Roadtrip to Winton with Dui
“There’s nothing I enjoy more than road trips out west. Those big open outback roads, where the landscapes change and the colours just pop! It’s Australia at its best!” - Dui
Last year while Dui was creating our Boom Shankar Winter 2022 collection, Heartland, she took a little break and a very long drive (1,384km to be exact) and headed out to the Winton Film Festival.
“It’s the beautiful sunrises and sunsets of the outback, with those deep and powerful yellow, orange and red tones that I love. The vivid colours of the day with the bright blues and the lush greens, both contrasted against the harsh red earth. All these elements spark my creativity and explode my mind with colour palettes and patterns. My mind is like a starry night in the outback, sparkling with ideas.”
So, let’s pack our bags and get the camper van ready (virtually) and let’s go on a trip down memory lane with Dui, as she heads off from the Sunshine Coast and takes a long drive out west… finding treasures and meeting locals along the way.
First stop on the journey was Goomeri, 146km west of the Sunshine Coast, and home to one of the best bakeries in the world Dui reckons. Goomeri, which is situated in Wakka Wakka country, has a population of 664 people* and is best known for its annual Pumpkin Festival, which attracts up to 14,000 visitors each year, the highlight being the “Great Australian Pumpkin Roll” down Policeman’s Hill. Goomeri is also well known for its local gourmet produce including olives and cheeses, and there’s even a few wineries worth checking out. No wonder Dui loves the place so much!
After enjoying a delicious gourmet pie and having a quick stretch of the legs, Dui set back off on the road heading towards Winton. The first night of the trip was spent at a little town called Miles, formerly known as Dogwood Crossing, 384km west of the Sunshine Coast and with a population of 1,746 people*. Miles is known for having one of the best historical villages in Australia which is often used as a film set, in addition to its normal operations as a museum. Dui also says she had the best roast dinner of her life in Miles at a pub called, The Australian. We better not tell her mother she said that!
The following day she set back out on the big open road and headed to her next stop, Roma, 525km west of the Sunshine Coast, with a population of 6,848 people* and originally home of the Mandandanji nation. Roma is known for it’s bottle trees, and most importantly, its biggest bottle tree which has a girth of 9.62 metres, a height of 15 metres and a crown of 23 metres. Dui’s main attraction in Roma was stumbling upon ‘Ace Drapers’ a haberdashery store with EVERYTHING. Established in 1977, which you could probably find some stock from back then buried under the piles of fabric, Ace Drapers is stocked to the brim with everything from fabrics, curtains, haberdashery, uniforms, kitchenware and more. If you’re looking for it, they’ve probably got it! And the best part is, no matter how jam packed it is with stock, the owner knows exactly where to find everything. So as you could imagine, this place was heaven for Dui!!
After Roma, Dui carried on her road trip via Murgon, Augathella (where Dui’s uncle used to have a station) up to Tambo, Blackall, then to Barcaldine where she made her next pitstop. Birthplace of the Australian Labor Party, Barcaldine is 1,096km northwest of the Sunshine Coast, has a population of 1,422 people* and is the traditional land of the Iningai. Alongside its Labour Party ties, Barcaldine is known for the heritage-listed Tree of Knowledge, which is a 200 year old ghost gum where strikers used to meet and stand outside the railway station. In 2006, persons unknown poisoned the tree with herbicide, which unfortunately led to its demise. In October 1992 the Tree of Knowledge was added to the QLD Heritage Register and what’s left of it is now protected with an enclosure.
After gaining a little more knowledge in Barcaldine 🌳, Dui headed for the next port of call, Longreach, 1,203km northwest of the Sunshine Coast, with a population of 2,970 people* and the also part of the Iningai people land. Most of us know Longreach for being home to the Stockman's Hall of Fame and also as one of the founding centres for Qantas, with Winton being its birthplace. One of the airline's original hangars still remains in use at the Longreach Airport and is listed on the Australian National Heritage List.
So, after having a good old classic pie from the bakery she was ready for the long stretch of road taking her straight to Winton. No more stops, it was Winton here we come!!
When she arrived the town was bursting with people and energy!
Winton is a very barren town that’s 1,382km northwest of the Sunshine Coast, a population of 875 people* and with the traditional owners of the area being the Koa people.
Dui’s mission out here was not only for the Vision Splendid Film Festival of Winton, but also to check out the dinosaurs. Yes, the dinosaurs!
The Vision Splendid Film Festival is held annually at the Royal Theatre which is a beautiful outdoor cinema established in 1918 and one of the only few left in Australia that’s still operating. The array of films showcased are… splendid! 😉 But Dui's favourite by far was ‘I’m Wanita’, a documentary about a country music renegade, hell-bent on realising her childhood dream of stardom before its too late. And to top it off, Dui randomly got to meet Want at the local pub and she lived up to every bit of her personality.
The other highlight of Winton for Dui (as mentioned before) was checking out the Dinosaur Stampede National Monument where a herd of at least 150 small two-legged dinosaurs, including carnivorous coelurosaurs (about the size of chickens) and slightly larger plant-eating ornithopods, came to drink at the edge of a lake. Formed 95 million years ago, over 3,300 footprints of these long-extinct dinosaurs are scattered over the rock face, stark evidence of the terror they would have experienced as they fled the scene when a large theropod arrived. This snapshot of a few terrifying moments has been frozen in time, immortalising the event and making Winton home to the only known dinosaur stampede in the world. Who wouldn’t be impressed seeing that!!!
So, after a few more local pies, cold ales and interesting films, it was time for Dui to make the trip back home to the Sunshine Coast. But, she’s definitely returning again for this years Vision Splendid Film Festival, and who knows what inspires her on the next trip.
Shop our Winter 2022 collection, Heartland, online here.
* Population stats are as per the 2016 census