Winton-Dinosaur capital of Australia or is it fly capital of Australia!!!
A very busy day today! We started out by watching the Anzac day street march in Winton before taking the dogs to a dog sitter for the day. The owners of the caravan park recommended her and she was really well set up for dogs despite having about 8 great danes to look after already! She rescues great danes as well as provide rooms for the vet to work from when he/she visits Winton.
Our first stop was the Australian Age of Dinosaurs museum just wow! It is about 10k out of Winton at the top of a 'jump-up'. Amazing set-up-the first part of the tour was being shown the first bones that were found in the area as well as being given the history behind the find and how the museum has been built. The museum collection room has 2 dinosaurs on display- nicknamed Matilda and Banjo
The next part of the tour was the lab where all rock, etc containing dinosaur bones from the dig sites is carefully removed to reveal the bone. They have more bones ready to process than they can manage. When the bones are dug up from the dig site they are wrapped in a concoction of foil and plaster of paris. They can be kept in these bundles until time for processing. Much of the processing is undertaken by volunteers. You can also volunteer for a dig site-however, they currently have enough volunteers for the next 2 years! It is very time consuming, close focus work- but I expect very satisfying. I even got to touch real dinosaur bones when in the lab-just amazing! The museum is planning its next stage where they are going to have replicas of the dinosaurs out in the grounds around the site. Will be well worth another visit in a couple of years.
After visit to Australian Age of Dinosaurs museum, we decided to drive out to the Dinosaur stampede at Lark Quarry. This is 110 ks from Winton, 60 ks bitumen and 50 ks dirt. However, it was well worth the effort… the dinosaur footsteps are amazing! The smaller prints are of chicken sized dinosaurs-Coelurosaurus and other herbivorous Ornithopods about the size of an emu. The large tracks are of a carnosaur (carnivorous dinosaur). The large dinosaur has caused a panicked run by the smaller dinosaurs and because the tracks would have been made in mud that filled with minerals over the years to enable preservation of the footprints. There is only the section of footprints exposed that is under the cover of the display, but they think there are many more that still have not been exposed. Really unbelievable how they were discovered and the process that has taken place to keep them preserved. Our guide was a girl named Tanya who knew Ian from lure coursing in Brisbane.
We made it back into Winton about 5.30pm and picked up dogs from dog sitter. They apparently had a really big day, particularly Ruby who had been chasing garden rakes while helping with the gardening!. They were all really tired, as were Ian and I, so we decided on dinner at the Tattersall’s Hotel - just a 5 minute walk from the caravan park. An excellent meal after a busy but interesting and enjoyable day.