5 Best Dinosaur Attractions – follow Queensland Dinosaur Trail

Australian Age of Dinosaurs

How much do you know about dinosaur history in Australia?

In this post, we will take you on an ancient journey to follow the footsteps of the prehistoric creatures that once walked on this ancient land. Queensland has one of the best dinosaur attractions in the world where you can see to see a wide range of dinosaur fossils or even full skeletons.

Trips like this are a great opportunity to bond with your family and learn all stories about dinosaurs. Pack your car, and go for a trip that will always remain in your mind. 

Children are often fascinated by stories about dinosaurs, and our child spent hours drawing them as it sparked her imagination.

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Why not give your kids the opportunity to learn more about dinosaurs by taking them on a journey to visit five dinosaur sites in Queensland?

#1 Australian Age of Dinosaurs – Winton

The Australian Age of Dinosaurs in Winton has the world’s largest collection of Australian dinosaur fossils, making it a must-visit destination for any dinosaur enthusiast.

With three areas to explore inside the center, including the Fossil Preparation Laboratory, Collection Room, and Dinosaur Canyon, visitors will have the opportunity to get up close and personal with these fascinating prehistoric creatures.

The museum is open 7 days a week in winter (1 April to 30 November) and 6 days in summer (1 December to 31 March).

In front of Australian Age of Dinosaurs
In front of the Australian Age of Dinosaurs

How did it all start in Winton?

In 1999, while rounding up some cattle in Winton, David Elliott stumbled upon a fossilized bone. Little did he know that it belonged to a sauropod that roamed the area about 95 million years ago during the Cretaceous period.

Thanks to the collaboration with the Queensland Museum, more fossils were uncovered in the following years. By 2002, the idea of establishing a dinosaur museum in Winton was born.

But the story doesn’t end there! David Elliott was back at it in 2005, mustering cattle once again. This time he stumbled upon a new dinosaur site at Belmond. With some digging, they unearthed one of the most complete sauropod skeletons ever found in Australia later that same year.

There is much more to this story. Visit the Australian Age of Dinosaurs website for more details.

Australian Age of Dinosaurs - Lookout
Australian Age of Dinosaurs – Lookout

What is the future of the Australian Age of Dinosaurs in Winton?

The Australian Age of Dinosaurs is an ever-evolving museum, as new fossils are discovered near Winton every year. This ongoing excavation and research only show that there’s still much to uncover in this area.

Excitingly, there are plans for a major upgrade to be completed by the end of 2025. The new Natural History Museum will be located 2 km from the current site, with a spacious building of 7000 square meters, including 1800 square meters for exhibitions. In addition, there will be a public area featuring a gift shop and cafe facilities for visitors.

The new building will be designed with a red-rock and rust theme, with inspiration taken from the surrounding natural landscape. The goal is to create a unique atmosphere, allowing visitors to feel like they’ve traveled back in time.

With these new developments, the Australian Age of Dinosaurs is set to become one of the best places in the world to learn about dinosaurs.

What to see in the Australian Age of Dinosaurs?

Winton is situated in the heart of the Queensland outback, far from major cities. We highly recommend purchasing the Ultimate Dinosaur Tour to fully experience everything the area has to offer.

The Ultimate Dinosaur Tour includes a guided tour of the Collection Room, Fossil Preparation Laboratory, the March of the Titanosaurs exhibition, and a self-guided walk through Dinosaur Canyon. We suggest allocating 3-4 hours for the tour.

The Collection Room is a small but fascinating space where shelves are lined with what appear to be rocks, but are actually dinosaur fossils encased in rock and preserved by plaster.

During the tour, the guide explains the process of extracting fossils and the importance of proper preservation techniques. You’ll be surprised to see just how many fossils are still waiting to be cleaned in the adjacent Fossil Preparation Laboratory.

In the Fossil Preparation Laboratory, a team of dedicated volunteers works to carefully clean each fossil, a process that can take many hours. They use precision tools similar to those used by dentists to ensure the fossils are cleaned without causing any damage.

Their patience and attention to detail are truly impressive as they work through the painstaking process of cleaning each and every fossil.

