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The Town of Winton

At least once a year, and in most recent years twice; the majority of the opal industry within Australia get together in the outback Queensland town of Winton to trade opal. Opal is what makes this town so famous! It is the main epicenter and largest town of Boulder Opal in the World.

The Town of Winton
The sunrises in Winton are nothing short of Spectacular

The Winton Opal Festival

The main street is shut off before the sun rises, and miners from the region pull up in their dirty, dusty and sometimes muddy 4X4s and trailers with buckets and drums of boulder opal. The keen opal buyers are up at this crazy hour running around between half set up stalls with head-torches and phones in hand with flashlight on trying to find the best deals before others get to them. Some are searching for the gem boulder opals, some are searching for good value lower grade parcels and some are searching for the popular sandstone crystal boulder opal (which is very rare to find).

Tourist Attractions in Winton

A lot of people will swing past the bakery for a morning breakfast outback pie and coffee (that is somewhat hard to drink sometimes). Its not all bad to get up so early however, the sunrises in outback Queensland are nothing short of spectacular, and there is a lot of wildlife active at this time to see as well!

Life in Winton: A Snapshot

The festival runs all day, but most of the deals have been made by 10am. For the serious, well-connected buyers, they have already been thru the town a few days before to snap up the best deals on boulder opal that the miners have to offer.

Discovering Winton’s Opal Mining Culture

Winton hosts various festivities throughout the year, including opal jewelry competitions, rodeos, and an outback film festival. Tourists flock to town during these events, often visiting the Australian Age of Dinosaurs museum. Beyond opal mining, Winton offers a unique outback Australian experience with nearby national parks boasting gorges and volcano craters. Additionally, it is renowned as a prime destination for dinosaur enthusiasts. With friendly locals and quintessential Aussie amenities like fuel stations, supermarkets, and pubs, Winton provides a genuine outback experience. Do not miss the historic North Gregory Hotel, where Banjo Paterson first performed “Waltzing Matilda.”

A sign just outside of Winton

Boulder opal mining in the Winton region spans over about a 500km radius. It goes out as far west as Diamantina (about 3 hours drive west). Opal Creek is another famous spot for mining; located about 130km from Winton. South of Winton is a very famous called Opalton, and further south of this is Jundah.

A Map of some of Winton mining areas
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