Lark Quarry Dinosaur Stampede

Lark Quarry is located 110km southwest of Winton. It has the world’s only known record of a dinosaur stampede, featuring 3300 separate footprints. The area was once a large floodplain and a lake was close by which drew the dinosaurs in to drink. The story unfolded 95 million years ago when a large dinosaur appears to have come across a herd of small chicken size dinosaurs, which fled as the big meat eater closed in on their position.

The complex which now covers the footprints replaced the original tin shed. Extensive damage has been done to the footprints over the decades since their uncovering from weathering, attempted theft, and during the new buildings construction. During the construction plastic was laid over the footprints to protect them, with bales of hay used on top to hold the plastic in place. During some welding nearby the hay caught fire and melted the plastic onto the rock surface, which can still be seen in places. A large rammed earth wall was also constructed inside the building, but was free standing. This collapsed within a couple months of opening crushing the boardwalk and doing more damage, cracking the thin layer of rock in which the footprints are formed.

The footprints are at least now protected, being only viewable with a tour guide who lives on site. Tours run 3 times per day at 10, noon and 2pm. Adult entry was $12. The guide was very good and made the experience much more enjoyable.

The prints themselves are hardly the greatest examples, with many hard to distinguish in the poor lighting inside. Nonetheless, I have seen real dinosaur footprints.

Nearby are some other fossils of plants and prints found in the surrounding area.

The hill where the first prints were discovered was nearby.

There are more prints to be uncovered at the site and in a hill further on, but to get down to the correct sediment layer would require the removal of a mountain. For now no more prints will be dug out as once uncovered they must be protected from the elements.

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Brett is a film maker, hiker, adventurer and Defender owner. He loves the outdoors and feels most at home travelling remote outback places in Australia. The idea of waiting till retirement to begin exploring Australia is not the path Brett has chosen, instead choosing to live life now. Join him on his adventures.

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