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 which was built in 1889.
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 Conservation Park is located 16 kilometres east of Kynuna. It is a very picturesque place and the overshot dams built by Chinese labourers in 1883 are technical masterpieces. The Combo Waterhole is linked to the national folk song Waltzing Matilda and a monument can be found at the entrance to the park. Walk the 2.5 kilometre return circuit to the waterhole along the Diamantina River and have a picnic “under the shade of a Coolibah tree”. Camping is prohibited and dry weather entry only.