Caravan World - - Eden Caravans Trackvan 22 -

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.

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