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Eromanga Megafauna Dig 
Eulo, Queensland, Australia

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Excavate Gigantic, Extinct Australian Animals Deep in the Outback

2024 Dates

10-Day Megafauna Dig 

August 4-13, 2024

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AU$6,990

6 participants

Ages: 18+

Participation is subject to availability and is at the full discretion of the dig location. Prices and dates dates subject to change.

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About the Eromanga Megafauna Paleontology Dig

Offered in special partnership with Australian Geographic Travel, this Australian fossil finding expedition will take you deep into the outback of Queensland where you’ll join a paleontology dig and lab experience like no other.

The 5-day paleontology dig takes place in the remote southwest town of Eulo, where ten species of extinct megafauna have been found. These animals lived around 150,000-50,000 years ago.

The most predominant species found is the world’s largest marsupial—the giant bear-shaped Diprotodon. You will be an essential member of a small but mighty team excavating these minivan-sized marsupials. It’s possible you’ll unearth Varanus priscus, a giant extinct goanna, or a massive, short-faced kangaroos called Procoptodon goliah. And as with any paleontology excavation, there is always the possibility of finding new species! ​

How you will make an impact

By joining the Eromanga Natural History Museum Megafauna Dig, you are a fundamental part of the work of unearthing both existing and new species of Australian megafauna and microfauna. These  fauna represent species with almost no fossil record, therefore, each fossil tells us a new aspect of the environment, both aquatic and terrestrial. You contributions will directly help researchers in their quest to understand the evolution and biology of these ancient animals. 

All the digs featured on Ancient Odysseys are non-profits and rely upon visitors and donations to continue their important scientific work. Please consider donating if you would like to support this organization's mission. All donations are tax deductible.

Archaeology Work

August 4, 2024 | Arrival at Cunnamulla Airport | Transfer to Eulo Digsite

Eulo Queensland scenery from Eromanga Fossil Dig

Your tour starts with the pickup from Cunnamulla Airport. Our transfer will meet the scheduled flight with REX airlines, leaving Brisbane at 8.00am and arriving in Cunnamulla at 11.15am. Should you arrive on another flight, please make sure to be at Cunnamulla Airport on the 4th of August at 11.15am to start your tour. 

 

You will be met by your guide - Corey Richards, the Eromanga Natural History Museum Operations Manager. We will pick you up from Cunnamulla airport, meeting this flight.

 

After lunch, you’ll begin your adventure in Outback Queensland by enjoying a hot soak in a natural outdoor setting. From there, you’ll transfer to our rustic on-site dig accommodations at the Shearer’s Quarters in Eulo. Once you are settled in, you will enjoy dinner around the campfire.  

Accommodation: Dig accommodations at the Shearer’s Quarters in Eulo

All Meals

August 5-9, 2024 | Paleontology Dig in Eulo

Fieldwork at Eulo Eromanga fossil dig

Rise and shine for five full days of paleontology fieldwork where you’ll be working right alongside the researchers and your guide to uncover extinct megafauna that once roamed Outback Australia. For the fossil dig, you’ll be joined in the field by Robyn Mackenzie, the ENHM Field Paleontologist.

During your 5-day excavation, your days will consist of:

  • Each morning, after a hearty breakfast at your accommodations, you’ll be driven about 20 minutes to the dig site and work begins around 7:30am.

  • On the first day, you will learn proper fossil excavation and collection techniques.

  • All excavation tools are provided, and you’ll be digging through lightly-packed dirt, searching for and excavating bones. You’ll also jacket bones for collection and all finds will be transported to the fossil prep lab at the Eromanga Natural History Museum. Every dig site is different and as such careful consideration is given by the dig supervisor to ensure the right tools are used to ensure that the bones are removed undamaged and safely.

  • Once work is done each day, you’ll be driven back to your accommodations to clean up and get ready for dinner.

Additional activities included during the course of the dig:

  • During the dig, we'll take a break from digging for bones and hunt for glittery treasures with a trip to the historic Yowah Opal fields. We’ll provide the tools, while you keep your eyes peeled for the distinctive Yowah Nut to take home a piece of outback history.

