Have you ever wanted to chase dinosaurs through the Outback? With Australia’s Dinosaur Trail in Queensland, you can do just that. In the heart of western Queensland you will find three small towns, which form Australia’s very own Dinosaur Trail.
The ‘Age of Dinosaurs’ is located just out of Winton and houses the world’s biggest collection of Australia’s largest dinosaur fossils. About an hour south of Winton is the Dinosaur Stampede at Lark Quarry. Further north-west is where the final two pieces of the triangle lay, in Richmond and Hughenden.
You will get a glimpse of what the landscape used to look like eons ago when Australia was covered in tropical forest and dinosaurs roamed the continent. With lots of activities along the way, the kids will have a ball chasing dinosaurs through Outback Queensland.
Read on for the full guide on Australia’s Dinosaur Trail, covering everything you need to know before embarking on the outback adventure!
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DINOSAUR TRAIL QLD
Where is the Dinosaur Trail QLD Located?
Australia’s Dinosaur Trail is an exciting Queensland Outback adventure that will take you to the three towns of Winton, Hughenden and Richmond. Each town has a different piece of the puzzle on offer.
The biggest town of the three is Winton, which is home to Age of Dinosaurs. South of Winton is where you’ll find the Lark Quarry Dinosaur Stampede Trackways. Winton is 866km West of Rockhampton and about 600km South-west of Townsville, Queensland. Hughenden has the Flinders Discovery Centre and Richmond houses Kronosaurus Korner.
DISTANCE BETWEEN EACH TOWN
• Winton to Richmond – 218 km (3 hours)
• Richmond to Hughenden – 112 km (1 hour 10 mins)
• Hughenden to Winton – 215 km (2 hours 30 mins)
Grab an Outback QLD Hema Map >
Local Weather for the Dinosaur Trail
Outback Queensland is hot and dry. The best time to visit Winton, Hughenden and Richmond are in the cooler months (May – August).
During this time you’ll see average day time temperatures around 25ºC – 28ºC. Night time temperatures can be cool, sitting anywhere from 7ºC – 15ºC. Summer temperatures soar into the high 30’s and even 40’s. You can visit during those months, but it’s really far too hot to enjoy Australia’s Dinosaur Trail Queensland.
Check out the current conditions on WeatherZone.
What to Pack for the Dinosaur Trail QLD
Here are some ideal things to pack for an outback adventure to the Dinosaur Trail Queensland!
Remember that it can be a hot and dusty place to explore during the day, while getting quite cold at night. You will be in a very remote part of the country, so it’s important to be prepared. Oh and the flies are insane out there (even in winter) – take a fly net for each of you!
Road Trip Packing List
Make sure you’ve got everything you need for your Dinosaur Trail road trip with this ultimate packing list!
( Digital + Printable )
- Pre-filled with 600+ items
- TICK off items as you pack
- 17 categories
- PRINTABLE format – fully customisable
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The Dinosaur Trail Pass
If you’re wanting to do Australia’s Dinosaur Trail in its entirety, The Dinosaur Trail Pass (ADT Pass) is the way to go.
- Guided Tour of Australian Age of Dinosaurs (Laboratory, Collection Room & Dinosaur Canyon) – Winton
- Guided Tour of Lark Quarry Dinosaur Stampede National Monument – Winton
- Entry into Flinders Discovery Centre – Hughenden
- Entry into Kronosaurus Korner – Richmond
How Much Does it Cost?
|DINOSAUR TRAIL PASS|
|Concession Pass (Seniors & Students)||$100.00|
|Child Pass (5 – 17 years)||$65.00|
|Infant Pass (under 4 years)||FREE|
|Family Pass (2 Adults + up to 4 Children)||$300.00|
Passes available from any of the four attractions and Visitor Information Centres.
Dinosaur Trail QLD Camping & Accommodation
We stayed at The Long Waterhole, which is a fantastic Free Camp just 3km from town. You can stay as long as you like and enjoy the peace. There are no amenities on site, but a dump point and water is available just up the road.
