Lark Quarry is the location for the world’s only known example of a dinosaur stampede, with fossilised footprints from around 150 dinosaurs. It is also commonly known as Dinosaur Stampede or Lark Quarry.
The footprints were found by a station manager in the 1960s. In the 1970s, scientists visited looking for Cretaceous fossils and was shown the footprints simply as a matter of interest.
Rock layers were removed to expose footprints, once the mudflats near water that was slowly silted over preserving the footprints.
With the footprints exposed, they began to deteriorate in the weather. With concerns the footprints will be lost over time, a building was constructed to cover and protect them in 2002. The footprints are now protected from temperature and humidity fluctuations, water erosion, and from people walking over them.
The story of the dinosaur stampede interests many. The Queensland Museum and Science Museum in Brisbane has a display with a replica of part of the footprints and presentations of the stampede. The story was the inspiration for the stampede scene in Stephen Spielberg’s 1993 film, Jurassic Park.
Entry to the Lark Quarry Conservation Park and the walking tracks are free, however, the dinosaur trackways requires the purchase of a pass. The best value is to get the combined pass to include the Australian Age Of Dinosaurs Museum .
Spinifex Circuit is an easy circuit walk starting at the shelter and returning to the carpark, taking about 30 minutes. It has a lookout over the channel country in the west and the Mitchell grass downs in the east. Care is needed near the edges of the lookout and there are some steep spots along the track.
The Jump Up Loop walk is a longer difficult walk, taking around an hour and half. The walk is mostly unformed with subtle markers along the way. It goes along gullies and climbs the western escarpment before rejoining the Spinifex Circuit walk. This walk should only be done by experienced walkers.
To get there:
From Landsborough Hwy at the southern part of Winton, turn into Winton Jundah Rd at the brown sign for Lark Quarry Dinosaur Trackways. Follow Winton Jundah Rd for 105km to the Lark Quarry Access Road, with a sign marking where the road is. Turn into the Lark Quarry Access Road and follow for 5km to the parking area. Note that the road is unsealed and a four wheel drive vehicle is recommended, however, it is possible to reach Lark Quarry in a conventional vehicle in good weather.
Cost: Adult $25.00, Child (5-16) $12.50, Family (2 adults + children) $60.00, Concession $22.50, WDCOA VIP Pass (incl Stampede ticket) Adult $75.00, Child (5-16) $37.00, Family (2 adults + children) $170.00, Concession $70.00
Hours: Apr-Oct Mon-Sun 8.30am-5pm, Nov-Mar Mon-Sat 8.30am-5pm, Christmas Eve Closed, Christmas Day Closed, Boxing Day Closed, 27th Dec-28th Dec 8.30am-1.30pm
Wheelchair accessible: Yes