A visit to the Qantilda Museum is the essential Winton experience.
Operating since 1972, Qantilda is now part of the Waltzing Matilda Centre complex, showcasing an extensive and diverse collection drawn almost exclusively from the Winton region.
Visitors experience The Qantilda Room where you:
- Follow Winton's timeline from 60,000 years ago to the present day
- Discover the rich pastoral history of the region and why Winton is where it is
- Learn about Winton's role in the birth of Qantas
- Be moved by the rich WWI and WWII history
- Meet some amazing women of the outback.
The Qantilda Room also has a popular Reading Room and family history section that offers a copying service for a small fee.
From the Qantilda Room, visitors can continue to explore:
- The Banjo Paterson Room showing temporary and touring exhibitions
- The treasure trove of history with Christina Macpherson Cottage
- Tools for working the land in the Machinery Shed and Vehicle Shed
- How Winton rode 'the sheep's back' in the Shearing Shed
- A BB 18 1/4 Class Steam Locomotive resting at the original Chorregon Station
Visitors can finish their journey with a stop at the Coolibah Cafe and the Station Store.
Winton's artesian water flows to the surface at a temperature of approximately 80°C and must be cooled before entering the water mains. The town's first heat exchanger was made by Swedish company, Alfa Laval, and is an example of the first attempt in Australia to cool water in this manner. Earlier attempts to cool the water were both costly and only partly successful. You can view that very first heat exchanger at the Museum.
Horse racing was the Winton district's main social activity in the early days. The Never Never Jockey Club held the first recorded race meeting in October 1878 and the Museum has in its collection the "Corinthian Cup of the Never Never Jockey Club" won at the second meeting of that club. The Museum also has a collection of over two hundred race books dating back to 1897.
Qantilda Museum has a collection of over one hundred wool bale stencils used for branding wool bales to ensure security of ownership during marketing. These tell a story of the changing ownership of properties in the district over the years, and also the importance of the wool industry to the development of Winton district.