The Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum of Natural History (the Museum) site is in the Shire of Winton, situated about 12km by road from Winton and about 11km by gravel access road from the Landsborough Highway (also known as the Matilda Highway).

Total area of The Jump-Up site is 1801.7 hectares of freehold land which is predominantly a large mesa about 75 metres high. Its size and position make it a stand-alone attraction and clearly visible from the Highway.

Why The Jump-Up?

The site was selected to meet the following criteria:

  • Wilderness setting
  • Visual attractiveness
  • Proximity to a major highway
  • Proximity (two hours’ drive) to Longreach airport and railway station
  • Excellent building foundations
  • Ample room for future planning and expansion
  • Multiple additional attractions including bird watching, bushwalking, photography, painting, stargazing etc
  • Geological and palaeontological relevance
  • Existing visitor infrastructure and facilities at Winton and Longreach
  • Freehold tenure

 Photos by T Sloan

The Winton district was chosen for the Museum site for the following reasons:

Winton Shire has produced more fossil material from large dinosaurs than any other region in Australia. It also has the potential to produce these fossils well into the foreseeable future with several new sites being discovered each year.

Current discovery rates far exceed capacity to recover and prepare this material and the region’s abundance of fossils will fill an important role in sustainable development of the Museum over the next 50 years and more.

Winton is centred in the Winton Formation, a geological land formation formed approximately 95 million years ago from sand and silt deposited by rivers and streams into a retreating inland sea. The blacksoil downs surrounding Winton are merely the weathered remnants of this ancient deposit. Visitors stand on the same earth that held up the mighty dinosaurs around 100 million years ago. The climate, the animals and the environment were very different but the blacksoil dust that is so characteristic of the district today was the same. This being "on the spot" adds another dimension to the dinosaur experience.

Winton is in close proximity to Lark Quarry Dinosaur Stampede, a National Heritage Listed Monument internationally acclaimed as the best example of running dinosaur tracks in the world. Winton is also a major gateway to regional fossil displays at Mt Isa, Boulia, Isisford, Hughenden and Richmond. These combined attractions make the district a comprehensive destination.

This project will prevent the current degradation (by feral animals and noxious weeds) of a unique mesa environment that is poorly represented in western Queensland. It will also help protect the habitat and diversity of numerous native plants and animals, many of which are rare in the area and survive in the uniquely sheltered mesa environment.

Natural history and cultural heritage tours and interpretations promote public awareness of this valuable natural asset and educate children and visitors in conservation and sustainability issues.

Construction of mesa facilities will be based on best practices, making use of innovative environmental advancements wherever possible. This includes wind and solar generated electricity and water pumping; nature assisted climate control, and environmentally friendly waste management systems.


The Jump-Up is like an island in the desert and home to many species not found on the surrounding plains. Its many habitats and microclimates make it richly biodiverse. The Dinosaurs to Dunnarts program seeks to document the flora and fauna of our beautiful 4,500 acre site. Visitors are invited to help by sending us digital photos of what they find while here. The animals and plants photographed will be identified by specialists assisting the program.

Click the images below to find a list of all the fauna and flora found on and near to The Jump-Up. Have you taken a photo a plant and/or animal that doesn't appear on the list? Send as an email to and we will attempt to identify it for you. 


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