The Pioneers Of The
Great Artesian Basin Of Australia, And
To The Sinking Of The First Commercial
Artesian Bore In Australia At Back Creek,
38km East Of Barcaldine In 1886.

Barcaldine Became The First Town In
Australia To Use Artesian Water For Town
Reticulation From The Town Borehead
        Completed In 1887.

This Memorial Was Donated To The Town
Of Barcaldine By The Artesian Festival
Association From Funds Raised During
The 1976 Artesian Festival And Was
Officially Unveiled By Mr. B. J. Green,
President Of The Artesian Festival
Association On 26th August, 1978.

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au