No place embraces the spirit of the outback quite like Hughenden, 380km west of Townsville. Situated on the edge of a prehistoric inland sea, Hughenden was once home to terrestrial dinosaurs and marine reptiles. Framed by four national parks, today the town is known for its rich fossil remains and stunning ancient landscapes where dinosaur fossils have been found since the 19th century.
More than 3000 fossil specimens from the Cretaceous period have been found in the Hughenden area, including Muttaburrasaurus Langdoni and the pterodactyl-like ‘Queensland Pterosaur’. A visit to the Flinders Discovery Centre will take you through the history of the dinosaur era, from the first fossil found in the area in 1865 to modern day dinosaur digs.
Your eyes will pop when you meet the town’s local star ‘Hughie’, a life size skeletal replica from the original bones of a 110-million-year-old Muttaburrasaurus found in the Hughenden region.
The nearby Porcupine Gorge is nothing short of breath-taking, located 60km north west of Hughenden. Its impressive canyon reveals strata of sedimentary rocks spanning hundreds of millions of years. The national park’s pockets of vine forest and deep permanent waterholes contrast strikingly with the surrounding savannah plains.