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Winton is a town in central west Queenslandmarker, Australia, located northwest of Longreachmarker. The main industries of the area are sheep and cattle raising. The town was named by postmaster, Robert Allen, in 1876 after his place of birth Winton, Dorsetmarker. At the 2006 census, Winton had a population of 980.


Winton was one of the founding towns of the Australian airline Qantas. The first board meeting was held at the Winton Club on 10 February 1921.

Waltzing Matilda

Winton is intimately involved in the story of the popular Australian folk song, "Waltzing Matilda", which had its first performance in the North Gregory Hotel in the town. The song was written locally on a property beside the famous billabong. The North Gregory Hotel has been ravaged by fire three times. The Waltzing Matilda Centre is the first museum dedicated to a song. 'Banjo' Paterson wrote the song whilst holidaying at Dagworth Station. The Waltzing Matilda Centre opened in 1998.


The area surrounding the town has yielded a number of dinosaur fossils, including 'Elliot', a sauropod. In 2009, three dinosaur genera, Australovenator, Wintonotitan and Diamantinasaurus, were discovered near the town.

Royal Theatre

The historic Royal Theatre is one of the few remaining open air picture theatres in Australia and home to the World's Largest Deckchair which was originally constructed in Victoria by the Freemasons Taskforce in 2002 and donated to Winton and the Royal Theatre by the members of that taskforce in April 2005.

Great Artesian Basin

Winton is situated on the Great Artesian Basin. The water supply bursts to the surface at 83C degrees and is then channeled through cooling ponds before being distributed to the town. Sulphur gas gives the water an 'eggy' smell.

Outback Festival

Bi-annually, Winton hosts a week-long outback festival in the main street featuring an iron man race, live bands, competitions and more.

Arno's Wall

Arno's wall is a strange mixture of art and architecture. Cemented contents of the wall include rusted lawnmower parts, boat propellers, vintage typewriters and sewing machines and even a couple of complete motorbikes.

The Proposition

The 2005 film The Proposition was filmed entirely in Winton and the surrounding area.

Winton Timeline

  • 1848 Ludwig Leichhardt explores region
  • 1858 Augustus Gregory searches for Leichhardt
  • 1861 Landsborough searches for Burke and Wills
  • 1866 First European settlers
  • 1876 First hotel/store built
  • 1879 Town gazetted
  • 1880 First doctor arrives, Cobb and Co services begin, Police station established
  • 1881 First bank opens
  • 1882 First school opens
  • 1885 First newspaper
  • 1888 Opal discovered
  • 1891 Great Shearers' Strike
  • 1894 Second shearers' strike
  • 1895 First public performance of 'Waltzing Matilda'
  • 1899 First train arrives
  • 1900 Worst drought
  • 1906 Record floods
  • 1909 Telephone connected
  • 1911 Open-air picture theatre opens
  • 1920 Qantas formed
  • 1928 Bert Hinkler visits
  • 1942 Former US President Lyndon B. Johnson was on board an aircraft, as a crewmember, which did a forced landing at Carisbrooke Station
  • 1946 North Gregory Hotel destroyed by fire for 3rd time
  • 1958 World Rodeo Championships
  • 1962 Dinosaur Trackways discovered at the site now known as Lark Quarry Conservation Park
  • 1972 First Outback Festival
  • 1989 Winton to Cloncurrymarker Highway sealed
  • 1995 Waltzing Matilda Centenary
  • 1996 The Agitator newspaper appears
  • 1998 Waltzing Matilda Centre opens
  • 1999 “Elliot”, the largest dinosaur find in Australia was discovered by a local grazier.
  • 2002 Lark Quarry building opened in August.
  • 2004 Lark Quarry receives National Heritage Listing.
  • 2009 3 new dinosaurs discovered - "Banjo", "Matilda", "Clancy"

See also


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