The March of the Titanosaurs exhibition allows visitors to walk among gigantic Titanosaur sculptures created using digital sculpting techniques. These impressive sculptures were actually made in Thailand before being transported to Winton for display.

Meanwhile, Dinosaur Canyon offers a self-guided walk through a canyon of dinosaurs, where visitors can feel like they have traveled back in time to the Jurassic era.

The canyon features lifelike sculptures of many different dinosaurs placed in authentic scenes that transport visitors to another world.

While you walk, you go past a family of winged pterodactyls and three armor-plated Kunbarrasauruses.

Australian Age of Dinosaurs - Dinosaur Canyon
Australian Age of Dinosaurs – Dinosaur Canyon

The Valley of Cycads is a stunning exhibition designed to transport visitors back to the Cretaceous period, with authentic reconstructions of ancient vegetation. The billabong display showcases what dinosaur bones looked like before the process of fossilisation.

The most thrilling aspect of the exhibition is the Australovenator display, showing the predator in pursuit of smaller dinosaurs. It’s truly a sight to behold and one that shouldn’t be missed!

The Australian Age of Dinosaurs – Our impression

We had an incredible time visiting the Australian Age of Dinosaurs in Winton during our trip to Darwin. It was a fantastic decision, especially for Nell, who loved playing dinosaur games on the computer and was fascinated by the exhibits.

Throughout the guided tours and exhibitions, we gained lots of knowledge about dinosaurs and were astonished to learn just how many fossils have been found and are still waiting to be unearthed.

We were also impressed with the work that volunteers put into cleaning the fossils. It’s a time-consuming and challenging task, but thanks to their dedication, we can enjoy incredible dinosaur museums and exhibits worldwide.

We’re already planning our next trip to Winton in 2025, when the new Natural History Museum will be completed. We can’t wait to see the impressive new building and all the exciting exhibits it will hold.

#2 Dinosaur Stampede in Lark Quarry

Dinosaur Stampede is a very special place where an ancient dinosaurs story has been uncovered by the discovery of many footprints that are preserved to this day.

The museum is open 7 days a week in Winter (1 April to 30 November), and 6 days in summer (1 December – 31 March) with the exception of Christmas days (24 December to 28 December and 1 January to 3 January ).

The shortest way to get to Dinosaur Stampede is by taking a 110 km dirt road in a 4WD car. The road may be corrugated in places so additional care has to be taken while driving. 

The Stampede is located in the Lark Quarry Conservation Park which is in the middle of the Australian outback, so don’t expect many facilities.

Dinosaur Stampede in Lark Quarry
Dinosaur Stampede in Lark Quarry

There is a guided tour where you witness 3300 dinosaur footprints scattered over the rock face, view animated exhibitions and movies, and listen to guides as they reveal the secrets of the prehistoric era.

For those seeking an even deeper dive in the natural beauty of the outback, don’t miss the Spinifex Circuit. Take a leisurely 500-meter stroll through the rolling hills of Mitchell’s grass downs and soak up the breathtaking scenery.

What really happened 95 million ago in Lark Quarry?

95 million years ago, the Lark Quarry area was a lush, green forest teeming with water and an array of creatures such as lungfish, mussels, and crocodiles.

Legend has it that one day long ago, a herd of 150 small, two-legged dinosaurs arrived at the lake to drink some water. Among them were diminutive ornithopods, some as small as chickens, as well as larger plant-eaters and colossal beasts comparable in size to modern-day emus.

Suddenly, a carnivorous theropod (though smaller than a Tyrannosaurus) approached the herd and began stalking and pursuing the smaller dinosaurs. The prey fled in terror, leaving behind a chaotic tangle of footprints in the mud.

Over the course of millions of years, these prints became fossilised, and today visitors to Lark Quarry can witness this fascinating evidence of ancient history.

Tracks at Dinosaur Stampede in Lark Quarry
Tracks at Dinosaur Stampede in Lark Quarry

Dinosaur Stampede – Our impression

After seeing the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum, we camped for free at the Long Waterhole near Winton. The camping was at the river and there were only 2 other cars so we really enjoyed it.

Camping at Long Waterhole in Winton
Camping at Long Waterhole in Winton

The drive to Lark Quarry was smooth. The dirt road was very reasonable with minimal traffic and small corrugations.

