Outback Queensland was once part of an ancient inland sea: a rich aquatic wonderland filled with marine life.
As the centuries passed, the climate and conditions became ripe for fossil formation which has resulted in the region being a rich source of marine, dinosaur and megafauna fossils, from Mount Isa and Richmond in the north of the Outback Queensland region, all the way to Eromanga in the south-west near Quilpie. This fossil material includes many different dinosaurs and several new species – the Eromanga dinosaurs for example are Australia’s largest dinosaurs, a new discovery! Skeletons of Sauropods, Pliosaurs, Pterosaurs – a flying reptile with a wingspan of four metres – shark teeth, ammonites, belemnites and a variety of shellfish have all been found, not to mention some more recent giants like the Eulo megafauna.
Visit the towns of Hughenden, Richmond and Winton on Australia’s Dinosaur Trail. Discover which prehistoric creatures once roamed the land. Learn of their life and times. Visit one or all of the fascinating museums that house reconstructed dinosaur skeletons and fossil displays.
- Kronosaurus Korner in Richmond displays predominately marine fossils.
- The Riversleigh Fossil Centre in Mount Isa interprets the amazing megafauna finds discovered at the World Heritage-listed Riversleigh Fossil Fields, many previously unknown.
- The Flinders Discovery Centre in Hughenden houses an international fossil collection as well as interpretive displays of the geological history of the region.
- You can also visit the site of the world’s best-preserved Dinosaur Stampede at Lark Quarry Conservation Park or explore further at the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum, Winton – maybe even participate in a dinosaur dig!
- The Eromanga Natural History Museum is the home of Australia’s largest dinosaur, Cooper! They are open 7 days a week and make sure you check out their guided tours here.
- Visit the Outer Barcoo Interpretive Centre in Isisford.
- Or view the collections at Boulia’s Marine Reptile Fossil Display, Winton’s Corfield and Fitzmaurice Centre, even take a photo with the Muttaburrasaurus replica in Muttaburra.
The landscape around Eromanga, Eulo and Quilpie in the south west has also proven itself to be a gold mine for fossil hunters, when in 2009 Australia’s largest dinosaur, Cooper, a new titanosaur species was unearthed. Megafauna such as Diprotodon (commonly referred to as a giant marsupial bear) have also been found in abundance, and you can visit a life-size statue in Eulo. Keep an eye out for information on the Natural Sciences Loop highlighting these exciting attractions across the south west.