Little town with its own dinosaurs, airplane and much more
Winton is a town located about 177 kilometres northwest of Longreach or 1356 kilometres from Brisbane. The town was named after postmaster Robert Allen in 1876 after his birthplace Winton, Dorset. Winton lies on the north bank of the Western River, with mostly flat grassland. This little town has everything from a yummy bakery up to local swimming pool. Droughts have always been a serious problem in this region and have forced residents to consider new economic opportunities. But Winton has more than grazing sheep to visit.
Winton is the Dinosaur Capital of Australia and the only place where you can walk amongst the dinosaurs. In 1962, some fossilised footprint tracks were discovered at a quarry on Cork Station and are now on display at their original site in a climate-controlled building at Lark Quarry Dinosaur Trackways. This led to the discovery of the world's only recorded dinosaur stampede, now known as the Dinosaur Stampede National Museum at Lark Quarry Conservation Park. In 1999, a 20-30 ton Cretaceous sauropod was unearthed near Winton and it was dubbed Elliot. In 2002, Australian Age of Dinosaur Museum was built in Winton. This museum showcase the world's largest collection of Australian dinosaur fossils displayed in the Collection Room and prepared in the Dinosaur Laboratory. While you were at this museum, a shuttle bus will transport you to a land that feels worlds away. You'll get to explore four exhibits that contain life-size dinosaur replicas and fossils, as well as learn about each habitat.
Winton was the birthplace of airline Qantas, the flag carrier airline of Australia. In 1920, a new company was founded, Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services Limited (now known as Qantas Airway) and for a while, it was headquartered in Winton.
Winton is also home of Waltzing Matilda, the unofficial Australian anthems. You can learn all about Waltzing Matilda and Banjo (the song composer) at the Waltzing Matilda Centre in Winton. Waltzing Matilda Centre opened in 1998 and is the first museum dedicated to a song. Waltzing Matilda was first performed in public at Winton's North Gregory Hotel. Winton now hosts the annual Bronze Swagman Bush Poetry competition.
Winton's North Gregory Hotel, also known as the "Queen" and "Grand Old lady" is not only local pub where Waltzing Matilda was first performed to the public. This hotel has a long history with Winton. Built in 1878, this historical hotel was burnt down several times, in 1899, 1916 and 1946. In 1953, they built again this hotel out of brick, not wood. You can take a history lesson in this town just by looking at Gregory Hotel's walls.
The boulder opal industry has also contributed significantly to the local Winton economy. There are some local opal shops around town that you can visit or to buy some opal jewellery . Another thing that is big in Winton is rodeos. In 1951, Winton held its first rodeo and become a yearly event that always very popular and successful. There is one more quirky thing about Winton. The main streets in the town of Winton were named after the stations around the place.
Some Winton Histories that you can find on Old Gregory Hotel's wall