RIVERSLEIGH FOSSIL CENTRE
If you're planning a trip to the Riversleigh Fossil Fields, an interesting preview to this amazing prehistoric world is the Riversleigh Fossil Centre in Mt Isa, 250km south of Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park in northwest Queensland. Even if viewing ancient fossils is not high on your bucket list, the Centre will change your mind.
The Centre is part of the ‘Outback at Isa' experience and is designed to educate visitors about the fossils found at Riversleigh. Its wide-ranging collection spans everything from tiny bat's teeth to the bones of a huge flightless bird and other mega-fauna ancestors of our modern day mammals.
Beginning with an audio-visual presentation in the theatrette narrated by David Attenborough, a self-guided tour of the Centre proceeds through a series of dioramas in which the prehistoric creatures are reproduced in life-sized models set in authentic reconstructions of the Riversleigh landscape as it was millions of years ago.
Emerging from this ancient world, visitors step into a collection room where fossils of all kinds are carefully laid out in specimen cases and interactive displays that explain what they are and how they depict the development of early mammal megafauna over the past 30 million years.
A small additional fee on your entry ticket will get you behind the scenes into the laboratory where expert guides show how specimens are extracted from their rocky casings, sorted and cleaned for display. Visitors also have the opportunity to handle prepared samples and to examine tiny specimens through microscopes.
This is ‘fossil tourism' as you've never seen it before — an awesome experience for kids of all ages. TRIPADVISOR gives the Riversleigh Fossil Centre 4½ stars (out of 5) and rates it as #1 of the top 16 things to do in Mt Isa.
More information: Outback At Isa Visitor Information Centre 19 Marian Street, Mount Isa Qld Ph: (07) 4749 1555 Email: [email protected]backatisa.com.au Open 8.30-5.00pm, 7 days a week, closed Good Friday, Christmas and New Year's Day. Riversleigh Fossil Centre Laboratory Tour 10am and 2pm daily. Bookings are essential for guided tours as places are limited.