The Dinosaur Trail: Winton - June/July 2010

Hard at work!

The World of Winton

Our family headed off on a two week trek through Central Australia in the June/July school holidays. I had a sensational time, the highlight being my day spent at The Australian Age of Dinosaurs prepping a dinosaur bone. There were a lot of other contenders though and I had a thoroughly fabulous time.

As with last year I kept a journal of my travels, gluing and taping all my ticket stubs and brochures to keep as a reminder of the holiday. The main difference this year was that I wrote the entire journal myself, so below is my account of our holiday. My parents of course went to considerable effort and expense taking me all the way through the Outback so I could indulge in my huge dinosaur passion - we saw an amazing amount of really wonderful and interesting things. However, as you'll note, the things that stuck out each day in my memory wasn't always perhaps what my parents hoped would be what stuck....

Travelling Tye
Out the window
Cabin Fever

Day One: Brisbane to Charleville

On day one, my family & I left at 5am in the morning to go to Charleville. Our first stop was Dalby. I had pancakes for breakfast. After Dalby we drove miles to Miles!!! At Miles I saw petrified wood. It is wood that was caught in the flow of lava dura the Jurassic period. I bought a piece.

When we went to Roma we passed through a town called "Jackson". It had 3 buildings. Then we arrived in Roma, had lunch and off we go again.

Going to Jackson!
Then, Hello Charleville!!! We played frisbee in the park. I had roast beef, chicken drumstick, pumpkin, gravy and peas for dinner.

After dinner, Dada & I went to the Cosmos Centre. We looked at Alpha Centauri, Mr Moon, Anares, the Jewel Box and planet Saturn. We saw them through a telescope. Saturn was tiny, had 3 moons we could see and 1 ring we could see. The best thing about Day 1 was snuggling up in bed with Mama.

Day Two: Charleville to Longreach (FarReach, ReachFar)

On day two, we had bacon and egg sandwiches. We hit a kangaroo:( We hit it because it was dawn. I saw a dog who had breakfast in the kitchen in the restaurant I had breakky in. The town was called Tambo. We saw Tambo Teddys.

On the drive to Longreach we saw emus! At Reachfar (what I'm calling Longreach) we went to the Qantas Museum. We saw aeroplanes above our heads. I liked the computer. Qantas started in Reachfar. Then we went to the park. There were a lot of cockatoos. After the park we had dinner at The Woolshed. I had a hamburger with chips. The hambuger had lettuce, steak and onion. A band called Magee and Brooks played the song Waltzing Matilda and every time the band said "sheep" everyone had to say "baaaa:. Every time they said "ghost" we had to go "whoooooooo". Then we went home.

Dada & I tried to show Mama the Jewel Box. Then I went to bed with Samuel. We had a bunk bed. Samuel was in the bottom, I was in the middle of the bunk bed.

Day Three: Longreach

On day 3 we went to Longreach School of Distance Education (LSODE) and learnt everything about it. It's other name is the "school of the air". It's students live a long way away and use their telephone or computer to speak to their teachers. If they don't have either of them, the school gives them a computer. Their Mum would help them sometimes. They sometimes come into the school and they camp.

We rushed in our car to Lark Quarry. The road was bumpy and dusty and dirt and dust stuck onto the back of the car. At Lark Quarry there are dinosaur footprints. There are over 3,000 footprints from 95 million years ago. The footprints tell us a Muttaburrasaurus came stomping along (before the stampede). Then, loads of little dinos (ornithipods and coelurosaurs) came running over to a river to drink. Then an Aussie T-Rex came tip-toeing up, scared the little dinos and off we go and that caused the stampede. It was really interesting to see the story. Then... back to Winton we go!

We went to the Tatt Hotel for dinner. I had the mini pizza and I tried some of Mama's lambs fry which was yummy. Then we went back to the Matilda Hotel and we went to sleeepppppppzzzzz.

The best thing was Lark Quarry because of the footprints.

The Longreach School of Distance Education

LSODE Library
Computer Lab
Pirate Projects

Winton & Lark Quarry

The Stampede

Day Four: Winton

After breakfast in cups (there were no bowls!), Dada and I went to the Australian Age Of Dinosaurs. It is a museum and it has dinosaur’s bones in it. It’s on a rocky thing called a Jump Up which is bushy. The dirt was red/orange and there were not many trees, loads of red dust and red dust got on the back of the car.

