In the 1980s, a large, diverse and vibrant nuclear disarmament movement rose again in Australia. This article uses findings from archival research and interviews conducted by the author over a number of years to show that strategy in the movement was contested and the movement’s debates and internal development had a substantial impact on its rise and decline. The views of movement activists about how to campaign for its demands, in particular, for the closure of nuclear war-fighting bases in the country, differed greatly. The appearance of the Nuclear Disarmament Party highlighted divergent views that had arisen in the movement about how to relate to the Australian Labor Party. A potential for alternative political and social leadership underlay the insurgent movement’s debates and differences.