  • We'll also spend one evening soothing our muscles with a relaxing twilight bath at a nearby artesian hot spring. We’ll soak in springs set alongside the Warrego River, surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of the outback

About dig accommodations and meals:

  • Accommodations are provided on-site in the rustic but cozy original shearer’s quarters. You’ll be housed alongside the paleontologists and other volunteers in small rooms with two beds. All bedding, linens and towels are provided. Bathrooms, showers and toilets are housed in an adjacent trailer and there is.also a washing machine and clothesline.

  • All meals, tea and drinks and snacks are provided for everyone. If you weren't joining the dig, you’d want to come for the food alone, as the on-site chefs prepare hearty breakfasts, delicious dinners and homemade pastries each day. Breakfast and dinner are served in the kitchen and dining area which are housed with the accommodations. Lunch and tea are taken “out in the field,” at the dig site, as is common practice among paleontologists.

 

Accommodation: Dig accommodations at the Shearer’s Quarters in Eulo

All Meals

What to Bring for the Eromanga Megafauna Paleontology Dig

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You will be working under the supervision of the paleontologists but the tasks associated with working on an excavation can involve certain risks. Excavation work may involve difficult conditions, uneven terrain, unanticipated natural hazards, use of digging equipment, and/or strenuous manual labor. A general level of fitness is necessary for excavations, such as walking over uneven ground every day, walking up and down steps and inclines, kneeling, filling and carrying buckets of soil and stones. Most if not all activities will occur outdoors and are subject to the weather. 

For your time in Eulo, you'll need pack a few extra items including:

  • Toiletries

  • Shower shoes

  • Comfortable closed in shoes for walking and digging

  • Clothes suitable for warm and cool weather

  • Alarm clock

  • Ear plugs if you are a light sleeper

  • Torch or head lamp for nighttime

  • Refillable drink bottle

  • Hydrolyte tablets or a similar electrolyte product to use for heat and dehydration that can occur when working in the warmer weather

  • Backpack to take down to the dig site that contains: broad rim hat, sunscreen, insect repellent, any medication you may have, a camera, sunglasses, lip balm and fly veil

  • Bathing suit for hot springs

  • (Optional) Work gloves to use while digging eg: gardening gloves

 

This dig takes place in the wintertime, so the weather will be cool with a chill at night. But, the spectacular sunsets, moonrises and night sky bursting with stars more than makes up for any discomfort. And for those used to the Outback, it’s best not to underestimate the persistence of the bush flies.

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   An interview with Robyn Mackenzie, Field Palaeontologist | Eromanga Natural History Museum

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  1. What makes this site significant?
    The deposits of megafauna from Eulo represent some of the most concentrated megafauna bone deposits found in open sites in Australia. By collecting associated skeletons of these megafauna we can build up a picture of what their prehistoric biology might have been, looking at differences in individuals, sexes and size.

  2. What has been most surprising about your discoveries here?
    The discovery of microfauna at Eulo associated with the megafauna deposits gives the opportunity to determine what the microclimate and palaeoecology of the area was during the time of the megafauna. In particular, the rich microfossil deposits discovered show that there is a unique arid fauna associated with clear and mud spring habitats.

  3. What are your current research objectives? 
    The findings from this site play crucial roles in the advancement of Australian paeleontologial study. In particular the largest marsupial, Diprotodon, is not well known for its biology. Therefore, discovering large numbers of this species is important to determine the ecology of Australia's top Pleistocene herbivore. With enough skeletons collected and prepared we will be able delve into these key palaeoecological questions.

  4. What was the most important or rewarding find from this site?
    The concentrations of microfauna discovered in these deposits is close to that discovered in cave sites throughout Australia. This is unique to open sites across Australia. Therefore, the Eulo deposits not only preserve highly abundant megafauna, they also preserve some of the largest concentrations of microfossils for open sites anywhere in Australia.. 