The blocks of rock
We did a tour of the museum and our tour guide was Freddie and he WAS funny! We saw Banjo, Matilda and Clancy. Banjo is an Austrolovenator Wintonensis which was a meat eater like Tyrannosaurus Rex. I saw nearly a full skeleton of Banjo’s bones.

Matilda and Clancy are long necked sauropods like diplodocus, brachiosaurus and staurikosaurus. I saw Matilda’s leg and I saw Banjo’s arm. I only saw a picture of Clancy, not his bones.

The gallery

After the tour, I did the dinosaur preparation. It was GREAT! I had ear muffs and special glasses. Tricky Trish taught me to use an air pen which was like a mini jack hammer. We had to colour in where the light bits were on the dinosaur bone. I was working on a vertebrae of a new dinosaur they’ve found called “Wade” (I nick-named him “Wadeosaurus”!!).

Hard Worker

We don’t know what sort of dinosaur Wade is. The Australian Age of Dinosaurs is going to tell us what sort Wade is when all the bones have been prepped. People who are 5 and up can help and some people stay out there for a day, some people for a week and some people for a year!

Banjo's leg
Big bones
The legs

I met Tricky Trish (who taught me how to use the air pen) and Doug. Doug was opposite me doing preparation and he was there for 3 weeks! We met Lachie, Nick, Bella, Erica and Andrew. They were a family from Melbourne who were doing the dinosaur trail for Nick. Nick was 7 and he really likes dinosaurs. I really liked Nick. I had an ice-cream with Dada and Nick.

While tour people came through, I swapped with Dada so that he got a turn while the people came through. While Dada worked I sat and watched, doing my hand exercises. You have to do hand exercises so that when you go back to working your hands don’t hurt. You have to take breaks too, to get your legs going again. During lunch, we walked down to a stone where the new museum is going. It was cool. I went to a lookout and we saw a whole load of cracks and trees and saw Nick, Bella and Lachie, Erica and Andrew again. While Dada did preparation I had 2 packets of Tiny Teddies and 5 pieces of mandarin .

Dada & I
The outlook
The new museum site
The museum finishes at 4:30pm. When we finished I had taken a lot of rock away and you could see more of the bone. The best thing about dinosaur prep was having an ice-cream with Nick and seeing the bones from dinosaurs who were 95 million years old!!!!!

When we went to “Tatts” pub for dinner, we saw Nick, Lachie and Erica again!!! We had dinner with them and I had lambs fry. Nick had barramundi and chips.

At the end of the day I was very tired, so tired I nearly fell asleep straight away. The best thing about the whole day was having dinner with Nick.

Super Day
Our bone
All done!

Day Five: Winton to Hughenden (and Richmond)

My family and I had breakfast in cups again (still no bowls!). We went to the Waltzing Matilda Centre. It is in Winton because that is where the coolabah tree is. Banjo Patterson wrote Waltzing Matilda first in Winton and it was first sung in there. The museum is all about Waltzing Matilda and Australia.

Train Boys

There was a locomotive (we were allowed to go into the carriage), a show about Waltzing Matilda which had somebody talking who was pretending to be the swagman. In some of the rooms we saw lots of old things such as a cool old calculator. There were also really old typewriters which I thought were really great.

Then we drove to Hughenden and don’t forget me!!!!!! On the way to Hughenden we had to keep stopping because Mama was sick. When we reached Hughenden, Dada, Sam and I drove to Richmond. At Richmond we went to Kronosaurus Korner where there are plesiosaurs and ichiosaurs. I learnt that kronosaurus had teeth as big as bananas! There were only sea animals in Kronosaurus Korner. I heard all about ichiosaurs and plesiosaurs by listening to the tour guide which was in a radio.

