Once known as Pelican Point, Winton, Australia was first settled in
1875. Today, the town is the centre of a huge cattle and sheep raising
district. It's a typical rural Outback town with the flair of a great
Walk along the streets and feel the spirit of the bush. Enjoy Country hospitality and unique characters. You'll miss a lot when you travel along the Matilda Way and don't stop in this unique town.
The original wooden hotel, built in 1879, burnt down 3 times. Finally, the hotel was rebuilt with brick in 1953.
Winton's history is connected with the great shearer's strike of the 1890s. About 500 shearers camped south of the town to show support for shearers on the surrounding stations.
It is said that Banjo Paterson was inspired to write Waltzing Matilda when he heard about the the fate of one of the shearers at nearby Dagworth Station. The song was performed in public for the first time at the North Gregory Hotel in Winton on 6th April 1895.
Get a town map from the visitor information centre, Elderslie St. There are also self-drive route maps available to get to the attractions outside town.
A two km walk guides you to the major sights in Winton. Take your time and discover historic buildings and sites.
The above photo was taken many years ago. The old museum burnt down on 18th June 2015. There was a huge damage, and many items got lost. Luckily, the centre was rebuilt, the grand reopening was on 20th April 2018. The statue of Banjo Paterson and the huge windmill on the outside remained from the original centre.
The Waltzing Matilda Centre, Elderslie Street
Interactive displays tell the story of Waltzing Matilda. It is perhaps the only museum dedicated to a song. The centre includes an art gallery, the Qantilda museum with a collection of memorabilia from the pioneering past, and of course the birth of Australia's international airline, Qantas.
Explore the history from Aborigines time to present days. Enjoy a rest at the Tuckerbox Cafe after exploring all that history.
Visit the centre's website to check for opening times and admission fees.
This building is listed by the National Trust as one of the well preserved old-style general stores. It was Winton's first general store, located in Elderslie Street.
The Royal Theatre, Cobb Lane
One of the few operating open-air picture theatres that remained in Australia. Don't miss the nostalgia night on Wednesday at 8 pm when you happen to be there.
Winton Club, corner Oodooroo & Vindex streets
The first Qantas Board meeting was held in the club in February 1921, thus it is known as the "birthplace" of Qantas.
Winton and the surrounding area is also known as dinosaur country.
Australia's largest dinosaur skeleton was found outside town in 1999, and more discoveries of fossilised bones followed. Finally, the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum was opened to display these fascinating founds from millions of years ago.
The museum is located 24km south-east of Winton on top of a large jump-up. It can be reached by all vehicles.
It's the typical Aussie humour that Winton hides its dustbins in huge dinosaur feet.
Have you ever seen a dinosaur footprint? At Lark Quarry you can see fossilised footprints of a dinosaur stampede! At least 150 small dinosaurs drank at a lake 95 million years ago. When a huge carnivorous dinosaur appeared they run away in panic, leaving a chaotic mass of footprints.
Get more info and download fascinating fact sheets about the stampede on Lark Quarry's website.
Lark Quarry Conservation Park is about 110km south-west of Winton along the road to Jundah . Although it can be reached by normal cars, a 4WD vehicle is much recommended. The unsealed road get boggy when it rains.
Be prepared and well-equipped when you go there. Camping is not permitted in the park.
Winton's main claim to fame is that Waltzing Matilda, the famous Australian bush ballad, was first performed at the North Gregory Hotel on April 6th, 1895.
Written by Andrew Barton Paterson at nearby Dagworth Station, the song became Australia's unofficial national anthem.
Combo waterhole about 130 km north-west of Winton is believed to be the inspiration for Waltzing Matilda.
The track off the highway is well-signposted. It is a short walk from the car park to a the waterhole, passing a series of information signs.
The area around Winton is also known as opal country and home of the unique matrix opal. It is a special form of boulder opal which is only found in this part of Queensland.
Winton is, like Cloncurry and Longreach, deep-rooted with the pioneering history of the central west in Queensland. A huge chapter of Australian history was written in this central part of Matilda Country. Take your time and enjoy!
The town offers a good range of accommodation. Visitors can choose from a
bed in old-fashioned hotels, modern motel rooms and cabins at the
For more info about where to stay and other facilities click here.