The area surrounding Winton is known as Matilda Country, as Australia's most famous song, 'Waltzing Matilda', was written by Banjo Paterson at nearby Dagworth Station in 1895. Combo Waterhole (near Kynuna) was the setting for the ballad and the tune had its first airing in Winton. A less auspicious event in Winton's history was the declaration of martial law in the 1890s following the Shearers' Strike. In 1920 the first office of Qantas was registered here. The town's water supply comes from deep artesian bores at a temperature of 83°C. This area is also an important part of Australia's Dinosaur Trail.
Waltzing Matilda Centre, 50 Elderslie St; (07) 4657 1466 or 1300 665 115
Waltzing Matilda Centre Created as a tribute to the life of the swagman. The centre incorporates the 'Billabong Courtyard' with its sound and light show, the regional art gallery, interactive exhibits showcasing the swagmans life in 'Home of the Legend' hall, and the Matilda Museum that harks back to Winton's pioneering days and the first days of Qantas. Elderslie St; (07) 4657 1466.
Royal Theatre: historic open-air movie theatre and museum, one of the oldest still operating in Australia; Elderslie St.
Corfield and Fitzmaurice Store: charming National Trust–listed store with diorama of Lark Quarry dinosaur stampede; Elderslie St.
Gift and Gem Centre: displays and sales; the 'Opal Walk' leads to the theatre museum; Elderslie St.
Arno's Wall: ongoing concrete-wall creation proudly containing 'every item imaginable'; Vindex St.
North Gregory Hotel: built in 1878, this historical structure has been ravaged by 3 separate fires. Artwork and opal collection on display; Elderslie St.
Lark Quarry Conservation Park This park features the preserved tracks of a dinosaur stampede from 93 million years ago – the only track of this type known in the world. The stampede occurred when a Therapod chased a group of smaller dinosaurs across the mud flats. The 'trackways' are sheltered and can be visited on a tour (details from visitor centre). The park also offers a short walk past ancient rock formations, known as the Winton Formation, to a lookout over the region. 110 km SW.
Bladensburg National Park The vast plains and ridges of this park provide an important sanctuary for a variety of wildlife, including kangaroos, dunnarts and emus. Skull Hole (40 km S) has Aboriginal paintings and bora ceremonial grounds and is believed to be the site of a late-1880s Aboriginal massacre. Walking should only be attempted by experienced bushwalkers. 'Route of the River Gums', a self-drive tour, shows the region's varied landscapes. (07) 4652 7333; drive starts 8 km S.
Carisbrooke Station: a working sheep station with Aboriginal cave paintings and scenic drives in the surrounds; day tours and accommodation available; 85 km SW.
Opalton: see the remains of the historic town or try fossicking for opals in one of the oldest fields in Queensland; licence available from visitor centre; 115 km S.
Air charters and ground tours: to major regional sights; details from visitor centre.
Campsites around town
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Caravan parks around town
Hotels, motels & B&Bs around town
Rest areas around town
Crawford Creek rest area 44 km
131km NW of Longreach (R) or 49km SE of Winton (L)
Just off the highway near the scrub.
Chorregon rest area 65 km
110km NW of Longreach (L) or 70km SE of Winton (R)
Adjacent to the highway.
Bendemeer rest area 88 km
93km NW of Winton (R) or 70km SE of Kynuna (L)
Adjacent to the highway.
What's on around town
Waltzing Matilda Day: Apr.
Winton Show: June.
Opal Expo: July.
Camel Races: July.
Outback Festival: odd-numbered years, Sept.