Barcaldine, with Kids

If I had to describe Lara Station in one word, I’d use the word “tranquil”.  Our trip so far has been made up of a lot of adventures with scheduled entertainment, who knew that the Outback had so many things to see and do?


When I think about “Barcaldine”, I think “Lara Station”, that’s the place that I fell in love with in this town, and that’s the place where our kids really experienced “just nature”.  They were left to their own devices for the first time, they weren’t being told what to see and do, they just played… and it was fun to watch.


Lara Station Wetlands

Lara Station


I’m sure it will come as no surprise, that when we realised there was an Artesian Spa, naturally heated to a temperature that was rather appealing to two Mums who had been on the road for hours and hours… that this became the main attraction.


Unfortunately our SUV was jam packed with “stuff” that we’d assumed we’d need and the dinosaur dig at Richmond did nothing to reduce our load (yep… we now had large storage containers full of 95 million year old dinosaur fossils), so as much as a tried, I couldn’t find my togs.


I wanted my togs badly, but I was hesitant to attempt to mess with my friend Shakira’s amazing, boot packing, tetris masterpiece in an attempt to find them.  Shakira, my twin 5 year old boys and her 5 year old girl were already in this little piece of spa heaven so I had just one word… “Undies?”.  I got the nod.  I shamelessly ventured into that little piece of heaven.  I just didn’t care.


We had no need to shower that night.


So no, we don’t have a photo of us swimming, or rather, melting in narvana.  I didn’t want to hurt your eyes.  Instead, I have a photo of my boys becoming one with nature, finding their own thing to do and entertaining themselves.  Without Lego.  Without iPads.  Without their superhero toys.


Just a net and some tadpoles, and this moment lasted for hours.


Lara Station Hot Springs


Right next door to the Artesian Spa is a little playground.  Whilst it’s probably more suitable for 2 to 4 year olds, our 5 year olds happily played on the swing whilst looking around, pointing out birds and other things of interest.


Lara Station Playground


Then… strategically located near the camping grounds, the Artesian Spa, the playground and the Wetlands is a massive camp kitchen…


Lara Station Camp Kitchen


… with so much shade.


Now, picture this: you have young city children who are rather entertained by catching tadpoles, running around in huge open areas, putting on gumboots and stomping around in the wetlands… pointing out birds, swinging, running… happy.


Now picture yourself under this very central nice shaded area with a glass of wine, perhaps some cheese, relaxing with friends and ready to jump in that warm Artesian Spa at any moment.


Yes, you need to go there.


Lara Station Camp Kitchen


As you can see from the image below, there are plenty of camp sites around the Wetlands, check out the Lara Station webpage and give Jo (the owner) a call, you wont’ find a more reasonably priced camping trip.


Lara Station Wetlands


Speaking of Jo, we had an hour long talk in the driveway about all of the plans she has for Lara Station (it all sounds absolutely amazing BTW, but I don’t want to give it away).


But I do need to point out a “city v country moment” that we shared during this chat.


Me “Hang on, I can’t visualise the plan, I have a pen and paper in the car”


But before I had the chance to open the car door, she’d bent down and drawn up her masterpiece in the dirt, so I reached for my camera instead.


Jo’s nice, visit Jo, such an inspiring woman, a true country chick.


Jo, owner of Lara Station



28km from Lara Station is Barcaldine, a lovely little country town, the main tourist attraction being “The Tree of Knowledge“, spectacular during the day, and absolutely beautiful at night.


Tree of Knowledge, Barcaldine


Right next door is a lovely grassy area with a park bench that doubles as an xylophone, very popular with the kids… and me… who rocked out a rather impressive Mary had a Little Lamb.




In summary, we loved Barcaldine… but don’t you dare visit without travelling 28km south to the beautiful and tranquil Lara Station.  You won’t regret it.


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