It may not be an ideal holiday plan to look for dinosaur bones in a remote land, but for dinosaur enthusiasts around the world, Australia is one of the leading destinations for a fossil encounter. For most of us, dinosaurs exist mostly in movies like Jurassic Park, but for those genuinely fascinated with the dinosaur, Australia’s outback Queensland is the place to find real Dino bones.
Outback Queensland may seem dusty and remote today, but in the pre-historic times, it was a fertile land with lush, tropical rainforest and a vast inland sea, creating the perfect home for creatures ranging from pliosaurs to sauropods. The dinosaur trail is a slightly skewed triangle in Queensland, consisting of Winton, Richmond and Hughenden. It is approximately a 560 km trip between the three towns. You can start with Winton, which is about 600 kms from Townsville. Get a convenient car hire in Townsville and begin your journey of discovery in the land of dinosaurs.
This conservation area is probably the only living proof of a dinosaur stampede. About 95 million years ago, a small herd of dinosaurs was attacked by a huge carnivore, resulting in a stampede that left footprints in the streambed. Remarkably, these footprints fossilised beneath millions of years of sediment. This is also the inspiration for Steven Spielberg’s dinosaur stampede in the original Jurassic Park.
This museum cum fossil research centre is located about 15 km from Winton, on a rugged plateau known as ‘Jump Up’. It has one of the largest collections of dinosaur fossils. They also conduct various workshops for fossil technicians and you can easily sign up for them if you’d like to learn a few things about preparing fossils for scientific studies. It is best to book in advance.
Located in Richmond, you will find the biggest collection of marine fossils here. The star attraction at this outstanding little museum of Kronosaurus Korner is a 4.25-meter-long pliosaur skeleton.
Hughenden wasn’t as productive for fossil hunters but the Flinders Discovery Centre here is worth checking out. It houses a replica skeleton of the 8-meter-long Muttaburrasaurus, a dinosaur which was found in Muttaburra.