New $4.9m dinosaur exhibit to attract 7000+ visitors
An extra 7000 visitors are expected to flock to the central west thanks to $4.9 million in new dinosaur exhibits at Winton.
Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe officially opened the Australian Age of Dinosaurs’ Dynamic Destination Project on Saturday, including Australia’s first International Dark Sky Sanctuary.
“Some of the largest animals to have ever walked the Earth did so right here in Outback Queensland,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
“Winton and Outback Queensland are some of the best places in the world to walk in the footsteps of dinosaurs.”
The project includes two new, enormous replica sauropods, joining 39 life-size and lifelike dinosaur sculptures and seven bronze pterosaurs winged reptiles already at the Dinosaur Canyon area of the museum.
There are high-powered telescopes and new seating for Australia’s first International Dark Sky Sanctuary – the giant-meteorite-shaped Gondwana Stars open topped observatory – which Mr Hinchliffe said was one of the best places in the country to witness the wonders of the outback night sky.
Visitors can now also walk with dinosaurs in airconditioned comfort with the project delivering a new building protecting a fascinating dinosaur track of sauropods, ornithopods and small theropods.
Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum founder David Elliott said the Dynamic Destination Project included the March of the Titanosaurs exhibit (a 900 square metre building over Australia’s best preserved sauropod dinosaur trackway) and the up to four-metre-high dinosaur sculptures.
“The life-size bronze sauropods walking along the edge of the cliff at Dinosaur Canyon will create the most excitement – these animals are huge and very realistic,” Mr Elliott said.
“While the challenges of social distancing have brought some changes in our workplace, it is still very much business as usual at the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum.
“Tourism in the Outback is going to need all the help it can get to recover from the impacts of COVID-19, and it is so inspiring to see the magnificent new attractions of the Dynamic Destination coming together.”
The State Government’s $4.9 million investment through the Growing Tourism Infrastructure Fund intends to creates an even better outback visitor experience at the museum.
“Last year, more than 827,000 visitors took in an outback road trip experience, contributing around $467 million to Outback Queensland’s COVID-19 economic recovery,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
“With the new additions to the Australian Age of Dinosaurs and the development of a Queensland dinosaur road map, Winton is gearing up for an outback visitor stampede this winter after above average numbers of tourists to the region over summer.
“An extra 7000 tourists are expected to visit the museum every year to support local jobs and generate additional overnight visitor expenditure in Winton of $1.7 million.”
The project supported 16 construction jobs and six ongoing jobs.
Originally published as New $4.9m dinosaur exhibit to attract 7000+ visitors