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Winton is a town in the central west of Queensland. It is 177 km (110 miles) from Longreach and about 1200 km northwest from Queensland's capital city of Brisbane.
The area around the town of Winton is mostly flat grassland (savanna) and the main economic activities are sheep and cattle raising.
The popular Australian folk song, "Waltzing Matilda", was written in 1895 by "Banjo" Paterson while he was staying on the local farm known as Dagworth Station. The music for the song was arranged by Christina Macpherson, the station manager's sister, who happened to be staying on the station at the same time as Paterson. The song had its first performance in Winton (see below). A statue of Paterson was unveiled in Winton in 1995 by Australia's then Prime Minister Paul Keating and Queensland's then Premier Wayne Goss.
The Town of Winton and its Attractions
The town of Winton is located on the banks of the Western River. That river runs into the Diamantina River about 60 km downstream from the town. The town is in the so-called Channel Country and is part of the Lake Eyre basin.
Winton is also located in the Great Artesian Basin and artesian bore water rushes to the surface at a temperature just below boiling point. The water has to be cooled before use in the township. The water has a high sulphur content and thus a slight "rotten eggs" smell.
The street names of Winton are named after the various stations (that is, large farm holdings) in the area.
The tourist attractions in the town include:
-- The Waltzing Matilda Centre: the iconic Australian folksong, "Waltzing Matilda", had its first performance in the North Gregory Hotel in Winton and the Waltzing Matilda Centre opened in 1998 as a museum to commemorate the famous song.
-- The Royal Theatre: one of the few open-air cinemas that still exist in Australia and home to the World's Largest Deckchair.
-- The Corfield & Fitzmaurice Store: home of a former emporium (large general store) and now a heritage-listed building with a museum
Winton's biennial Outback Festival is widely acknowledged as one of the great festivals of regional Queensland. Events include the Quilton Australian Dunny Derby and the Outback Century Cycle Challenge.
Attractions near the town of Winton
In 1962 fossilized dinosaur tracks were found in a quarry near Winton. They may now be viewed at the Lark Quarry Dinosaur Trackways located about 110 km from Winton.
In 1999 a sauropod (____) dating from the Cretaceous Period about 95 million years ago was discovered near Winton. The sauropod has been nicked "Elliot" but has not been given a scientific name yet,
In 2009 a further three fossils were unearthed of Early Cretaceous period. Several genera names have been named (Australovenator, Wintonotitan, Diamantinasaurus) as well as the new species name, Australovenator wintonensis. The fossils were unearthed at the "Matilda" on the Elderslie Station (see below) and at the "Triangle Paddock Site" nearby.
Another sauropod named Savannasaurus has also been discovered in the Winton area.
Suspected Asteroid or Comet Impact Site
In 2015 Geoscience Australia reported that certain hook-shapes in the Diamantina River near Winton may indicate an impact structure where an asteroid or comet struck approximately 300 million years ago. Seismic studies have been undertaken but core samples from the ground have yet to be analysed in order to confirm whether or not this event in fact occurred.
A heritage-listed property on the Winton-Boulia Road.
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Author: David Paul Wagner
(David Paul Wagner on Google+)