More Accommodation in Winton:
|Matilda Country Tourist Park – Cabins & powered sites.|
|Winton Fuel Stop & Caravan Park – Caravan Park with FREE washing machines!|
|North Gregory Hotel – Motel rooms and unpowered Van Park.|
|Matilda Motel – Motel rooms.|
|Winton Outback Motel – Motel rooms and family units.|
|Banjos Overnight & Holiday Units – Holiday units with swimming pool & BBQ.|
In Hughenden we camped at the FREE RV Camp (7 day limit), which is next to the Showgrounds. Self-contained vehicles only (they’re strict about this and check every day). There is a Dump Point and water on site.
More Accommodation in Hughenden:
|Allen Terry Caravan Park – Cabins, single rooms, caravans & camping.|
|Rest Easi Motel & Caravan Park – Single, Double and Family rooms with Foxtel, WiFi, BBQ, Laundry, Breakfast & Dinner service.|
|Great Western Hotel – Self-contained units, Restaurant & Licensed bar.|
During our stay at Richmond we camped at the RV Park. It was very cheap, just $5 for 3 nights in total. Onsite you will find a Dump Point and water, but no amenities. It’s in town, so it was easy to explore and walk around.
More Accommodation in Richmond:
|Lakeview Caravan Park – Powered and unpowered sites, villas, cabins & bunk houses.|
|Ammonite Inn Motel – Motel rooms.|
|Entrikens Pioneer Motel – Motel rooms.|
Australian Age of Dinosaurs – Winton
Upon arrival at the Age of Dinosaurs Reception Centre, we purchased our Australian Dinosaur Trail Pass as we planned to spend some time in the whole area, exploring all of the Centres and Museums.
We were given Visitor Guides and the kids were given pencils and Field Guides, filled with activities (some to complete throughout our visit and some to do later at home).
We were then booked into the two tours (the Laboratory Tour and the Collection Room Tour), one hour apart. The Dinosaur Canyon Tour can be done afterwards at your own leisure. You should plan to spend at least four hours at the Age of Dinosaurs to make the most of the tours and everything else on offer.
We went out the back of the building and were blown away with the view that greeted us. The Age of Dinosaurs museum, includes three large sections at the moment, but is only Phase 1 of much more to come.
It is located on top of a Jump Up, which to us, seems like a flat-topped hill, but in actual fact a Jump Up is not a hill at all.
Over millions of years, the land out here has largely eroded away from the beautiful, lush, green forest that is used to be, filled with running creeks and waterholes. As the soil has eroded, these large sections of hard rock have been left exposed, which are what the Jump Ups are.
As we strolled along the path that swept to the right, we came across a cool sandpit called ‘Dinosaur Excavation.’ It was complete with digging tools (brushes, spades and buckets) covering some replica dinosaur bones, for the kids to uncover. Indii in particular loved it and wished we could have spent more time there, but we had a 12pm tour booked at the Laboratory.
So, along the path we continued as we wound our way through really unique rocks with the cliff of the Jump Up to our left.
We were absolutely blown away with the view back to the Reception Centre, where we’d just come from – plus we could see all the way out across the flats of the outback for as far as the eye could see.
The flora that surrounded us was that of small, hardy trees and grasses, only that which could withstand the harsh realities of the outback. They are in about year three of a drought out here, so ‘dry’ is the word.
As we got to the the end of the 500m long walk, we found ourselves at the Laboratory, which is essentially a large shed (with some ridiculously large fans in it for the summer time). Drop toilets and rubbish bins are on site if you need them. Inside to the left is a waiting room with a few relics, bench seats and kids activities to keep you amused while you wait.
At 12 noon, a lovely lady came to greet us all and take us on our half hour Laboratory Tour. She began with the story of who initially found the dinosaur bones out in the Winton area and how the Triangle of Dinosaurs began.
The long wall to our right was filled from floor to ceiling with massive, wrapped dinosaur bones on pallets, which are in the queue for processing. As we wandered around and absorbed the information that we were hearing, we got to see all sorts of fossilised shells and crabs from the area, which used to be an inland sea.
We were also able to touch a large dinosaur bone! In addition, we compared the size of a dinosaur humerus to that of a cows (wow, the size difference!). Also, we were able to see an actual meteorite that had fallen in the area not too many years ago.
Moving around the shed, we witnessed Laboratory work in progress, which was staffed by volunteers of age 13 and 15! The opportunity was given to us to ask them lots of questions as well.
