The Royal Open Air Theatre is one of the few remaining open air picture theatres in Australia still in operation. Originally established in 1918, and purchased by the Evert family in 1938, the historic Royal Theatre offers a rare opportunity to enjoy the movies the old-fashioned way – laid back in canvas seats under the stars. Immerse yourself in ‘memories of yester-year’ with the old time slides and black and white film shorts. The Open Air Theatre is now also home to the World’s Largest Deck Chair. Drop in during the day to wander through the Museum (via the Gift and Gem and the Opal Walk), or come on a Nostalgia Night, held every Wednesday from April through September.
On 20th July 2003 local and visiting artists gathered in Winton to perform in a truly unique composition The world premier of The Musical Fence. The Musical Fence, designed by percussionist and composer Graeme Leak, is a wire fence that can be played as a musical instrument and it is the first Permanent musical fence installation in the world. The Musical Fence is situated behind the Diamantina Heritage Truck and Machinery Museum near the Industrial Estate. It is free to use and is there for every visitor to Winton to enjoy. So what are you waiting for? Grab a stick and head on down to make some music at the world’s first and only Musical Fence!
In 1923, Chinese immigrant Willie Mar began a market garden and shop at Winton in Queensland’s west and it continued for more than 75 years. Willie Mar arrived in Queensland from Zhongshan province in China at the turn of the 20th century. He worked as a cook and gardener on a number of stations between Hughenden, Richmond and Winton before in 1923 be became a shopkeeper and market gardener in Riley Street, on the edge of Winton. Willie Mar was married to a young woman, but he only made two trips back. During an extended visit in 1929 a son, Yen Shoo, was born. Willie returned to Winton not long after the birth and did not see his son again until 20 years later when in 1949 Young Willie Mar (Mar Yen Shoo) arrived in Winton. Unable to speak English, Young Willie Mar began to learn his family business of shop keeping and market gardening from his father. When Willie Mar died while working in his garden in 1954 at the age of 86. Young Willie Mar continued the business until 2000. The fruit and vegetable shop, house and market garden was the longest operating Chinese market garden and shop of any western Queensland town. Popular and well-loved by the community, Willie passed away in 2007, and many residents of Winton have vivid memories and engaging stories of Willie and his garden and have banded together to keep his legacy alive.
Inside the heritage listed Corfield and Fitzmaurice building awaits one of the nation’s most comprehensive displays of Australian Dinosaur fossils. Australian Age of Dinosaurs shows the results of the fossil fever that has gripped Winton since the first bones of ‘Elliot’ were found on a Winton property. ‘Elliot’ was a Sauropod and is the largest dinosaur yet found in Australia – believed to be nearly 22 metres long. The display features the fossilised remnants of an ancient environment with bones from ‘Elliot’, the massive Sauropod that roamed nearly 100 million years ago on display. To get a snapshot view of what the world might have been like back then, see the life size diorama of the Dinosaur Stampede, recreating the scene where small dinosaurs fled in terror from a ten metre Carnosaur. Complementing the dinosaur displays is an exhibition of local opal with mining and gemstone information. The Corfield and Fitzmaurice Building, once Winton’s general store, is a bit of dinosaur itself! As the oldest business in Winton, its own history has been set out in a graphic panelled display. Also within the complex is Combo Crafts, which sells a range of attractive pottery, jewellery, and other craft items.
A community based, volenteer organisation dedicated to the preservation and presentation of Australia’s road transport heritage and adding another interesting attraction to Winton’s thriving tourism industry.From its humble beginning with a small number of heritage trucks, it’s been full steam ahead at the Museum as the collection grows and so does the need for buildings. Highlights of the collection are… 1899 Winton Pheaton (used to trial the first motorized mail run in Australia in 1910 and a 1890 Ruston Stationary Steam engine, Leyland Buffalo, 1934 Fargo, Model T Fords, Vintage Fire Engines plus many more vehicles shown in pristine condition. A new display in the Museum is ‘Toots’ M A N Truck. Toots was a female legend in the trucking industry. View our new Story Board and Audio Exhibition ‘Life on the Road’ as we pay tribute to our transport pioneers.
A modern wonder of art and architecture, Arno Grotjahn’s wall contains almost every household item you can imagine and more. The walls reach two metres high and extend for at least 70 metres. They are constructed of concrete and rock brought from Arno’s opal mine at Opalton and studded with rusted lawnmower parts, boat propellers, vintage typewriters and sewing machines and even a couple of complete motorbikes. Every part of the Wall has a story, and if you are lucky, you may run into one of the locals happy to share them A bit about the Architect Arno was born in 1930 and spent his youth as a merchant seaman travelling the world. He immigrated to Australia from Germany some 30 years ago and spent his time in and around Winton opal mining.
Day tours from Winton has never been this easy. There are so many things to see in Winton and around the region and now you can park the car, van or motorhome for a couple of days, take a break from driving and sit back, relax and let me take the dirt roads for you! Red Dirt Tours is a locally owned and operated business – your Winton touring specialist – and offers a number of tours to the spectacular natural and man-made attractions of the Winton region. Each location has its own unique characteristics and I love nothing more than to show you our backyard. As we travel along the outback roads I will let you know about things that you see and the people and processes that made it happen.
An Australian Age of Dinosaurs Experience In 2015 Winton Shire Council invited the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum of Natural History to take over the operation of public guided tours at Dinosaur Stampede National Monument. This joint initative, implemented in April 2016, provides visitors with a broader understanding of unique Australian dinosaurs and the world they inhabited. Dinosaur Stampede Roars Back The Winton Shire Council is pleased to announce The Dinosaur Stampede at Lark Quarry Conservation Park will reopen on Friday the 3rd July 2015. The Council has completed a major refurbishment of the facility. The refurbishment will deliver an enhanced visitor experience. An extended viewing platform extending toward the trackways will enable visitors to fully appreciate the tracks. Complementing the enlarged viewing platform is state of the art audio and lighting that will ensure this amazing natural phenomena is highlighted to all who visit the Dinosaur Stampede complex. Winton Shire Council Mayor Butch Lenton is enthusiastic about the upgrade. “Lark Quarry is a very popular tourist destination and an important element to the Winton landscape. The refurbishment project has significantly enhanced the experience while providing a safer site. Our guides also look forward to welcoming visitors and explaining the story of the dinosaur stampede”. Winton is acknowledged as the Dinosaur Capital of Australia. The twin attractions of Australian Age of Dinosaurs and the Dinosaur Stampede at Lark Quarry draw tens of thousands of visitors to Winton annually. The upgrade will enhance the visitor experience and is a great win for the region. Location and Contact Details: Dinosaur Stampede National Monument is located 110km south-west of Winton (half of this on sealed road); access is by guided tours at 9.30am, 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm – times will vary in Summer.
The Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum of Natural History is a world-class organisation and home to the world’s largest collection of Australian dinosaur fossils. Australian Age of Dinosaurs Ltd. (AAOD) is a western Queensland based, non-profit organisation which draws support from across Australia. We rely on volunteer effort and the contributions of interested people and sponsors. Our mission statement is: “To encourage, promote and facilitate the discovery, preservation and display of fossil material from the age of dinosaurs within Australia.”