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Winton
All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 1800
Persons: 1
Category: Other
Host ID: 23811
Region: Queensland

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Last Updated: July 25, 2014

The Australian Age of Dinosaurs is a young, small museum staffed by people who are passionate about dinosaurs and fossils, Australian natural history and getting visitors involved. The Museum holds the world’s largest collection of Australian dinosaur fossils and operates the most productive fossil preparation laboratory in the Southern Hemisphere. The Museum hosts over 20,000 people a year, mainly self-drive Australian tourists who travel a long way to visit us. Giving them a fascinating experience and encouraging them to be ambassadors for the Museum is important to us.

The Museum sometimes needs voluntary help with cleaning, maintenance, cafe work and other customer service. Short term positions are sometimes available to competent volunteers. Own transport and driver licence is necessary. Onsite accommodation is sometimes available. Limited WiFi is available.

The Museum has an outstanding location on The Jump-Up, Dinosaur Drive, about 25k south-east of Winton in Central-West Queensland. With the Dinosaur Stampede at Lark Quarry Conservation Park 110k south of Winton and the dinosaur attractions at Richmond and Hughenden, north of Winton, the Museum is a vital part of Australia’s dinosaur heritage and dinosaur tourist trail.

Two main buildings are on The Jump-Up site: a Laboratory with a visitor waiting room and display area opened in 2009 and a Reception Centre with exhibition space (the Collection Room), shop and café.

Visitors pay for hourly, guided tours of the Laboratory and Collection Room, each of approximately 30 minutes in duration. There is a 500 metre walk between the tour sites, or visitors can drive themselves. The first tour is at 9am and the last one is at 4pm. Tours operate seven days a week during the busy tourist season of April to September and six days a week (not Sunday) from October to March.

Bus tour groups – tourists and schools – are generally taken on separate tours operating on the half-hour. Some will have morning or afternoon tea and the Museum also offers tourist groups an evening meal which can be either a BBQ or deluxe dinner.

Australian Age of Dinosaurs is headed by a Board, Executive Chairman and General Manager. It employs about a dozen staff for most of the year on a full-time or part-time basis with occasional casual support. The staff are assisted greatly by members of the public who pay to attend the annual Dig-A-Dino program and participate in the Prep-A-Dino program, learning how to prepare dinosaur bones ready for research and display. After completing and passing a 10-day “prep” course, these people become Honorary Technicians and many return every year to spend at least a week volunteering in the Laboratory.

The Museum Café offers a limited menu of hot and cold drinks, hot snack food, some baked items, confectionery and ice creams. There are no cooking facilities, only microwave ovens for reheating, a sandwich maker and a toaster. The Café is open from 9.30am until approximately 3pm each day that the Museum is open. During the busy tourist period, staff are recruited specifically to manage and operate the Café. They, and casual Café Assistants, may be asked to help Tour Guides look after the catering requirements of bus tour groups or special events. For the quieter periods, the Tour Guides operate the Café with the support of back-of-house and casual Café staff as required.

Please take some time to explore:
- the Museum at www.australianageofdinosaurs.com
- Winton at http://www.experiencewinton.com.au/ and http://www.winton.qld.gov.au
- The Dinosaur Stampede at http://www.dinosaurtrackways.com.au/
- Australia’s Dinosaur Trail at http://www.australiasdinosaurtrail.com/

Please be aware that this is a remote area that experiences very high summer temperatures and occasional frosts in winter. While there is a small airport at Winton with a twice-weekly service, the nearest airport with daily services is at Longreach, nearly two hours’ drive away. Winton is a town of approximately 1,300 people. The locals are extremely friendly and welcoming and the three main hotels are all well-presented and offer great value meals.

Contact must be made before arriving at the Museum. Sometimes there is work and accommodation available, sometimes there's not.

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