August 10, 2024 | Eromanga Natural History Museum |  Drinks & Dinner at Sand Dunes

Cooper's Country Lodge-Eromanga fossil dig

Our time digging up giant extinct marsupials has come to an end. After our final breakfast in the field, your guide will join you as you take the four-hour drive to the Eromanga Natural History Museum.  Upon arrival, you’ll check into the beautiful Coopers Country Lodge, a modern, luxurious oasis in an exclusive outback setting with up close views of native flora and fauna including birds, kangaroos and lizards. After lunch in the Museum, you’ll join a private tour of the museum where you will have access to original type specimens of fossils housed at the museum. This includes the very best preserved Diprotodon specimen ever found at Eulo, nicknamed “Kenny.” You’ll also meet Australotitan cooperensis or more commonly known as Cooper, the largest dinosaur to have ever been found in Australia. The bones of Australotitan are the largest bones of any dinosaur so far discovered in Australia, which makes them the largest bones of any animal to have walked the Australian continent.

 

Following the tour, you’re in for a treat! Join museum staff and local landowners for delightful drinks at twilight and a catered dinner offsite at the sand dunes before retiring to your accommodations.

Accommodation: Cooper's Country Lodge - Double Occupancy

All Meals

August 11, 2024 | Work in the Fossil Prep Lab | 5-Course Farewell Dinner

Fossil prep lab Eromanga Museum

Today, breakfast will be found in the larder at your accommodations where you can enjoy an array of beverages, cereals and pastries.

Then at 9am, it’s straight to the fossil prep lab within the Eromanga Natural History Museum. Here, you’ll have more hands-on fossil work by learning how to prepare fossils in this world class prep lab. This process reveals the fossils’ full scientific information or to make them look attractive for displays. It’s an incredible opportunity to contribute to the development of the most recent, significant dinosaur, megafauna and arid microfauna fossil collections in Australia.

The Ermonanga Museum’s experienced Fossil Technicians will guide you through the stages of fossil preparation.  Trained by experts at the ENHM and Queensland Museum, our technicians have worked on the ENHM digs and in the laboratories for many years.

Our workday and paleontology duties end at about 4:30. This evening, relax and enjoy a 5-course Farewell Dinner in the museum as we wind down our incredible fossil dig experience.

 

You’ll sleep one final night at Cooper’s Country Lodge in Eromanga.

 

Accommodation: Cooper's Country Lodge - Double Occupancy

All Meals

August 12, 2024 | Quilpie | Baldy Top Hike

Outback Australia fossil dig-Eulo

Enjoy breakfast onsite before touring the Eromanga Living History Centre to gain an understanding of life in the region, including an amazing collection of period items that have been donated by locals. 

 

From there, we’ll drive a short hour to Quilpie. You will have the opportunity to enjoy a hearty lunch (at your own expense) to gain sustenance for a short hike to the top of the local jump-up at Baldy Top. Explore caves and crevices, untouched by civilization whilst traversing this magnificent boulder formation which was created naturally over millions of years. The evening will be at your own leisure, explore Quilpie and have a nice relaxing dinner (at your own expense) while reliving the memories of your tour.

Accommodation: Quilpie Motor Inn - Double Occupancy

Meals; Breakfast

August 13, 2024 | Departure from Quilpie

Koala Bear Australia

On this, your final day, after a hearty cooked breakfast at the Quilpie Motor Inn, you’ll take a stroll through the historic old town of Quilpie and a tour of one of Quilpie Shire’s most iconic attractions, the opal altar at St Finbarr’s Church.

Our time together comes to an end with a transfer to Quilpie Airport for your departure flight. Please book the following flight Quilpie to Brisbane 13.35 – 17.15pm. Connect in Brisbane with onwards travel. Should you be booked on another flight, please let us know as you will need to make your own transfer arrangements.

Meals: Breakfast

tri cost
Australian Outback paleontology dig

Includes:

  • 9 nights’ accommodation as per itinerary (6 nights in Eulo, 2 nights in Eromanga, 1 night in Quilpie)

  • All Transfers

  • Most meals (9x breakfast, 8x Lunch, 8x Dinners)

  • Paleontology dig and fossil prep experiences

  • Fully guided by an expert from Eromanga Natural History Museum

Excludes:​

  • Any items of personal nature

  • Personal, travel and health insurance

  • International and domestic flights

  • Guide services other than specified.

  • Meals/beverages other the specified

  • Tips and gratuities

  • Optional tours/services

  • Visa fees and departure tax (if applicable)

  • Alcoholic beverages

Book the Dig

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10 days/9 nights

August 4-13, 2024

From:

AU$6,990

Price based on double occupancy. Singles available for an extra fee.​

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