A 180km-long run northwest from Longreach across the barren Mitchell Plains, WINTON is a real frontier town where dust devils blow tumbleweeds down the streets – a fitting backdrop for the 1800s-set film The Proposition (2004), written by Nick Cave. As Queensland’s largest cattle-trucking depot, Winton has a constant stream of road trains rumbling through, and a fair swag of history: Waltzing Matilda premiered at the North Gregory Hotel, and Qantas was founded here in 1920. The surrounding country is an eerie world of windswept plains and eroded jump-ups (flat-topped hills layered in orange, grey and red dust), opal deposits and dinosaur footprints.
Winton’s central drag is Elderslie Street, where you’ll find banks, a post office and petrol stations. From April to September, if there’s a film on, treat yourself to a session in the open-air cinema, complete with canvas seats and original projector, at the corner of Elderslie and Cobb streets behind the Wookatook store.