Brisbane, QLD

Tuesday, September 18, 2018


On the last day of our outback tour we were driven 110 km south west of Winton to Lark Quarry Conservation Park. 
 On the way we stopped on top of a 'jump up' (mesa) to look over Carisbrooke Station, which has an interesting history. Charlie the 80 year old owner of the station was unable to keep up his payments to the bank during the drought. The bank took his farm off him but the outcry of neighbouring farmers and city radio stations made the bank reverse their decision and the farm is back in family hands. However, the fight took a long time and by then Charlie had lost his will to run the station so his son has taken over.
At morning tea time the coach pulled into a disused opal mine. While the guides boiled the billy and made morning tea we were encouraged to go looking for opals. We weren't successful but one of our tour group found quite a few pieces in small rocks.

 We continued on towards Lark Quarry but stopped at the Three Sisters Lookout. It was cool but very sunny and bright. Not good for photography but the ancient landscape was awesome.

 Soon we arrived at the place where the Stampede tracks were discovered back in the 60's even though the farmer who found them contacted the museum and they confirmed they were dinosaur tracks nothing was done until the 70's.  This building was erected in 2002 to protect the tracks of a dinosaur stampede. It is the world's only known fossilised stampede site.
 Inside the building we were given information about the tracks including a video of what is thought to have happened here 95 million years ago. A herd of at least 150 small two legged dinosaurs including carnivorous coelurosaurs about the size of chickens and slightly larger plant eating ornithopods, came to drink at the edge of the lake. What happened next has been frozen in time across the rock face. A huge meat eating theropod approached the lake began to stalk and then charged. There are over 3000 footprints.
 Thousands of chicken like footprints in the rock.

 The spot lights are on the huge footprints. You can see that layers of rock have been removed to expose the footprints. It is believed there are many more under the remaining rock but scientists want it left like that for future generations when techniques will have improved to excavate further.

 It was very difficult to photograph in the dim light. But these are some big prints among the little ones. I was happy to be able to see this site which had been on my bucket list for years. 

We had lunch and hiked the 'Spinifex Walk' before returning to Winton that night.

 The next morning we went back to Longreach and boarded the "Spirit of the Outback" train for the two day trip back to Brisbane. Bill and Rob in the lounge of the train. We weren't impressed with the sleeper cabins but the food was good.

 The parched outback from the train window.

 The train winding its way through the ranges on the way to the coast.


  1. I found this place fascinating but the long commentary from the person at the exhibit very boring. It thought it was also interesting to see the way the landscape changed to what it is like in central Australia rather then the grass plains around Winton. The train ride is on my bucket list.

    Also I love the new header.

  2. Bit sad to hear that the sleeper cabins were not up to your expectations. Our late friend travelled on the train a couple of years ago to see Longreach and he enjoyed the trip. The stampede is quite fascinating and I wonder how it was preserved. Layers of lava perhaps.

  3. Hello, the stampede is amazing. It is great that it was preserved for all to see. The train ride sounds fun. Have a happy day!

  4. I did not know about the dinosaur prints, what an amazing place and your are right about the ancient landscape. it is spectacular. I would have loved this visit including the train ride

  5. Wow that is amazing, I have never heard of this before. Wish we had seen them as well. Have a good week, t'other Diane

  6. How interesting that the ancient story is preserved right and can be seen in the rocks. I can see why this was on your bucket list.

  7. Your posts and photos are really great. There are so many interesting places to visit around our state. But I want to especially say how beautiful your header photo of the callistemon is. I have a similar plant in my yard but it gets no special attention so has not put on all the wonderful flowers that yours shows. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Doesn't it give you chills to see these artifacts from the age of the dinosaurs? I have seen tracks on slickrock both in CO and UT - just out in the wild you come upon them. In UT we found large tracks with smaller tracks - perhaps a mother and baby? Good to see you and Bill are still enjoying your travels.

  9. What a terrific trip Diane, pretty exciting to see the stampeding dinosaur prints, fascinating! You have inspired me to get on and organise a certain train trip I want to do, doesn't involve sleeping cars though 😉

  10. Wow ! that's amazing, how interesting, I have only seen dinosaur replicas, the footprints are terrific !

  11. Oh my gosh I would love to see that! Bucket list worthy for sure. What an amazing thing to think about; so glad it has been safeguarded.

  12. I enjoyed the scenery and all the information about dinosaurs and opals. Very fascinating.

  13. Tose tracks were quite amazing and even more so was that an enclosure was built specifically to protect them. Thanks for all the information and the photos, Diane.