DESTINATIONS - TRAVEL DESTINATIONS
For many years it seemed that Australia wasn’t home to many large dinosaurs, but discoveries in recent years have revealed the exact opposite. The discovery of the fifth-largest dinosaur ever found and now fondly known as ‘Cooper’ (Australotitancooperensis) has put Australia right up there.
Cooper grabbed Australian dinosaur publicity in mid-2021, because of his enormous size: nearly 30 metres in length and 6.5 metres high at the hip, and tipping the scales at an estimated 67 tonnes! However, western Queensland is host to thousands of dinosaur fossils, in widely varying sizes.
At OTA we’ve made several forays into dinosaur land and we’re now happy to list an itinerary you might like to follow. It’s not 4WD territory, but can be combined with a trip that takes in the driving challenges further north and west.
Once part of Australia’s Inland Sea, Richmond is best known for its marine fossil discoveries, such as Krono, the Kronosaurus queenslandicus and Wanda, Australia’s largest fossilised fish. A stop to the dinosaur town is a non-negotiable for any budding palaeontologists, where children can spend hours exploring the extensive fossil collection at the Kronosaurus Korner museum and digging at the fossil hunting site.
Shiver with Jurassic Park levels of spine-chilling history as you spot 3300 stone footprints at Lark Quarry Conversation Park. It’s here you’ll learn about the world’s only recorded evidence of a dinosaur stampede, dating back around 95 million years ago.
Known as the Dinosaur Capital of Australia, you’ll be able to satisfy any cravings for a fossil adventure in Winton. Visit Australian Age of Dinosaurs to see the Banjo and all his friends at the world’s largest collection of Australian dinosaur fossils. You can even sign-up to help prepare real dinosaur bones in the laboratory!
Become friends with Hughie, a 7-metre statue cast from the bones of a Muttaburrasaurus at the Flinders Discovery Centre in Hughenden. While you’re in Hughenden, you can also explore the impressive international fossil collection, interactive displays and Australian dinosaur bones found in the area from 1865 up until modern day digs.
You’ll be yelling Crikey! at the Outer Barcoo Interpretation Centre, as you marvel at life-sized model of a Isisfordia Duncani. This old girl won’t bite, but as the evolutionary ancestor of the crocodile, you can imagine she had some bite back in her day! While you’re there, take a look at the Bulldog Fish who swam in the region 100 million years ago.
Naturally, your trip to Outback Queensland is incomplete without a visit to Cooper, Australia’s largest Dinosaur, at Eromanga Natural History Museum (ENHM). Meet the friendly giant dinosaur who has been making headlines across the globe and take a trip back 100,000 years with EHNM’s exhibit of some of the world’s largest mega fauna and micro fauna.
There’s more detail on the Winton and Lark Quarry area in this additional story on the website.