Krono Korner
That's big
Minmi fossil
There was always a number and on the tour guide you had to press that number and put it to your ear. Then you heard all about that topic. There were 3 about ichiosaurs! They were all fish eaters who lived under the sea in the Jurassic period.
Inside there was a play area. It was all built out of sand and you had to be careful where you sat and stepped because there was a skeleton. I made teams of toy dinosaurs up and they fought. The plant-eater side, which had one meat-eater, won. We saw Nick, Lachie , Bella, Erica and Andrew again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Then we drove back to Hughenden and got Mama. We drove to Mt. Walker and saw the sunset. It looked really good and there was red and yellow. When we left there was pink. We had chinese for din-dins and I had deep fried duck with sweet and sour sauce and it was yum-yum.
The best thing about today was din-dins and seeing Nick again.

Day Six: Hughenden to Airlie Beach

In the morning my family and I went to The Flinders Centre and there was a skeleton of a Muttaburrasaurus. Sammie was attacked by Muttaburrasaurus statue when he went underneath it. Sammie walked straight into Mutt’s hand and he got a big egg on his head.

Mutt II
Up high
The big Mutt
Where he's from
In the Flinders Centre there are postcards and toy dinos and I bought some for my friends and family. Mama bought me a pencil case which has dinosaurs on it. There is a big skeleton of Mutt inside and a lot of ammonites. Ammonites are rocks with swirls on them which used to have sea animals in them. There was a play area where there were puzzles. You could make sentences out of magnetic words all about dinosaurs.
After the Flinders Centre we had 7 hours of driving to Airlie Beach. On the way we went through Pentland where my Great Pa was born and lived. On the drive we noticed that all the river beds were dry. We just saw the sand at the bottom of them. We had lunch and tried to play in Charters Towers but the play area was closed.

We drove to Bowen and the land became greener because we were in the tropics. There was lots of orchards of mango trees and crops of sugar cane. We saw a sugar cane mill. We listened to Zippity 2 Dads and I really liked the Underpants song, Super Dooper Hero song, Pebble in my Shoe song and Are We There Yet. We listened to some Horrid Henry stories and we finished listening to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
It was 5 o’clock when we got to Airlie Beach. The apartment was great!!! Me and Sam got to sleep in one bedroom and Mama and Dada in the other. We could see boats, the marina and the beach. It was great that I could go to bed with Sammie. For dinner that night we had fish and chips and they had bowls, plates & other things we needed.

The dry river beds
Day Seven: Airlie Beach

After we had breakfast in bowls (!!!), my family & I went for a huge walk and we walked past the lagoon and saw boats and camels!?! They were on the beach and people got to ride on them (I did not want to).

Sam & I got wet because we went into the ocean and made lakes. Then we went home for rest time.

After rest time we went in the pool and it was not cold. I went fishing with my new rod.

I've never been fishing before. The rod instructions told Dada what to do and Dada told me what to do. You had to put a hook on the end and put bait which was pretending to be a fish on the hook. I did not catch any fish. We had Thai for dinner. I had wonton soup and tired tom yum soup. I liked wonton soup because the tom yum soup was too spicy. We went back to the apartment and we went to bed.

I liked fishing the most.

Our fishing spot

Day Eight: Airlie Beach

After breakfast we drove to the lagoon. I found out about a mixture of sand and water. When the sand hits the water the sand explodes. After the sand has come out, bubbles come.

I got changed and went on the playground which was in the shape of a boat. At lunch I had the biggest lunch. It was yum yum.

I had rest time and I went fishing. Still no fish! Then we played frisbee. We also played "Mama Hug" the game. You run into Mama and give her a cuddle and she tries to catch you.

We had roast chicken for dinner. Then we packed up for Gladstone. Sam and I went to bed.

Our view
Off to the beach
Beach boys
Fabulous fun
The Lagoon
Horsing Around
Big Boy
Catch this!
Day Nine: Airlie Beach to Gladstone

My family and I drove to Mackay. We had breakky at Mackay. Then we drove to Rockhampton. We drove past the Tropic of Capricorn. We went to the Rockhampton Zoo. We saw a monkey that spat at us.

We saw a kangaroo, emu, wombat and koalas. Then we drove to Gladstone where we went to a park. I got prickles in my feet.

Ice Cream Grin!

Day Ten: Gladstone to Brisbane

We drove to Childers. We had breakfast in Childers. We stopped in Gympie for petrol. Then we ddrove to the Big Pineapple. We had lunch on the way home.

The top three things about my trip were:-

1. Dinosaur Footprints at Lark Quarry
2. Prepping the bone
3. Fishing