There was time at the end of the tour to wander back through and get whatever photos we liked. Then we meandered back through the self-guided Museum Trail walking track.
Collection Room Tour
Our next stop was the Collection Room Tour at 1.30pm. Our friendly tour guide met us out the back of the Reception building and led us through to a dimmed room with seating.
The tour guide went down the front to the exhibits, while we all got seated. She had an interactive chat to us about the two main dinosaurs found in the area, nicknamed ‘Matilda’ and ‘Banjo.’ We watched a great documentary, giving us the visuals of what the dinosaurs would have looked like.
We also learnt about why they believe the bones are most commonly found in ancient waterholes, of all places. You’ll have to do the tour to find out!
The collection room houses many original bones, which no one is allowed to touch. There are a few replica bones for the tour guides to handle. It was amazing to see the sheer size of them as we tried to imagine the scale of the ancient creatures!
Dinosaur Canyon Outpost
After our Collection Room Tour, we had time to go to the toilet and have something to eat before catching the next Shuttle Bus down to the Dinosaur Canyon Outpost. The hop-on hop-off Noble Express wound us through three biomes (mini-communities of flora and fauna) during our ten minute ride.
Once we got to the Dinosaur Canyon Outpost, we were greeted by another tour guide who gave a us a run-down of what to expect. He handed out boxes of pencils for us to do the Dinosaur Tracings along the trail.
If you like, you can download an App for the Dinosaur Canyon and listen to the information as you walk along the trail. You can listen either on your loudspeaker or through headphones provided at Reception. This also gives you the ability to listen to the information at a later date if you like. The same information is no different to what you will read along the way. We decided not to worry about the download.
Let me just say at this point that the flies were quite thick, even being mid-winter! I’d hate to see how bad they are in Summer.
After spending a week in Longreach and experiencing the flies in all their glory, we bought fly nets from a camping store. They cost us $8.95 each. I cannot recommend these enough! I don’t think we could have enjoyed the Dinosaur Canyon as much if we were too busy keeping the hundred flies out of our mouth!
Along the trail you will get to:
- Read lots of information
- See a replica dinosaur stampede
- Spy a small family group of Pterodactyl’s perched on a rock
- Witness a heap of bones left in a dry Billabong
- Check out the Valley of the Cycads. They are ancient plant relatives to what was around back in the dinosaur age in the area
The Canyon Outpost houses shade, water, bins and toilets for your comfort. This part of the experience can be done at your leisure. Once finished, you can hop on the next shuttle bus back to the Reception building. These run every 15 minutes.
Age of Dinosaurs Pricing
- Adult – $75
- Concession – $70
- Child (5 – 17) – $45
- Family – $200
- Infant (up to 4 yrs) – FREE
CLICK to purchase tickets and see different experience bundle options. The Australia’s Dinosaur Trail Pass is the best value for money if you want to see them all.
There is a car park down the bottom of the Jump Up to unhitch your caravan if you like. Some people choose not to take them up to the site of the Age of Dinosaurs.
In all honesty, there is plenty of room to park your rig up the top. It was only an extra 1.5km with only a few tight corners to get you there. There are even tour buses coming and going all day and it had been newly surfaced.
Age of Dinosaurs Wrap-up
All up, we spent 4 hours at the Age of Dinosaurs, but we could have actually spent a bit longer. However, we were getting tired and still had to head into Winton. We needed to refuel, top up our water tanks, empty the toilet and make camp for the night.
We had a really great day there and are really looking forward to the other experiences in the region!
Dinosaur Stampede Trackways – Lark Quarry
The Lark Quarry Dinosaur Stampede forms part two of our Dinosaur Trail Queensland tour through the Outback
This is the only known dinosaur stampede on the planet! It can be found at Lark Quarry Conservation Park, 110km south-west of Winton. If you are interested in natural history and dinosaurs, then this is one place you don’t want to miss.
Trackways Guided Tour
When you first head through the doors with your tour guide, you will be seated in a small theatre room where the 95 million year-old encounter is explained. You can sit back and soak up the information, which is accompanied by a movie.
You will also learn about how the trackways were preserved over the years and how they were eventually found. As hard as it is to imagine, this dry, barren landscape was once part of a large river system, surrounded by lush, green forest.
