Need the low down on Australia’s quirkiest event?
Perfect for families and anyone who loves the Australian outback, get to know the Winton Outback Festival with this guide.
When is it?
Held every second year, the Outback Festival is held over five days, taking place from 19 – 23 September 2023 in the Queensland school holidays.
The action-packed program runs from Tuesday – Saturday, so pack your bags for a week in the outback.
Starting back in 1972, in 2022 the event celebrated 50 years since its small beginnings to what is now one of the outback’s most iconic events.
Where is it?
The festival takes place across the town of Winton in the heart of Outback Queensland. On a map, you will find Winton within a cooee of Longreach and 1,350kms North West of Brisbane. Read on here to find out how to make tracks to Winton.
You’ll find most of the festival action taking place in Elderslie Street, the main street lined with historic pubs.
The festival precinct for the famed Dunny Derby and Saturday Night Concert is located at the Winton Recreational Grounds, just a short stroll from Winton’s main street.
The five days of festival action from 19 – 23 September includes a swag load of Aussie fun for all ages from Outback Aussie Sports, kids activities, workshops to nightly live music and entertainment.
The iconic Australian Dunny Derby takes place on Friday 22 September from late afternoon with live music running until late. Make it easy and grab a Gold Festival Pass or Weekend Pass.
Throughout the week you’ll find nightly entertainment and the outback hospitality that Winton is known for. Don’t miss the Johnny Cash Special Opening Concert on Tuesday 19 September or Saturday Finale with Dragon and a fireworks spectacular.
Start your morning with a belly full of laughs at the Bush Poets Breakfast and Show, or go market to market on Saturday 19 September morning in Winton’s main street.
Take part in the action yourself in the Outback Ironman, Women and Juniors, or watch on and cheer on the competitors as they are challenged in their daily events. Pack your running shoes for the Western River Adventure Run and prepare to get dusty over the 5km or 10km trails.
For those who like to dress up, bring your bowtie, bling and dancing shoes for the Sunset Gala Extravaganza for a night under the outback stars while raising money for a good cause.
Where to stay?
It’s no surprise the town of Winton becomes full to the brim during festival week.
Your best place to rest your head each night is the Festival’s Club Paterson Tent City (we’ll even set up your tent and bed for you!) or if you’ve got your own home on two wheels, book a festival camping spot. Book here.
If you’re in need of a little more luxury, find all your local accommodation options here from motels to BnBs, but you better be quick to book in.
What else can you do in Winton?
They aren’t many towns that can live up to being as truly Australian as Winton. Winton is the birthplace of Waltzing Matilda and Qantas and holds the title as Australia’s Dinosaur Capital.
Voted Queensland’s favourite Top Tiny Tourism Town in 2022, it’s no surprise you’ll find some experiences that you won’t find anywhere else.
Save time in your festival schedule (or plan to come a couple days earlier) for dinosaurs at Australian Age of Dinosaurs and Lark Quarry Dinosaur Track Ways. Learn all about Australia’s unofficial national anthem at the Waltzing Matilda Centre or sit back and relax at one of the town’s famed pubs and enjoy the roving festival entertainment throughout the week.
To really get to know our town, join one of our local tour guides to see the outback from their point of view. There’s nothing quite like snagging a ripper deal, so all festival-goers can grab a discount on all tours with Red Dirt Tours and Outback from Above during the festival period.
What tickets should I buy?
We’ve made it easy for you with our Festival Pass options:
Gold Festival Pass: Tuesday, Friday & Saturday Concerts, and Thursday Bush Poets Breakfast & Show
Weekend Pass: Friday & Saturday Day/Concerts (Family passes available).
Otherwise, you’re free to pick and choose, with single tickets available for each festival event.
Early bird prices are available (Until 18 August) for the Century Cycle Challenge and Western River Adventure Run.