Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Winton Queensland

We had somewhat of an inauspicious start at Winton. Having checked in at a local campsite - which was rather down-market (for the excellent reason that there were no up-market ones). We were shown to a spot that was small, but did have a link to AC power. The tent was erected right up to the last tent peg; which proved to be rather intransigent. It didn't want to be driven fully into the hard packed earth, or pulled out again. So I heaved and strained and eventually it withdrew with a plop, followed by a gusher of water! It seems I had driven it through the plastic water pipe.
In fairness, the proprietor took it in his stride, "...ah, no drama mate. I'll get it fixed." So we transferred our pitch to somewhere drier.
Winton has several claims to fame, some we sampled and some we didn't. The photos provide a brief synopsis.
The eponymous billabong and swagman from Waltzing Mathilda is believed to originate in this area, so the town celebrates by having a swagman statue;
a Waltzing Mathilda Exhibition. Which we didn't visit on the grounds that we had 'done' all the aspects of the legend before. But it did boast a statue to Banjo Paterson, the author of the lyrics.

A couple of Brolgas flew onto the land adjacent to the campsite. They are a huge bird and sometimes display with outstretched wings - a sight that we have been fortunate enough to see, but never quick enough to photograph. So as compensation, this photo depicts the neatly folded version.
The town lies in the 'dinosaur triangle' and has a small museum with information, models and memorabilia on dinosaurs. One exhibit is a cast of a dinosaur footprint - a vast creature it must have been.
But dominating the displays is a lifesize model of a carnosaur.
On a lighter note, dunny racing is a popular local sport. The competing dunnies (in full racing trim) were in for pre-race servicing.
Whilst the trophy for which they compete was on display in a local shop window.
On the outskirts of town, we visited the 'Musical Fence'. A bit of a misnomer, as the fence is not the main attraction, just one of many percussion exhibits that really appeal to kids. We met a young family there and the two little boys and their sister were having a wonderful time. But they can also appeal to big kids!

As a final note, one which will strike a chord with avid photographers everywhere, the ubiquitous wheely bin. They're in Oz too and they reside in the street besmirching the most elegant architecture and town treasures. But... in Winton they have a solution that fits the nature of the town.

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