10 things you didn’t know about Winton

Winton | 11 things you didn’t know about Winton

#OutbackQueensland photo by @mywanderingfamily

Let’s play a game of destination Guess Who.

It’s the Dinosaur Capital of Australia, the birthplace of an iconic Australian airline, and where the legend of a jolly swagman waltzed into Australian history.

It’s a town that likes being a world first or only, from dinosaur stampedes to musical fences. Think you know the answer? It’s Winton of course, and here’re 10 things you didn’t know about this outback town.


1. It has the only museum in the world that is dedicated to a song

Matilda Centre Winton | 10 things you didn't know about WintonArguably the most famous thing to come out of Winton is Banjo Patterson’s Waltzing Matilda.

Penned in 1895 not far from Winton at Dagworth Station, the song Waltzing Matilda birthed a national legend that the town thought deserved its very own museum.

The original Waltzing Matilda Centre burnt down in a fire in 2015 but the multi-award winning museum is now reopen in state of the art interpretation glory.


2. The local pub was the first to hear the song

It’s rumoured that the first ever performance of Waltzing Matilda was in the same year it was written, at none other than the local North Gregory Hotel.

Known as the “Queen” and “Grand old lady”, the hotel has been a Winton resident since 1879.

You can take a history lesson of the town by just looking at its walls.


3. You can walk amongst the dinosaurs

Australian Age of Dinosaurs | 11 things you didn’t know about Winton


If one of your favourite movies is Jurassic Park, then you’ll love the Dinosaur Canyon at the Australian Age of Dinosaurs.

Transported by a shuttle bus to a land that feels worlds away, you’ll get to explore four exhibits that contain life-size Australian dinosaur replicas and fossils, as well as learn about each habitat.


4. It’s home to the world’s largest collection of Australian dinosaur fossils

Australian Age of Dinosaurs | 11 things you didn’t know about Winton


Also located at the Australian Age of Dinosaurs is an Australian fossil collection so impressive, it’s the largest in the world.

Enter the Collection Room at the centre to say hi to “Banjo”, Australia’s largest and most complete carnivorous dinosaur. Along with “Matilda” and “Wade” (most complete sauropods), learn the story behind the dinosaurs and their fossils.


5. It’s got the world’s only recorded evidence of a dinosaur stampede

Lark Quarry | 11 things you didn’t know about Winton

It’s no surprise that Winton is one third of the Australian Dinosaur Trail when it has epic fossil structures like that of the Dinosaur Stampede at Lark Quarry Conservation Park.

Located 110km south-west of town, it’s worth the trip to explore the 95 million year old story of 3,300 stampeding footprints that create the world’s only recorded evidence of a dinosaur stampede.


6. Every two years, they race dunnies

Outback Festival Dunny Derby Winton | 10 things you didn't know about Winton

#OutbackQueensland photo by Leeroy Todd

Yup, we’re not kidding, and it’s quite the coveted affair. Every second September the Outback Festival rolls into town, with outback activities from swag and brooms toss and wool bale rolling to live music and entertainment.

But there’s one event of the festival program that kicks up a stink – the Australian Dunny Derby. Teams take on the challenge of racing their decorated outhouse through a hilarious obstacle course to take home the title as the fastest dunny.


7. It made the first permanent musical fence installation in the world

Musical Fence |11 things you didn’t know about Winton

Who said property boundaries had to be boring? The fence behind the Diamantina Heritage Truck and Machinery Museum is anything but boring.

Designed by percussionist and composer Graeme Leak, The Musical Fence is a permanent wire fence that doubles as a musical instrument, free to the public to use and enjoy.


8. You can watch movies the old-fashioned way

Royal Theatre Winton | | 10 things you didn't know about Winton

Step back in time at the Royal Theatre which was originally established in 1918.

Grab some popcorn, kick back in a canvas seat and watch a film under the stars in at this open-air theatre.

It’s also home to the world’s largest deck chair!


9. It’s the “Hollywood in the Outback”

Time your visit to Winton with the Vision Splendid Outback Film Festival, which is held every July in town.

Celebrating everything about film, the festival encourages emerging and experienced producers to come and be apart of workshops and seminars as well as show their work as part of the short film competition.


10. It’s the birthplace of QANTAS

It’s an Aussie icon, and it all began in Winton.

The very first board meeting of the organisation was held at the Winton Club in 1921, with one of the original landing strips located on the outskirts of town. Of course, if you want to tour the museum, you’ll need to visit nearby Longreach. Don’t worry, we’ve got this guide.


Have you visited Winton? What did you discover while in town?

Post sponsored by Australian Ages of Dinosaurs


Les O Sullivan

James you must be a Relative of my old friend Staff Betteridge who i worked with on some Road Projects on the Middleton Road & on the Dawson to Bannana Road & Alpha?

Colin Cortina

As a young 17 year old from Melbourne I worked on Old Cork and Clio, Loved it out there planning a trip soon to visit the dinosaur exhibits

Lillian Hoffman

I shared a house with an elderly couple when I moved from Cloncurry to Winton in 1969. I worked at the PMG Telephone Exchange as a Telephonist, what really fascinated me was the usage of the bore water..you did not need hot water in the winter as the water was quite warm but smelt very potent like carbide.

Winton is situated on the Great Artesian Basin, one of the largest artesian groundwater basins in the world. Most communities in this part of Queensland draw their water from bores, as there are few natural springs.

Mrs Dalroy Helmers

We lived for four years outside Winton out from Corfield. Loved Winton dearly, so friendly. When we came into town to shop each fortnight for food at Spar, we frequented Tattersalls hotel for lunch and some drinks. Loved to see Paul, the publician & staff, so friendly. He looked after us, with delicious cooked lunches. We got to know Searles, the pharmacy, doctors and medical travellers I.e. dentist, breast screening, more I cannot remember. Spar staff knew us. We visited the old Waltzing Matilda centre. We attended 2 Winton Festivals, amazing. Would dearly love to go to another, but unfortunately, my husband has severe arthritis in his shoulders, so no more travelling Australia. We still drive to Richmond from ACT sometimes, as Richmond is where I was born and grew up. My father and my husband, both were shearers. I meet my husband through my Dad in Tharwa (15 kms from Canberra). Our travelling days are behind us now. It’s a shame things have to change. I love the outback. You can take the girl out of the country, but can’t take the country out of the girl. It is true, believe me, I would give anything to live back in Richmond.


As an opal lover, I am quite disappointed you don’t have a single reference to the wonderful Boulder Opal mined in the world historic Opalton district. also anything about Opalton and the fact it has great camping facilities, bird watching, locally made opal products etc.


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