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Waltzing Matilda Centre

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by Karina Bryer (subscribe)
I'm a mother of four with two coeliac children. I'm always on the lookout for great gluten-free spots around Brisbane and feature gluten-free cooking in my blog: I'm also a muso and enjoy live music around town.
Published November 10th 2021
Time to come a Waltzing to the Waltzing Matilda Centre
Winton Waltzing Matilda Banjo Patterson
A statue of Banjo Patterson sits proudly guarding the entrance

"Once a jolly swagman, camped by a billabong"….I'm sure you know the rest, but do you know the history of the song? That's exactly what you can discover by visiting the Waltzing Matilda Centre in the heart of Winton. The centre has been newly built, following a fire which occurred in the original centre.

Once inside there are a number of presentations to explore. A good place to start is the video presentation in the outside area, which will give you an overview of the history of "Waltzing Matilda" and its place in Australian History. Told from the point of view of the "jolly swagman", it explores the song's story, different versions and the origin of the song, along with the events with which it has been associated with which have made it a symbol of Australia.

Winton Waltzing Matilda Centre train
Displays aren't just about the famous song and poem

While in the outside area, you can also explore the historical display. With machinery, vehicles and everyday items, it is a chance to see the development of Australia through the everyday items which we used. There is even a cottage re-creation to explore and a train carriage and engine to walk through.

historical items display
Some of the historical items on display

Inside, you can escape the heat in one of the display rooms. There is a continuation of the historical displays, which has some interesting interactive activities, including a chance to play some "discs" with "Waltzing Matilda" performed in different styles by a variety of artists. The displays also tell the story and history of the Winton Shire, including the Great Shearers Strike of 1891, and the birth of QANTAS.

Art on display Winton
The art gallery exhibitions change regularly

Also very interesting is the Art Gallery which currently features Robert MacPherson's Boss Drovers. This is a collection of pages revealing poetic markers of places and people whose identities and life in the country are in danger of being lost. As drovers are replaced by trucks on our highways, and families move off the land it is important to preserve an important part of our history. Portraits created by local school students adorn the walls and by following the instructions you can create your own. You can find out about the current exhibit in the Art Gallery by visiting their website.

After all of this exploration, you may be feeling a bit peckish. The Tuckerbox Café provides a variety of healthy and tasty options to satisfy your hunger, or enjoy a coffee or cold drink. Next door is the gift shop with a variety of memorabilia for you to take home to remind you of your visit, or to purchase a gift for family and friends.

Entry to the museum costs $32 for Adults, $29 Concessions and $12 for Children 5 – 12 & $17 for 13 – 17 year olds. A family pass is also available for 2 Adults and up to 4 Children at a cost of $67. The museum is open 7 days a week in April to September and Mon – Fri from October until March. Opening hours are from 9am until 5pm except on public holiday hour when the museum is open 9am – 3pm. They are only closed on Christmas Day. The museum is located in Winton's Main Street, 50 Elderslie Street, Winton. For more information visit their Webpage.
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Why? Find out more about the song forever linked to Australia’s history
When: Open every day April - Sept and Weekdays October - March. Not open Christmas Day.
Phone: 1300 665 115
Where: Winton main street
Cost: Ranges from $12 for kids to $32 for adults. Concessions and family prices available.
Your Comment
I'm sure kids would enjoy and benefit from seeing a slice of Australia's deep history that this site offers
by Gillian Ching (score: 3|6396) 494 days ago
I'm glad this has been rebuilt. My husband and I visited some years ago before the original was burnt down. It looks like they have done a wonderful job getting it up and going again.
by Gayle Beveridge-Marien (score: 4|10456) 490 days ago
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