Right there, we went on a 45 minutes tour to see The Stampede. All the footprints are hidden from the sun in a big hangar. There is a boardwalk that goes around the footprints so we could have a really good look.

All the dinosaur’s footprints looked very impressive, so much so, they were accumulated in such a small space. While walking we listen to the story so the whole experience was very real.

#3 Kronosaur Korner – Australia’s best marine fossil museum

Kronosaur Korner became Australia’s largest marine fossil collection museum for a good reason.

Richmond, the location of Kronosaurus Korner, is situated in the heart of the Great Artesian Basin, which spans across parts of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, and the Northern Territory.

Millions of years ago, the area around Richmond was a vast inland sea that teemed with a diverse array of marine creatures, including reptiles, dinosaurs, pterosaurs, birds, fish, crustaceans, cephalopods, gastropods, bivalves, echinoderms, and plants.

Today, the Kronosaurus Korner museum in Richmond has a collection of nearly 1,150 unique fossil specimens from the region, which is truly impressive.

Many of these fossils were donated by local graziers who discovered them while mustering cattle, and the collection continues to grow through the generosity of guests and volunteers alike.

Dinosaur fossils display in Richmond is amazing
Dinosaur fossils displayed in Richmond are amazing

Among the ancient species, you find creatures like Kronosaur (huge crocodile-like lizard), Plesiosaur (described below), Platypterygius (larger version of today’s dolphin), Eromangasaurus (similar to Plesio but with a much longer neck), Protostegid Turtles, Fish, and Sharks, Pterosaurs (ancient flying dinosaur), Cephalopods (tentacle creature) and Moon Rock Artifacts.

Interestingly, because of the huge collection size, only 20 % of its specimens are on a display in the galleries. Also, it is worth noting that the primary function of the museum collections are mostly scientific meaning that many specimens are kept behind the scene for research, academics, students, and volunteers.

The museum is quite big, and to see everything properly you need to spend a minimum of 2 hours. It is open 7 days a week in winter and summer (shorter hours).

Penny the Plesiosaur – the most impressive exhibit

Plesiosaurs are big marine dinosaurs that lived during the Mesozoic era. They are very characteristic with long skulls, short necks, and a length of more than 4 meters.

The specimen in Richmond is a full Plesiosaur skeleton with a length of 4.25 meters which is relatively large in comparison to other similar species. It was discovered in 1989 at Marathon Station near Richmond.

Penny the Plesiosaur at Richmond
Penny the Plesiosaur at Richmond

Kronosaur Korner – Our impression

After seeing dinosaurs in Winton and The Stampede in Lark Quarry we drove to Darwin and spend two weeks visiting many places that we missed during our trip around Australia like Koolpin Gorge. We also visited our favourite hot springs in Mataranka.

On the way back we decided to finish our dinosaur trial and go via Richmond, and Hughenden.

The dinosaur marine museum in Richmond is the best place in Australia to see marine dinosaur fossils. We spent more than 2 hours going from one exhibition to another. It was not only seeing the specimens but also reading stories about them.

Our favourite was definitely Penny The Plesiosaur which represented the full skeleton, but there were other full skeletons for other marine creatures too.

Nell was also very curious and she was not bored at all. Museums like this can really encourage kids to learn more about dinosaurs.

Learning about dinosaurs at Kronosaur Korner in Richmond
Learning about dinosaurs at Kronosaur Korner in Richmond

#4 Flinders Discovery Centre in Hughenden

The Flinders Discovery Centre is located in Hughenden, within the Flinders Shire, 115 km from Richmond and 380 km from Townsville. The museum has an amazing exhibition of fossils and gems from around the world, as well as a growing display of local fossils from the area.

There are more than 3000 specimens on display, including many marine reptiles, sauropods, Pterosaurs, shells, mollusks, and fish from the Cretaceous period that are found in the Flinders Shire.

The main attraction of the museum is Hughie, the life-size replica of the Muttaburrasaurus, which is located right after the entrance.

Hughie skeleton at Hughenden
Hughie skeleton at Hughenden

When did fossil discoveries start in Hughenden?

The first fossil discovery in the area was an Ichthyosaur in 1865, and its vertebra was sent to the Museum of Victoria.

