Kynuna was established in the 1860s and in its early days boasted three hotels. It was a staging post for Cobb and Co Coaches. Today Kynuna has just one hotel, the famous Blue Heeler Hotel.
Kynuna is most famous for its links with Banjo Paterson and the ‘Waltzing Matilda’ poem. Folklore has it that Bob MacPherson (owner of Dagworth Station) told Banjo the story of the suicide of Samuel Hoffmeister beside the Combo Waterhole, 13 kilometres upstream of the Diamantina River, in September 1894. Hoffmeister had reportedly been one of the striking shearers involved in the burning down of the Dagworth Woolshed. This story, together with other stories which Paterson had heard, inspired him to write ‘Waltzing Matilda’, at Dagworth. Christina MacPherson, Paterson’s then fiancee, adapted a popular Scottish tune ‘Craiglea’ to become the original music for ‘Waltzing Matilda’.
Combo Waterhole, situated a few kilometres south of Kynuna, is reportedly the site of the famous billabong in Australia’s national folk song. A 2.5 kilometre round trip takes you on a walk along cobbled paths to this waterhole, situated on the Diamantina River. Here you can enjoy a bush picnic or walk through the dry channels of the Diamantina to the famous waterhole, crossing historic stone-pitched overshots built by Chinese labourers more than a century ago.