Richmond is a small town located around 500 kilometres to the west of Townsville. Home to over 600 residents, the area is built on the back of the sheep and cattle industry. Tourism is also vital to the ecomony and Richmond is a major stop along The Flinders Highway (aka The Overlander’s Way), as well as the railway line between Townsville and Mt Isa.
Settlement of the town you see today began in the mid to late 1800’s, but the history of the area extends much further than that. It’s hard to believe it now, but once upon a time the entire area was underwater!
An inland sea
Rewind the clock about 97.5 to 120 million years and you will find large areas of Australia underwater, covered by a vast inland sea. This sea and the surrounding land area was once home to many a strange prehistoric creature.
Fast forward now back to modern day, and the Richmond area is part of Australia’s Dinosaur Trail with many ancient fossils now unearthed and offering a fascinating look into the past.
Australia’s Premier Marine Fossil Museum
Kronosaurus Korner is the must-see location for anyone travelling through Richmond! As well as being the local Information centre for the area, this state-of-the-art venue houses a marine fossil museum showcasing over 1000 unique fossil specimens.
Visitors to the museum can get up close with the open layout of the space, brightly lit exhibits, and informative plaques. There is a short video to watch that is fantastic for giving the history in an easy to understand format, while also being visually interesting and entertaining.
The star of the show at Kronosaurus Korner is the museum’s namesake, the Kronosaurus Queenslandicus.
This prehistoric reptile had a mouth filled with pretty serious looking teeth (similar to today’s crocodiles) and adults grew to 9-10.5 metres in length. A full-size replica stands proud outside the museum to really give visitors a feel for just how magnificant these creatures were.
An ocean’s worth of discovery
Along with Kronosaurus, the museum features fossils of all sorts of now extinct marine life, including fish, ammonites and squids.
Kronosaurus Korner is a working museum with visitors able to peek inside the world of a palaeontologist with ongoing restoration work on display. Short-term and long-term volunteers work behind the scenes in the fossil preparation laboratory, and interships are also available for those looking for a more in-depth on-the-job training experience.
Volunteer positions are also available in the visitor information centre area.
Try your hand at fossil hunting
If you aren’t content with purely looking at fossils in a museum, Kronosaurus Korner gives you the chance to flex your inner palaeontology muscles and get your hands dirty!
Located 12 kilometres north of Richmond, are two fossil hunting sites that allow visitors the chance to uncover their own piece of history. There have been quite a few historically important fossils uncovered by tourists so who knows, the next one could by you!
Visitor Information Centre
Kronosaurus Korner doubles as the local Visitor Information Centre for the Richmond area and is staffed by friendly and knowledgeable locals. You’ll find information and advice on things to see and do, as well as local places to stay and eat. Bookings can be made here for the local fossil digging experience.
Before you leave, be sure to grab a seat and enjoy a cuppa or a light snack from the cafe. A fully stocked gift store is also located on site with a great range of souvenirs.
Richmond is located on the Flinders Highway (A6) approx. 500 kilometres from Townsville, 400 kilometres from Mt Isa or 840 kilometres from Cairns.
You’ll find Kronosaurus Korner on the main street as you drive through town – just look for the huge Kronosaurus statue!
Staying in Richmond
Being a half way point between Townsville and Mt Isa, and as part of the iconic Dinosaur Trail and Overlander’s Way, Richmond is a popular destination for many travellers.
Motel and Hotel accommodation is available in Richmond but for our visit we were camping out at Richmond Lakeview Caravan Park, dubbed “The park with the million dollar view” due to it’s location beside Lake Fred Tritton. The pet friendly caravan park features unpowered and powered sites, and a selection of cabin accommodation. Find out more here
Other attractions in Richmond
During your stay in Richmond you may also like to check out:
- Lake Fred Tritton. This recreational water park is perfect for swimming, skiing, canoeing and fishing. Lakeside there is a playground, picnic area with BBQ, and water park.
- Bush Tucker Garden. If you are partial to a spot of bird watching then put this location on your list of must do’s. Located on the banks of Lake Fred Tritton, the garden features a selection of native plants.
- Cambridge Downs Heritage Display Centre. A replica of the original homestead that was built in the 1860’s, the heritage centre displays a small collection of historical displays from the region.
Want some more information?
For information specifically about Kronosaurus Korner visit the website at https://www.kronosauruskorner.com.au.
Alternatively, find more information about the Richmond area from Council’s website at https://www.richmond.qld.gov.au/
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NOTE: This post was originally published on The Vintage Highway and republished here with permission.