Many fossil findings were made in 1935, including a full head of an Ichthyosaur and later in the year, a Kronosaurus skull.

In 1963, a fragment of Muttaburrasaurus was collected from the cattle yard at the Thompson River, near Muttaburra.

Other notable discoveries include a large Sauropod in the 1960s and a Pterosaur jaw in 2004.

If you’re interested in finding your own fossils, you can contact the Flinders Discovery Centre in Hughenden for a map and directions.

Great Artesian Basin at Hughenden
Great Artesian Basin at Hughenden – we learned a lot in this trip!

Flinders Discovery Centre – Our impression

We were able to visit both Kronosaurus Korner and Flinders Discovery Centre in one day. As I mentioned, we were on our way back from Darwin, so we stopped in Mount Isa for the night. In the morning, we drove for a few hours to Richmond.

After spending more than 2 hours there, we hit the road again to see the fossil collection in Hughenden.

The museum in Hughenden is smaller than the one in Richmond, but it still has an impressive collection of fossils.

#5 Muttaburrasaurus Interpretation Centre

This small Interpretation Centre is where you can find a full replica of Muttaburrasaurus Langdoni. Its remains were found by a local grazier, Doug Langdon, near the Thompson River, near Muttaburra.

It was the second most complete dinosaur skeleton found in Queensland.

Muttaburrasaurus was a plant-eating dinosaur that walked on this land 100 million years ago. Its fossilized remains have been moved to the Queensland Museum in Brisbane.

The centre also houses a small display of different dinosaurs, with stories and discoveries that happened in this area.

Replica of Muttaburrasaurus Langdoni in Muttaburra
Replica of Muttaburrasaurus Langdoni in Muttaburra

Muttaburrasaurus Interpretation Centre – Our impression

Unfortunately, we were not aware of this place as it was not well advertised, and even bloggers had not mentioned it. We were so close to it and missed it!

Muttaburra is not part of the official Australia’s Dinosaur Trial, so it is not mentioned on many websites. However, we want you to know about it so that when you tackle the Queensland Dinosaur Trail, you can visit all the places on your trip.

Places like this provide visitors with an authentic and unique experience of the Australian outback and its ancient dinosaur history.

5 Best Dinosaur Attractions – Summary

Planning, driving, and visiting all five dinosaur places can be one of the family trips you never forget. Before seeing the museums, fossils, and replicas, we did not know that Queensland is so rich with dinosaur discoveries.

And the most important thing is that scientists and volunteers still work on bringing more fossils from the ground. We also learned that it is such laborious work to uncover just one simple bone, and we should be thankful for all the volunteers who work in the Australian outback to help with this process.

Thanks to them, we can now visit many interesting dinosaur museums and learn about their history.

Below, you will find sample itineraries from Brisbane and Cairns. We have also listed the places we stopped at when we were doing our Dinosaur Trail. The drive is long, so it is always best to rest and enjoy the Australian outback before moving on to the next attraction.

Sample itineraries to tackle Queensland Dinosaur Trail in Queensland

There are many ways to drive the dinosaur trail in Queensland. With the exception of Lark Quarry, you don’t need a 4WD car.

During our trip, we usually drove between 4 to 6 hours every day. However, if you think it is too much, you can split the distance in half and take a break in between.

