Kids love dinosaurs.
So imagine how excited your children would be about going on a ‘dinosaur trail’ holiday, especially when the trip includes a visit to the country’s largest dinosaur.
A Titanosaur called Cooper resides at Eromanga, a small town in southwest Queensland that is part of the Australian Dinosaur Trail.
Cooper – who is about the length of a basketball court and the same weight of nine elephants – is the star attraction at the Eromanga Natural History Museum.
He was unearthed by Robyn McKenzie, who runs the museum, and her husband Stuart.
Some of the bones weigh more than 100kg and are up to two metres long.
The bones are on display at the museum, providing some fantastic photo opportunities for dinosaur obsessed kids.
“At the moment it is part of a replication,” Robyn explains.
“There’s the front leg and the hind leg – that’s all we can fit in the workshop. It basically goes to the roof of our shed!”
Robyn is hopeful Cooper will be eventually housed in a bigger location so he can be showcased in all of his gigantic glory.
The first of Cooper’s bones were dug up in 2006, but he was only named last year after being officially identified as the largest dinosaur ever discovered in Australia.
It was an announcement that made headlines around the world, and instantly made Eronmanga a popular tourist attraction.
Robyn says there has been a 178 per cent increase in visitor figures from 2019 to the 2020/21 financial year.
“It’s creating a whole new tourism area,” she said.
Apart from seeing Cooper, there are plenty of fun things for kids to do at Eromanga Natural History Museum.
Kids can see fossils being prepped and learn about how fossils are dug up from the ground and studied.
There are programs where families can work on bones and those aged 18 years plus can pay to join a dig.
Eromanga is just one of the towns along the dinosaur trail in outback Queensland.
If your family is interested in stepping back in time to when dinosaurs roamed the earth then these are the places you must visit!
Once part of Australia’s Inland Sea, Richmond is best known for its marine fossil discoveries, such as Krono, the Kronosaurus queenslandicus and Wanda, Australia’s largest fossilised fish. A stop to the dinosaur town is a non-negotiable for any budding palaeontologists, where children can spend hours exploring the extensive fossil collection at the Kronosaurus Korner museum and digging at the fossil hunting site.
Shiver with Jurassic Park levels of spine-chilling history as you spot 3300 giant stone footprints at Lark Quarry Conversation Park. It’s here you’ll learn about the world’s only recorded evidence of a dinosaur stampede, dating back around 95 million years ago.
Known as the Dinosaur Capital of Australia, you’ll be able to satisfy any cravings for a fossil adventure in Winton. Visit Australian Age of Dinosaurs to see the Banjo and all his friends at the world’s largest collection of Australian dinosaur fossils. You can even sign-up to help prepare real dinosaur bones in the laboratory!
Become friends with Hughie, a 7-metre statue cast from the bones of a Muttaburrasaurus at the Flinders Discovery Centre in Hughenden. While you’re in Hughenden, you can also explore the impressive international fossil collection, interactive displays and Australian dinosaur bones found in the area from 1865 up until modern day digs
Skip the museums and head straight to where nature and history come together at the Riversleigh World Heritage Site. As “one of the four most important fossil deposits in the world” (David Attenborough), the Riversleigh fossil deposits are among the richest and most extensive in the world, with some fossils dating back 15 to 25 million years.
You’ll be yelling Crikey! at the Outer Barcoo Interpretation Centre, as you marvel at life-sized model of a Isisfordia Duncani. This old girl won’t bite, but as the evolutionary ancestor of the crocodile, you can imagine she had some bite back in her day! While you’re there, take a look at the Bulldog Fish who swam in the region 100 million years ago.
Your trip to Outback Queensland is (of course) incomplete without a visit to Cooper, Australia’s largest Dinosaur, at Eromanga Natural History Museum (ENHM). Meet the friendly giant dinosaur who has been making headlines across the globe and take a trip back 100,000 years with EHNM’s exhibit of some of the world’s largest mega fauna and micro fauna.