Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Dinosaur Canyon

It all started back in 1999 when David Elliott, a sheep and cattle grazier from Winton in outback western Queensland, was mustering a mob of sheep when he spotted what looked like the end of a massive dinosaur bone. As luck would have it, he was right. The bone was one end of a femur, and belonged to, what was at the time, the largest dinosaur in all of Australia. Fast forward to Easter 2017 and the Australian Age of Dinosaurs, a non-for-profit organisation and dinosaur museum opened its outdoor exhibition, Dinosaur Canyon. It consists of several galleries featuring life-size bronze statues of dinosaurs, a garden filled with Cretaceous age plants and a stunning building with three life-size statues of its own, a barbeque area, bathrooms and drinking water. 

It was touching to bear witness to Dinosaur Canyon’s opening, to hear the words of the Honourable Dame Quintin Bryce, patron to the Australian Age of Dinosaurs museum as well as Executive Chairman David Elliot. David took on the role of project manager and stayed on-site during the completion of Dinosaur Canyon in a caravan with his wife Judy, often starting before sunrise and finishing their day’s work on sundown. Australia is truly lucky to have David and Judy, who are fiercely passionate about keeping their community alive and creating a centre which celebrates Australia’s rich natural history. It is hoped that Dinosaur Canyon will act as a gateway to the site of a future museum complete with fossil preparation lab and exhibitions of fossils and geologic specimens collected from across the country. 

The latest attraction would not have been possible without the kindness and generosity of local townspeople and businesses who contributed their time and resources into Dinosaur Canyon. Among them is my wonderful boyfriend Harry, son of David and Judy tasked with creating the decorative steel panels seen throughout the outpost building and assisting with the creation of the wheelchair accessible concrete walkways. Saturday was the chance to blow off some steam and celebrate the work of many hard-working and dedicated people- but you better believe it doesn’t stop there. It is only the beginning. 

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