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History of the National Dinosaur Museum

The National Dinosaur Museum is a privately owned and operated tourist attraction. It was established in 1993, by a group of prehistory enthusiasts and is the first Australian museum with a solely prehistory theme. The Museum received an ACT Tourism Award in 1996 and in 1997 both the ACT and Australian Award in the category Significant Regional Attractions. The Museum is located in the tourist precinct of Gold Creek Village, on the Barton Highway, about 10 kilometres from the centre of Canberra. Gold Creek Village offers a multi-faceted experience for tourists visiting the National Capital.

Nature of the Business

The Museum is an outstanding, fun-filled and educational tourist attraction that promotes science, dinosaurs and general prehistory through the largest display of dinosaur material in Australia. The Museum has more than 395 exhibits featuring 10 full-sized replica dinosaur skeletons, bones, skulls, rare and unusual fossils and life-sized reconstructions of Australian dinosaurs including Muttaburrasaurus, Minmi and Leaellynasaura. The Museum has an interactive display area where tourists can discover and explore facts about dinosaurs and different time periods in a fun and friendly setting through hands-on activities. The Dinosaur Shop, Shop-A-Saurus, sells merchandise with a distinct dinosaur theme to tourists of all ages at competitive prices.

The Museum caters to a diversity of tourists (Australian and Overseas), including families, school groups of all ages and seniors. The enthusiastic staff complements the Museum aim, that is, to bring the past into the present; offering scientific facts about dinosaurs in a format that makes learning fun and creates a very memorable experience.

Unique and Outstanding Features

The Museum is the premier natural history museum in the ACT and contains the largest permanent display of dinosaur material in Australia. It is the only museum in Australia that concentrates solely on dinosaurs and prehistory, delivering a unique experience to tourists who visit the attraction and the ACT Region.

The full-sized casts of skeletons representing 10 of the 15 major dinosaur groups contribute largely to the unique exhibits in the Museum. Museums generally display casts of large fossils because the originals are very heavy (fossils are usually stone), often incomplete and difficult to mount. However a large number of original fossils such as a complete Sabre-Tooth Tiger, dinosaur eggs, and a 150 million-year-old "Touch Bone" are combined with hands-on exhibits to supplement the casts.

Complementing the main exhibition, are Shop-A-Saurus and interactive area. Shop-A-Saurus is virtually a museum in itself, with unique items for sale at very affordable prices including genuine fossils, minerals, jewellery, books and other educational materials. The interactive displays provide lasting memories of the visit through hands-on learning experiences.

Another unique feature of the Museum is its location at Gold Creek Village. The Village comprises other attractions such as Cockington Green, The Australian Reptile Centre and the Bird Walk, together with facilities including a golf course, large variety of specialty shops, galleries, cafes, bistros and the Gold Creek Village Resort Motel. The variety of experiences allows tourists to spend a whole day without having to travel great distances but still providing something for everybody.

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