Yes, it’s 65 million years since they became extinct, but I think it’s safe to say that dinosaurs still rule! It’s pretty much a scientific fact that kids are fascinated by dinosaurs and are pre-programmed to go through a dinosaur phase, lasting anything from a year to a decade, any time between their toddler years and teenager-hood. If your little one is going through this phase (more science: to check, look in their room and compare it to the picture below – if it looks similar, yes they are) then you will love this list of the best dinosaur museums in Australia!
As well as regularly hosting amazing travelling exhibitions of dinosaurs, the Queensland Museum also has two permanent, free entry areas for fans of everything prehistoric. On Level 2, their Lost Creatures exhibition features two large skeletons, lots of interesting information about dinosaurs and 3D images. On Level 0, kids love Playasaurus Place, with its life-sized replicas of T-rex and triceratops, lots of information about dinosaurs, a dinosaur show on the back wall and lots of interactive activities to keep little ones entertained.
Queensland Museum can be found on the corner of Grey and Melbourne Streets, South Bank. You can find out more at qm.qld.gov.au.
The National Dinosaur Museum in Australia
If you’re only going to visit one dinosaur museum (which, since you’re reading this post seems kind of unlikely) then you should definitely visit The National Dinosaur Museum in Canberra. With 23 complete skeletons and over 300 displays of individual fossils, it is the largest permanent display of dinosaur and other prehistoric fossil material in Australia. The exhibitions lead you through the evolution of life from the Earth’s beginnings to more recent animals. The museum focuses on education and entertainment, has a wide variety of activities for schools and the general public, and even does kids’ birthday parties!
The National Dinosaur Museum is located at 6 Gold Creek Road, Nicholls. To find out more, visit nationaldinosaurmeuseum.com.au.
The Dinosaurs Exhibition at the Australian Museum is one of Australia’s most popular dinosaur exhibits. It features eight life-sized models and ten complete dinosaurs, including the 228-million-year-old eoraptor and a 22-metre long jobaria! It also features high-tech interactive displays that encourage visitors to look, listen and learn all about dinosaurs.
The Dinosaurs Exhibition is located on Level 2 of the Australian Museum, 1 William Street, Sydney. Visit australianmuseum.net.au for more information.
Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum of Natural History
Australian Age of Dinosaurs has the world’s largest collection of Australian dinosaur fossils and they are building the country’s most innovative natural history museum to house them. Already open to welcome visitors, the museum currently showcases the AAOD’s amazing fossil collection, has a 3D digital theatre, a cafe and other facilities, with more special features coming soon. You can take guided tours and can even experience working on and handling real dinosaur bones in their laboratory!
What is most special about this museum is its location. The museum site is on top of a Jump-Up (mesa plateau) in the Winton Formation, which is a Cretaceous-age landscape dating back 100 million years. It is where most of the museum’s fossils have been found. So when you visit, you will literally be walking where dinosaurs once trod!
Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum of Natural History is located at Lot 1 Dinosaur Drive, Winton. For further details, visit australianageofdinosaurs.com.
Dinosaur Walk at Melbourne Museum is a fun and interactive permanent dinosaur exhibition. Kids can walk amongst skeletons of these amazing creatures, duck under the belly of a huge mamenchisaurus, stand beside a protoceratops or tarbosaurus, see the world’s largest marsupial and more. They can discover how dinosaurs moved, what they ate and how they survived. They can even touch displays of dinosaur teeth and bones, and (what I’m sure they will love the most) fossilised poo! I’m presuming that is fossilised dinosaur poo!
Melbourne Museum is located at Nicholson Street, Carlton Gardens. For more information, visit museumvictoria.com.au/melbournemuseum.
Western Australian Museum
As well as many touring dinosaur exhibitions, the Western Australian Museum has a permanent exhibition, Diamonds to Dinosaurs, that showcases the evolution of life on Earth, featuring dinosaur skeleton casts and fossils of extinct life, all the way up to the evolution of humans, mammals, marine life and reptiles.
Western Australian Museum is located at Perth Cultural Centre, James Street, Perth. Visit museum.wa.gov.au for more information.
South Australian Museum
Some of the most important palaeontology sites in the world are found in South Australia, which is why the South Australian Museum is a great place to visit for little dino fans (check out this cool activity sheet for kids to help them get the most out of their trip). As you enter the museum, you will see an allosaurus skeleton looming over the security desk. On the ground floor is a T-rex skull from North America, and on the third floor are amazing examples of the dinosaurs that inhabited South Australia, which were water-dwelling dinosaurs. For example, there is the opalised skeleton of a plesiosaur that was found in Cooper Pedy. The museum is also responsible for around 50,000 registered fossil specimens.
South Australian Museum is found at North Terrace, Adelaide. For more information, visit samuseum.sa.gov.au.
Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery
The permanent exhibition, Tasmanian Connections, at Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery features QVMAG’s extensive dinosaur collection and rocks from north-west Tasmanian dating back 545 million years. There is a Kids Trail brochure here that can help them to get the most out of their visit to this exhibition and other areas of the museum.
QVMAG is located at Inveresk, 2 Invermay Road, Launceston. You can find out more at qvmag.tas.gov.au.
There are many awesome dinosaur museums and exhibitions all over Australia for your little dino fans to explore and enjoy!
And since you either love dinosaurs or you have a little one who loves dinosaurs, you will need to know these Hilarious Ways to Upcycle Plastic Dinosaurs so you can find the most awesome ways of making the most of that ever-growing dinosaur collection. You’re welcome!