Driving from Brisbane Itinerary

DestinationTrip days Distance Where to stay
 1490 kmDrive from Brisbane to Roma.
Stay at Meadowbank Museum Farm Stay, 12 km west from Roma.
2550 kmLara Station Wetlands
Enjoy 60 degrees hot springs next to the lake.
Australian Age of Dinosaurs in Winton3310 kmDrive to Winton. The museum is located 26 km east of Winton.
Visit the Australian Age of Dinosaurs in Winton.
Stay for free at Long Waterhole 4 km of Winton.
Lark Quarry Dinosaur Trackways4136 km plus 136 km back to Winton
4WD only
Go for a 4WD drive from Winton (it is a dirt road). 
Visit Dinosaur Stampede National Monument. 
Go back to Winton and stay in Bough Shed Waterhole Campground, behind the pub in Winton or book a hotel
Kronosaurus Korner in Richmond5230 kmFollow Landsborough Highway, turn right after 105 km onto Richmond Winton Rd Visit Kronosaurus Korner. Stay in Lakeview Caravan Park or book a hotel
Flinders Discovery Centre in Hughenden6115 kmFollow Flinders Hwy east for 115 km.
Visit Flinders Discover Centre.
Stay in RV Free Camp or Allen Terry Caravan Park
Optionally you can do Day 5 and Day 6 in one day
Muttaburrasaurus Interpretation Centre7211 kmplus150 km to BarcaldineVisit the Interpretation Centre Drive to Barcaldine. Stay in Barcaldine Tourist Park or book a hotel.
In the evening visit Barcaldine Tree of Knowledge.
Sapphire8286 kmOn the way to Sapphire stop at Alpha to admire 27 murals that are painted on town walls.
In Sapphire go on an Underground Tour and learn about sapphire mining.
Stay in Sapphire Caravan Park or book a hotel.
Miles9550 kmDrive to Miles.
Stay in Miles Cross Roads Caravan Park.
In the morning visit Miles Historical Village Museum the finest historical village museum in Australia.
Brisbane10340 kmDrive back to Brisbane

Driving from Cairns Itinerary

Destination Trip days Distance Where to stay
1260 kmDrive to Undara Experience.
Go on your cave tour (book in advance).
You can stay in Undara for at least three days as it is a great place to explore.
2330 kmDrive to Porcupine Gorge.
Enjoy sunset at the Gorge Lookout.
Stay at Pyramid Camping Area.
If you like hiking stay in the gorge for a few days and fully enjoy it.
Flinders Discovery Centre in Hughenden364 kmDrive to Hughenden.
Visit Flinders Discover Centre.
Hit the road again and drive to Richmond.
Kronosaurus Korner in Richmond3115 kmVisit Kronosaurus Korner. Stay in Lakeview Caravan Park or book a hotel
4230 kmTake Richmond Winton Road and drive to Winton. 
Stay for free at Long Waterhole 4 km of Winton or behind the pub in Winton or book a hotel.
Lark Quarry Dinosaur Trackways5136 km plus 136 km back to Winton
4WD only
Go for a 4WD drive from Winton (it is a dirt road). 
Visit Dinosaur Stampede National Monument. 
Go back to Winton and stay in Bough Shed Waterhole Campground, behind the pub in Winton or book a hotel.
Australian Age of Dinosaurs in Winton626 kmVisit the Australian Age of Dinosaurs in Winton.
There is a lot to see.
We recommend driving back to Winton and staying for free at Long Waterhole 4 km from Winton, behind the pub on booking a hotel.
Muttaburrasaurus Interpretation Centre7200 km plus 210 kmVisit the Interpretation Centre
Drive to Hughenden (there are sealed and unsealed sections).
Stay in RV Free Camp or Allen Terry Caravan Park.
Charter Towers8250 kmDrive to Charter Towers.
Enjoy the sunset at Towers Hill Lookout.
Visit Venus Gold Battery.
Stay at Dalrymple Tourist Van Park.
Paluma Range National Park9200 kmDrive to Paluma Range National Park.
Enjoy lookouts and hiking. Stay more than one day to fully explore the park.
Stay at Jourama Falls or the Big Crystal Creek Camping Area. (book online here).

Read about our visit to Paluma.
Babinda Kayaking10290 kmDrive to Babinda.
Take your Babinda Kayaking self-tour (book in advance).

Read about our experience in Babinda Kayaking.
Cairns1160 kmDrive to Cairns.

We hope you find all the information and itineraries about our best dinosaur attractions useful for planning your Extended Queensland Dinosaur Trail trip. Feel free to drop a comment or ask us anything via the Contact page of social media.

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GPS Navigator or compass

Maxtrax – if you get bogged, you can use it for additional traction

Tire Deflator – deflate tires quickly when going on dirt or 4WD

Air Compressor – inflate tires quickly after going back on bitumen (we use MM)

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UHF Radio – for communication with your mates and in emergency

Full Recovery Kit (with Dampener Blanket) – must-have if you are going on real off-road

High Lift Jack – useful if you do serious 4WD tracks

Shovel – useful if you get bogged, also good for campfire cooking

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