Eromanga's Dino family set to grow

Walk with the dinosaurs at Eromanga's Natural History Museum

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Eromanga's new $6.6m reception has opened its doors, ready for the peak winter outback holiday season.

Eromanga's new $6.6m reception has opened its doors, ready for the peak winter outback holiday season.

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Eromanga's location is one of Australia's richest dinosaur fields - producing gigantic fossils that are between 93 and 96 million years old.

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For many, a trip to outback Queensland is a step back in time. To wide open spaces and a more carefree way of life, lack of digital connectivity and crowds, and welcoming country towns.

But for those who head to Eromanga - three hours west of Charleville - the time travel is across millions of years to the land of the dinosaurs.

The small Queensland town boasts Australia's largest dinosaur inside its newly renovated Eromanga natural history museum.

Eromanga's location is one of Australia's richest dinosaur fields - producing gigantic fossils that are between 93 and 96 million years old.

The not-for-profit museum has just opened a $6.6m new reception and coffee shop funded by the council and government.

Eromanga's team of palaeontologists are set to add even more unique fossils to their outback showroom - commencing their annual two week dig this month, in never explored dig location.

Until the discoveries and excavations at Eromanga were made, the museum's giant dinosaurs were only ever found internationally.

The Eromanga museum's dinosaurs are the largest in Australia and in the top five by length and top two and three in the world by mass.

The museum is also believed to hold a unique status globally of housing the largest combined collection of Australian dinosaurs and megafauna in context.

Field palaeontologist and museum director Robyn Mackenzie said that after travelling all over the world, she recognised the small outback town hosted some "world class" fossils.

The museum's team is calling on families looking to travel Australia amid the pandemic to take advantage of the outback's perfect winter weather 'to visit the land before time'.

"We cant wait to welcome families to the museum in the July school holidays. The weather is perfect mild warm days, and cooler nights. It's ideal for camping, and Eromanga has an abundance of free camping as well as a great camp ground in town. And we have our new Coopers Country Lodge accommodation on-site at the museum," Ms Mackenzie said.

"It's a particularly exciting year for us with an all-new dinosaur dig site being excavated this month. We have such rich dinosaur fields, and our initial exploration leads us to believe we will make yet more ground-breaking discoveries. When we can open back up to the world, we will definitely put Australia on the map as one of the key paleo-tourist destinations globally.

Palaeontologists exploring Eromanga's 2019 dig site.

Palaeontologists exploring Eromanga's 2019 dig site.

"With domestic travel at its peak at the moment we already know that the snow fields and coastal regions of Australia will be bustling with thousands of Australian travellers. We're hoping that we can entice others who may be put off by crowds in these traditional holiday zones to head to the outback for a more unique experience in the beautiful red heartland of Australia."

Those planning on visiting the museum this winter can undertake the 'Family Prep Program'. The program includes a 'Dinosaur Giants' tour, induction for fossil preparation and paleo learning on how to prep fossils with a trained fossil technician.

The mild winter weather also heralds the peak excavation activity for Eromanga with the annual dinosaur excavation, Australia's only 'Eulo Megafauna dig' for super-sized animals - searching for the fossils of giant animals.

"We have megafauna such as a wombat the size of a hippo, the giant Diprotodons, marsupials who carried 70kg joeys in their pouches and roamed Australia with the Aboriginal communities 65,000 years ago," Ms Mackenzie said.

The Mackenzie family are intrinsically linked to the museum and giant dinosaurs that share their vast cattle property.

Robyn's son Sandy made the first discovery of what was soon to become many dinosaur bones on the property when he was out mustering in 2004.

It was from this first discovery that a passion for all things prehistoric was born and the Mackenzies set about creating the Eromanga Natural History Museum.

Plans are underway for a final stages of renovations inside the new visitor centre that will include viewing galleries that will house a life-size replica of the 30 metre titanosaur.

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