Dinosaurs and Fossicking

Sink your teeth into the prehistoric dinosaur history of Queensland’s Outback. Or try your luck at the old fashioned way of getting rich quick in the gold or gem fields of Queensland.
  • Take a road trip along the Tropic of Capricorn, starting at Yeppoon and roaming inland through Winton to Boulia, and you’ll uncover a living museum of prehistoric fossils and geological landscapes from a time when dinosaurs ruled the earth.
  • Put on your Palaeontologist hat and join a dig to dust off dinosaur bones or trawl through the impressive displays in the museums throughout the outback.
  • Visit the limestone Capricorn Caves to see fossils ingrained in the cave walls.
  • Fossick for dinosaur fossils at Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum.
  • See the world’s best-preserved dinosaur stampede at Lark Quarry Dinosaur Trackways.
  • Grab a fossicking pan and strike it rich with a gold or gemstone find in Capricorn.
  • Mount Morgan - one of the oldest mines in Australia.
  • Head to the Sapphire Gemfields for a guided mine tour and gem galleries that will leave twinkles in your eyes.
  • Hunt for a Queensland Boulder Opal in Opalton in Queensland's Outback.

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Capricorn Caves

The Caves, Livingstone Area
From AU$32 - 90
Capricorn Caves is the premier nature based attraction in Central Queensland. Here you can explore spectacular caves set in a limestone ridge and even spot little insectivorous bats in certain seasons.

Cooladdi

Cooladdi, Murweh Area
On your way to the Quilpie opal fields stop a while in Cooladdi, one of Australia's smallest towns. Cooladdi was once a thriving railway town, but when the rail connection closed the residents slowly drifted away.

Wycarbah

Wycarbah, Rockhampton Area
Without its main attraction, Wycarbah, to the south-west of Rockhampton, would be bypassed by most. This little town is located about 25 minute drive from Gracemere. However, as a result of an ancient lava flow, a great collection of rather ordinary looking rocks (on the outside) have congregated at a place nearby called Mt Hay.

Cloncurry

Cloncurry, Cloncurry Area
'The Curry', as Cloncurry is affectionately known by locals, is most famous for being the birthplace of the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS). Conceived and launched by the Reverend John Flynn in the 1920s, this flying medical service is just as integral to the people of the outback today as it ever was.

Chillagoe

Chillagoe, Mareeba Area
Head into the accessible outback west of Cairns and discover the underground wonders of the former mining town of Chillagoe. Just 140 kilometres west of Mareeba along the Wheelbarrow Way, Chillagoe was once an ancient coral reef which has been transformed into spectacular limestone bluffs with a network of some 560 caves, while early volcanic activity has created rich marble and mineral deposits.

Toompine

Toompine, Quilpie Area
Toompine known as "The pub without a town". Cobb and Co. once serviced this town with it's regular coach schedule. All that remains today from those early pioneering days is the South Western Hotel (circa 1893), and a population of two.

Rubyvale

Rubyvale, Central Highlands Area
If you love gemstones and jewellery then chances are you're going to love this town. Set in the heart of the Sapphire Gemfields, Rubyvale is home to several gift shops where you'll find everything from sapphire necklaces to sparkling diamond rings.

Mount Walsh National Park

Biggenden, North Burnett Area
Free Entry
Spectacular exposed granite outcrops and cliffs rise to 703 metres above sea level in this rugged park. Mount Walsh and The Bluff Mount at the northern end of the park are prominent landmarks in the Biggenden area.

Willows Gemfields

Willows Gemfields, Central Highlands Area
Willows Gemfields is 11 kilometres off the Capricorn Highway, 24 kilometres past the Anakie/Sapphire crossroads and about 45 minutes' drive west of Emerald. The Willows Gemfields is a popular fossicking spot, as very little machinery and no corporate mining has been permitted in the past.

Opalton

Opalton,
Home of Queensland Boulder Opal, Opalton lies 124 kilometres from Winton. Opal was first discovered here by George Cragg in 1888 and the first mine was worked in 1894. By the end of the decade there was a bustling township of 600 and Opalton became known for the enormous volume and quality of its opal.
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