Once upon a time, when dinosaurs roamed the land, Outback Queensland resembled a landscape more telling of a temperate forest than the dusty plains known to tourists today. Fast forward 95 million years to the outback of today, where scientists are slowly piecing together this fascinating period in Outback Queensland’s history.
Since 2002, the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Inc group (AAODI), in collaboration with the Queensland Museum, has been running a dig program which has resulted in the largest collection of Australian dinosaur fossils in the world.
Prior to the work of AAODI, only a handful of dinosaurs had ever been discovered in Australia – however this is now changing fast! Three of the newly discovered dinosaur species have been formally described and named – Diamantinasaurus matildae (Matilda), Wintonotitan wattsi (Clancy) and Australovenator wintonensis (Banjo) – with three still to come, although the nicknames Mick, Elliott and Mary have been given to the fossilized species in the meantime
Dino experiences in Outback Queensland
- Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum – located on a 4,500 acre jump-up mesa overlooking the fertile Mitchell grass plains of Outback Queensland, 12km from Winton. See the dinosaur fossil display, working laboratory where visitors can see the bones being cleaned, and the collection room which is home to Banjo and Matilda, two of Australia’s most complete dinosaur skeletons.
- Prep-a-Dino – work on real life, 100 million year old dinosaur bones! Use professional tools to help remove sand, dirt and rock from the fossilized bones, grain by grain.
- Dig-a-Dino – join the archeologists on a real dinosaur dig and play your part in bringing a fossil to the surface.
- Australian Dinosaur Trail – Choose your own adventure following the Australian Dinosaur Trail through Winton, Richmond and Hughenden and get a complete prehistoric experience!
- Ancient Outback tour – departing from Mt Isa and follow in the footsteps of the dinosaur across the ancient great inland seabed. Fossick for an authentic dinosaur fossil, witness the massacre site where a stampede took the life of thousands of dinosaurs, and visit ‘Minmi’ in Richmond – Australia’s best preserved dinosaur skeleton and one of the world’s finest Pilosaur skeletons.
- Riversleigh Fossil Centre – located in North West Qld, Riversleigh is unique amongst centres offering ‘fossil tourism’. The Riversleigh fossil deposit is the richest and one of the most important fossil fields in Australia. Open daily from 8.30am – 5pm (excluding Christmas Day and Good Friday), with an annual fossil dig that continues to uncover animals previously unknown to science.
- Ancient crocodile fossils – the Outer Barcoo Interpretation Centre houses ancient crocodile fossils in a world class exhibit. Located at Isisford, south of Longreach.
- Eromanga Natural History Museum – The Outback Gondwana Foundation was established in 2008 as the research and governing body for the Eromanga Natural History Museum. It runs the Museum’s Field Station where dinosaur and megafauna fossils are prepared. In the future these internationally significant fossils will be kept in a museum in Eromanga.
So step back in time (way, way back) and get your dino on in Outback Queensland. It will be one of the most memorable experiences you will ever have – no bones about it!
Read more about the Dinosaur experiences in Outback Queensland here.