Well – we finally left Winton today – we definitely got a case of the Winton go slows while we were there – it was really lovely to stop and slow down a little!
We drove into Winton with the family on their way home from Carisbrooke and did a little more sightseeing with all the kids. We checked out Arno’s Wall – basically a wall of junk but quite interesting really and our kids loved it! The kids are at the age where they are collecting junk wherever we go – driving us nuts – but we have given them a plastic ‘treasure’ box each and they are enjoying filling them with bottle tops, screws, rocks, glass and whatever shiny things they find! I will have to get a photo of them. The deal is once the treasure boxes are filled – they must throw something out – hopefully then we won’t come home with a van filled with trash!! Anyway – a little off track there! While we still had all the cousies together we also checked out the ‘Musical Fence’. The kids loved this and made sooooooo much noise there! I’m sure we ruined the experience for the poor Grey Nomads who ended up there at the same time as us!
Unfortunately then we had to say goodbye to the family and our much loved little dog Jerry who has gone to live with the Grandparents while we do our trip! We are missing him lots already but I am pretty sure he thinks he has gotten an upgrade!!
After that we decided to free camp behind the North Gregory Hotel (the pub where ‘Waltzing Matilda’ was first played publicly). It was very crowded, but it was central and we had toilets and a hot shower! We decided to spend our ‘treat’ money this week on the most delicious lunch ever at the pub! My mouth is just watering thinking about our yummy BLT’s, Steak Sandwich and chips – definitely get a meal there if you are ever in Winton – real pub food! We then spent the next few days doing some washing, replacing the camper trailer plug that fell out and got trashed on the road back in from Carisbrooke, hanging out at the library – Jack was kindly allowed to borrow a book (‘Diary of A Wimpy Kid’) for the night which he really enjoyed and finished, and doing some more sightseeing. Oh and we got to have a free singalong ‘Waltzing Matilda’ show at the pub, put on by ‘Helen’. It was good for the kids as she told them all about the history of how Waltzing Matilda the song evolved and the different versions of it! They did well joining in on the singing – Tobes likes to belt out a a very loud chorus of Waltzing Matilda!
We loved the ‘Australian Age of Dinosaurs’ museum just outside Winton – it was great for the kids and soooo interesting to see people working on cleaning up real Dinosaur bones and learning how a dinosaur dig actually happens! Jack said he can’t wait to be twelve which is the age required to join a dig – Jack was really interested in it all – excited and asking lots of questions – a good age for it! Lex feel asleep on the floor during the talk about the collection of bones that have been found – hehehe – might have to make sure she has a sleep before the next tour – the Grey Nomads thought it was quite funny!! Very inspiring too, to hear how David Elliot (the founder of the non-profit museum) discovered the first dinosaur bone on his station in Winton, and to hear about his passion for the Australian Dinosaur history to be uncovered while at the same time, putting his local community on the map as a tourist destination and helping to keep a rural town alive – definitely a great story of an aussie farmer who cares deeply about our country and the community he lives in.
The Waltzing Matilda centre was pretty good, but probably a bit expensive and we had seen a lot of the stuff that was there (old trucks etc) for free at Ilfracombe, so apart from the little Waltzing Matilda theatre show and the holographic show about aussie legends, the kids weren’t terribly interested. We had purchased the ‘Gold Winton Pass’ for $140 which gave us entry to all of the attractions around Winton so we feel we got pretty good value for money from it – especially as I got $5 off at the butcher today too for having that pass! And that was Winton! Oh – forgot to mention the amazing shop called ‘Searles General Store’ – it had everything you could possibly imagine jammed in to it!! And the shop just kept going back, and back! The kids and I loved having a dig through all the toys, clothes and ‘stuff’ in there! Thanks for the tip Mrs Holman to check it out!!!