Latest News

Back to Latest News back


Dinosaur Trail for Queensland Outback

Dinosaur Trail for Queensland Outback
November 10, 2009

Plans are being developed for Australia's own Jurassic Park, a series of field museums and a Dinosaur Tourist Trail, based on outback Queensland's treasure trove of dinosaur fossils.

The site of inland sea 100 million years ago, the vast floodplains left behind as the waters receded came to accumulate dinosaur bones. Fossil fragments were found in Central Queensland as early as the 1920s, but it is only this decade that momentous discoveries of uniquely Australian species of dinosaur have been made. These concentrated bone beds are now considered equal to any major dinosaur quarry in the world.

As Queensland Museum Paleontologist Scott Hocknull explains "it's a revolution in natural history in Australia ... the last decade has seen an unprecedented number of new dinosaur discoveries in Australia.

"Children no longer need to learn about North American dinosaurs to fuel their appetite for the beasts ... now they only need to look in their own backyard."

To make the dinosaur finds accessible to the public, a Paleo Tourism Trail is being developed, linking excavation sites and museums at Lightning Ridge, Eromanga, Winton, Hughenden and Richmond. Visitors will be able to see the digs in action, help prepare fossils for preservation and view full-size replicas of Australia's own dinosaurs.

Expected to boost tourism in Central Queensland, the trail, which hinges on proper road access being established to certain sites, will be funded in part by a $600,000 grant from the Australian Research Council. It is expected to be completed within three years, and could boost local tourism by as much as 30%.

At Plevna Downs near Eromanga, the Queensland Government has allocated $100,000 to investigate the development of a new dinosaur attraction. Stretching 100,000 hectares, Plevna Downs encompasses 13 dig sites, but is currently closed to the public.

Interest in the area began five years ago when a local sheep grazier's son found a bone which further digging revealed to be a piece of the largest dinosaur to have walked the Australian continent.

Five metres tall and up to 30 metres long, the plant-eating 'Cooper' is a member of the Titanosaurus family and is among the top 10 largest dinosaurs in the world, rivalling a T-Rex. As Scott Hocknull explains, "it's a monstrous beast."

Hocknull also believes that the find indicates there is an even bigger Australian dinosaur to be found, a carnivorous beast which could eat Cooper, explaining that "the bones have to be somewhere out there in the floodplain ... we just have to track them down."

Rather than relocate the dinosaur bones off to city museum, the planned Plevna Downs field museum will prepare, preserve and store the fossils where they were discovered. It is expected to cost up to $2 million and be completed in two years.

As Stuart Mackenzie, Chairman of the Outback Gondwana Foundation, the custodian of the Eromanga fossils says "the overriding response we get from visitors is they want to go to the area of discovery to see the material."

Earlier this year three new species of dinosaurs, nicknamed Banjo, Matilda and Clancy, were discovered in a prehistoric billabong near the central western town of Winton. Named after characters created by poet Banjo Paterson, Banjo (a carnivorous theropod), Matilda and Clancy (giant plant-eating sauropods) were found in a vast geological deposit that dates back 98 million years.

Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all



The Fitness Generation is now part of NovoFit - see

read more

Fitness / Technology / Wellness



A leading designer and manufacturer of innovative waterslides and attractions, Australian Waterslides and Leisure (AWL) is also able to advise clients in the areas of concept and design, feasibility…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Play / Waterparks


Enta Australasia

As of the 1st July 2018, Enta Australasia Pty Ltd/Best Union has been rebranded as VIVATICKET Pty Ltd.  Click here to view the VIVATICKET Pty Ltd listing.  19th July 2018 - ENTA…

read more

Technology / Ticketing / Venues



Technogym is the leading company in the Wellness and Fitness field all over the world. With 2,200 employees, 14 branches in Europe, U.S., South America, Asia  and Australia, Technogym exports its…

read more

Fitness / Technology / Wellness


Hadley/Series Australia Pty Ltd

Hadley Australia and Series Australia Pty Ltd are the leading quality theatre chair manufacturers in the southern hemisphere. The businesses work closely with architects, interior designers and…

read more

Arts / Culture / Design / Entertainment / Venues


Pico Play

Pico Play is a global leader in the planning, design, development and construction of world-class themed attractions and entertainment that deliver extraordinary and memorable experiences to millions…

read more

Attractions / Consultants / Design / Recreation / Tourism


Centaman Entrance Control

Turnstile Entry Systems and Access Control Centaman Entrance Controls’ Award Winning Range of Access Control Systems includes tripod & triarm turnstiles, speedgates, full height…

read more

Access / Entertainment / Sport / Ticketing / Venues


get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business