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A 180km-long run northwest from Longreach across the barren Mitchell Plains, WINTON is a real frontier town where dust devils blow tumbleweeds down the streets – a fitting backdrop for the 1800s-set film The Proposition (2004), written by Nick Cave, which was filmed in and around town. As Queensland’s largest cattle-trucking depot, Winton has a constant stream of road trains rumbling through, and a fair swag of history: Waltzing Matilda premiered at the North Gregory Hotel, and Qantas was founded here in 1920. The surrounding country is an eerie world of windswept plains and eroded jump-ups (flat-topped hills layered in orange, grey and red dust), opal deposits and dinosaur footprints.

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