One day, many eons ago, herds of at least 150 two-legged dinosaurs came to drink from the lake. A large meat-eating dinosaur came along and saw this mass of prey cornered between himself and the lake, so he stalked and charged. This caused a stampede of the smaller creatures to scatter and run for their lives.
Some 3,300 footprints are embedded in the mud that was once a stream bed leading into the lake. The water level had dropped, exposing the mudflats.
A few days later it began to rain, raising the water levels gently, which covered the tracks with sandy sediments. The next flood that came along buried the tracks under a meter of mud, with more sediment and layers being added over the years.
Spinifex Circuit & Jump Up Walk
After we’d finished the Trackways Tour, we had a quick bite to eat at the car. Then we headed off with our water bottles and fly nets to do the Spinifex Circuit walk (500m) and the Jump Up walk (3.5km).
Both walks took us through some very unique landscape ranging from dry, dusty flats to rocky hills with lots of spinifex, smaller trees and shrubs.
If you do the longer walk, be sure to let the staff know at Reception so they are aware. They will advise you to follow the yellow triangles that lead the way. It’s easy to see how you can veer off the track and get very lost out there! The kangaroo tracks are easily mistaken as the walking path. But the yellow triangles are very easy to spot, so go for a wander and enjoy the views.
VIDEO: Unsealed road from Winton to Lark Quarry
A 4WD is preferred for the road between Winton and Lark Quarry. We wouldn’t recommend taking your caravan down there if you don’t need to due to corrugations. Although it is definitely possible if you travel slowly.
The drive took us about 1hr 15 mins.
Lark Quarry Dinosaur Stampede Pricing
- Children (5 -17 yrs) – $18.00
- Adults – $30
- Concession – $25.00
- Student – $25.00
- Family – $70
Flinders Discovery Centre – Hughenden
Part 3 of the Dinosaur Trail Queensland is located in Hughenden. Some people choose to skip this part, as it is a bit out of the way if you’re on time restrictions. But since we had all the time in the world, we thought we’d check it out!
The Flinders Discovery Centre was not huge, but it was still filled with lots of information. Included were fossils and relics, from natural history to the history of the land in the local area.
What’s at the Flinders Discovery Centre
- Replica dinosaur skeleton
- Lot’s of timeline info on the dinosaur age
- Fossils, minerals, crystals, gems, old bottles
- Kids area with activities, games, books, puzzles & educational stuff
- Movie theatre showing the creation of Porcupine Gorge
- Movie on the region and what’s there to see
- Sheep shearing & agricultural section with lifelike displays
Flinders Discovery Pricing
- Adults – $5.50
- Children (5 – 17 years) – $2.50
The Flinders Discovery Centre is not expensive. But, if you’re doing the full Dinosaur Trail, then the Combination Pass is the most affordable way to do it.
Kronosaurus Korner – Richmond
The final piece of Australia’s Dinosaur Trail puzzle!
Kronosaurus Korner was such an enjoyable centre as we continued along the Dinosaur Trail Queensland. We were all in awe as we tried to imagine this land as it used to be – an inland sea! Which is why this particular prehistoric museum is purely marine based.
The main character of the centre is the Kronosaurus, who represents one of the most complete dinosaur relics in the world. This guy was over 11m long! It’s hard to imagine.
When we arrived we were each given our own Remote Control with a speaker. As we wandered around we could push the information numbers as we saw them displayed and listen to the relevant information on our speakers. Even the kids gave their full attention! There is also a theatre room with an 8 minute movie, which served as a great introduction.
Kronosaurus Korner Pricing
- Adult – $30
- Children (5 – 17 years) – $20
- Family (2 adults + up to 4 kids) – $80
- Concession – $25
Dinosaur Trail QLD – Big Things
There are a few of the QLD Big Things to tick off as you explore the Dinosaur Trail. If you haven’t already got yourself the list, you can either download the full Aussie Big Things Checklist or grab the Queensland one below.
QLD Big Things Checklist
See if you can find all 150+ Big Things as you travel around Queensland!
- 17-page checklist
- Pre-filled with 150+ items
- Categorised into 6 regions
- QLD Regional Map
- Full street addresses
- Record finds & dates
- DIGITAL & PRINTABLE