The enormous vastness of the outback is mind blowing. Plains upon plains of dry land, countless dry creeks and riverbeds, and hundreds upon hundreds of kilometres of straight roads which sometimes seem as if they will never end.
Leaving Longreach we travelled through the morning, arriving near Winton at the Age of Dinosaurs Museum about lunchtime. The Museum exists on top of a "Jump Up", a local term for a flat topped Mesa. It looks like the land has suddenly "jumped up" out of nowhere but in fact the top of the Mesa was the original level of the land millions of years ago.
We first visited the Lab, where a very enthusiastic guide led us through the evolvement of the Museum and how they extract and preserve the fossils. The way the fossils need to be found is like nowhere else in the world because of the type of soil we have in Aus. We then had the opportunity to touch a real thigh bone of a sauropod and watch as scientists carefully extracted the fossils from their 'casts', a unique experience. We got to see one of the first whole neck fossils of an Australian sauropod, and a world first, being worked on. It was very exciting!
We then went into a room where they had the original bones of three unique Australian dinosaurs laid out. It was amazing to see. Two of the dinosaurs, two very different species, were found close together on the edge of an ancient billabong. Scientists imagine one, the sauropod 'Matilda', became stuck in the mud and was attacked by the other, a carnivore, 'Banjo' but perhaps was able to injure/kill him somehow. They were the first two found and are unique to Australia.
We then went on a walk into the canyon where scientists had created some displays of how some of the area may have looked and the local dinosaurs may have lived.
The Museum has been beautifully created and was incredibly interesting and exciting.
Afterwards, we drove into nearby Winton and made camp at a billabong not far out of town, and enjoyed a gorgeous sunset.