Winton Way Out West Festival


Annastacia Palaszczuk headshot image


Winton's Way Out West Fest


I am delighted to welcome everyone to Winton for the inaugural Way Out West Fest, celebrating the reopening of the Waltzing Matilda Centre in one of Australia's finest regions.

Winton is a Queensland open secret, with so much history and so many modem-day pleasures for tourists and Australiana seekers.

The Qantas airline was instituted and based in Winton on 16 November 1920, before moving to Longreach. Visitors can explore the prehistoric world and walk in the footsteps of dinosaurs. Australia's unofficial anthem, Waltzing Matilda, was written here by A.B. ' Banjo' Paterson in 1895 and, legend has it, first performed publicly at the North Gregory Hotel.

The Waltzing Matilda Centre has been a major attraction for the region for two decades. It is a unique museum dedicated to just one song which resonates in the heart of local people, of Queenslanders and of Australians everywhere. On 18 June 2015, the Waltzing Matilda Centre was destroyed by fire, but the spirit of the Winton Shire community was not broken.

The new Waltzing Matilda Centre will stand proudly as a testament to their fortitude and iron will. Millions of visitors for generations to come will know that Winton and its people are made of the right stuff from way out west.

This is why the Way Out West Fest 2018 is just the beginning.

The Queensland Government is proud to support Way Out West Fest 2018, working with the Winton Shire Council, the Koa, Maiawali and Kruwali local traditional owners, and many other wonderful community members.

More than 6000 festival-goers have been attracted by an amazing line-up of musical talent, including Jessica Mauboy, John Williamson, Sheppard, Russell Morris, The Black Sorrows and, from the USA, Kip Moore and Lee Brice. There is also a race meeting, and local arts, crafts and industry to promote a fabulous region of Queensland.

I wish Way Out West 2018 and the Winton community every success.

Kate Jones headshot image


Winton's Way Out West Fest

Message from Minister for Tourism Industry Development, The Honourable Kate Jones MP

Welcome to the inaugural Winton’s Way Out West Fest – a celebration of Queensland’s Outback and the ideal way to mark the official reopening of the new $22 million Waltzing Matilda Centre.

Over the next four days you will experience a star-studded music festival line-up including Jessica Mauboy, John Williamson, The Living End, Kip Moore, Lee Brice, Sheppard and many more.

Festivalgoers will also be treated to bush poetry and outback races with a side of friendly country hospitality, historic venues, incredible landscapes and unique wildlife.

Events like Winton’s Way Out West Fest play a crucial role in showcasing a destination, supporting local jobs, and strengthening community pride.

With thousands of visitors from across Queensland and beyond expected to attend, this festival will provide an economic boost for Winton and the surrounding Channel County.

The Palaszczuk Government via Tourism and Events Queensland is proud to support this event, one of many to feature on the It’s Live! in Queensland calendar.

If you’re visiting Winton, I encourage you to explore the region and come away with some great Outback Queensland memories.