A Travellerspoint blog

Longreach to Winton

Day 32 - Tuesday 11 June 2013

Clear skies today with a forecast of 14 to 28 degrees for Longreach and Winton. We left the caravan park at about 9:30 am and drove into the town centre for some last minute shopping. Di headed straight for the Kinnon and Co Station Store to buy a Blue Heeler - rest easy not a real dog, but a stuffed toy! We also went to the newsagent but today's national papers will not be in until after 2:00 pm, and then to the bakery for some rolls and pizza bread.

The Blue Heeler

The Blue Heeler

Our trip today from Longreach to Winton is a fairly modest 175 kms. We were not overtaken by too many vehicles as perhaps they were doing a similar speed to us - 85 - 90 kph. We were however passed by lots of caravans and road trains going the other way. We arrived at the Matilda Country Tourist Park and were allocated a large slab site where we could stay hitched up for the night. After connecting water and power, and having fresh rolls for lunch we walked into the Town Centre for a look around.

The temperature had risen to about 30 degrees so we stopped for a beer or two at the Tattersall's pub in the town centre. Winton has a population of about 1,000 people and its main claims to fame are being the location of the first Qantas Board meeting at the Winton Club in 1921, and being the location for the first public performance of Banjo Patterson's Waltzing Matilda in 1912. He wrote the song while staying on a nearby property Dagworth Station. In 1936 a horse drawn wagon brought the last load of wool to the Winton railhead. With a team of 19 horses the wagon could move 9 tonnes of wool. By contrast our Nissan Navara can pull 3 tonnes!

Banjo Patterson

Banjo Patterson

Winton streetscape

Winton streetscape

Old Winton building

Old Winton building

Jolly Swagman

Jolly Swagman

The last wagon to bring wool to the Winton railhead

The last wagon to bring wool to the Winton railhead

More recently Winton has become the centre of a number of Dinosaur discoveries. Lark Quarry, 114 kms south west from Winton, is currently the only recorded dinosaur stampede on earth. Around 95 million years ago, a large herd of small two legged dinosaurs gathered on the banks of a forest lake to drink. The herd was stalked by a large Theropod – four tonnes of sharp-clawed, meat-eating dinosaur. The herd panicked, stampeding across the muddy flats to escape the Theropod’s hungry jaws. A record of those few terrifying minutes is cast in more than 3300 fossilised footprints.

Dinosaur foot rubbish bin

Dinosaur foot rubbish bin

Back at the caravan park we noticed that the caravan park is on the corner of the Landsborough Highway from Longreach and the Kennedy Highway from Winton to Hughenden. Numerous 3-trailer road trains loaded with double decks of cattle were coming down the road from Hughenden and turning left towards Longreach. It seems that they were not going too far though (Winton is a rail head) as empty road trains were soon coming back the other way. Hopefully it will not go on for too long tonight.

We will leave a visit to Lark Quarry until our next trip through this area.

Posted by TwoAces 03:38

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