Ever dreamt of walking amongst the dinosaurs? Ever wondered about the legend behind Waltzing Matilda? Ever wanted to see a stampede?
Fulfil your outback dreams with a visit to Winton in Outback Queensland’s central west.
As one third of the Australian Dinosaur Trail, it’s a designated dino district, with more fossils around town than locals.
Pack your copy of Jurassic Park and take a wander through Winton with this 48-hour guide.
12pm: Arrive in Winton
Whether you prefer to kick back and enjoy the ride, steer your own adventure, or get there as fast as you can, all roads, rails and airways lead to Winton.
Sitting smack bang in the middle of the Matilda Way, Winton can be reached by road from all parts of Queensland.
- 600km from Townsville
- 865km from Rockhampton
- 1,350km from Brisbane
Not into driving? Take to the air with Rex Airlines flights departing from Townsville.
If you prefer the scenic route, jump onboard Queensland Rail’s Spirit of the Outback, which takes you to Longreach, which with a hire car is a hop, skip and a jump to Winton.
12.30pm: Check in to your cottage
For all the home-away-from-home feels, check into Cottage on Cork.
Located on Cork Street, each of the four accommodation options available are refurbished Queenslander cottages, packed with character, history, and outback charm.
2pm: Say hi to Banjo
There’s no time to rest when you’ve got the world’s largest Australian dinosaur fossil collection to explore.
Head to the Australian Ages of Dinosaurs, where you’ll be greeted by “Banjo”, Australia’s largest and most complete carnivorous dinosaur.
Check out how the fossils are looked after in the Fossil Preparation Laboratory, then take a trip to Dinosaur Canyon, where you can walk through four exhibits with life-size dinosaur replicas.
Dinner: North Gregory Hotel
Affectionately known to the locals as the “Queen” and the “grand old lady”, the North Gregory Hotel is an attraction in itself.
Standing in Winton since 1918, the hotel is not only a superb spot for dinner, but also the first place where the legendary song Waltzing Matilda was performed.
Stick around after dinner for the daily Chicken Stampede, where, yup, you guessed it, chickens race down a track to the finish line and the title of fasted chicken.
Want more weird and wacky facts about Winton? We’ve got you covered over here.
9.30am: Stampede of a dino kind
Book into a tour of the Dinosaur Stampede National Monument at Lark Quarry Conservation Park to witness a piece of extraordinary Australian natural and dinosaur history.
As you learn about the world’s only recorded evidence of a dinosaur stampede, check out the 3,300 stone footprints of approximately 150 dinosaurs that charged through the area around 95 million years ago.
12pm: Picnic in the park
Pack a picnic and take off to Bladensburg National Park, 17km south-west of Winton.
Flat, sweeping plains speckled with sandstone ranges and plateaus create postcard-worthy views of Outback Queensland.
Make your way to Scrammy Lookout, where scrubs and low trees allow for shade but don’t distract from the view.
Dinner: Tattersall’s Hotel
A classic outback pub, Tattersall’s Hotel is sure to satisfy with a tasty steak or parmy and of course, a side of salad and chips.
Partnered with a caravan park and an offering of regular live entertainment, the pub is always bustling with locals and visitors.
Dessert: Popcorn at the Royal Theatre
Settle in for a movie after dinner at the Royal Theatre open-air cinema.
This is no ordinary cinema, with every film shown the old-fashion way – in canvas seats under the stars.
Get there a tad early and check out the world’s largest deck chair that resides on the property.
9am: Breakky at the Musical Fence Café
Attached to the North Gregory Hotel, the Musical Fence Café will have you buzzing in tune with its coveted coffee and healthy yet inclusive menu.
There are gluten free and lactose free options, but we recommend the café favourite – eggs benedict.
10am: Make some music
After fuelling up at breakfast, head from the Café to its namesake, The Musical Fence.
Located behind the Diamantina Heritage Truck and Machinery Museum, the permanent musical fence is the first of its kind in the world.
Grab a stick and run along the wire fence to make your own music and test your rhythmic skills on the drum kit made of recycled materials.
11am: Waltz through time
Once you’ve stepped up your music skills, head over the recently reopened Waltzing Matilda Centre.
As the first museum in the world to be dedicated to a song, the world-class interactive centre digs deep into the lyrics before taking you on a journey of discovery of the outback and its history.
As the base for Winton’s Visitor Information Centre as well as a gallery and café, you’ll find the Waltzing Matilda Centre standing tall in the main street of town, with a jolly swagman (otherwise known as A.B. ‘Banjo’ Patterson) greeting you at the front.
How would you spend 48 hours in Winton? Let us know in the comments below.