The National Dinosaur Museum is one of Canberra’s premier tourist attractions. The museum offers an interactive insight into Earth’s long and dynamic history. The museum houses more than 50 lifelike dinosaur models, as well as full skeletons, skulls, and robotic dinosaurs that move, blink, breathe, and roar.
The National Dinosaur Museum’s experienced and enthusiastic tour guides navigate school groups through exhibits displaying hundreds of millions of years of the planet’s past. Students discover how dinosaurs evolved, where they lived, how they interacted, what they ate, and how they may have perished. Guides draw student focus towards key elements of the exhibition by discussing geological time scales, climatic changes and events, paleontological methods and developments, and the rise of the megafauna that followed dinosaur extinction, while illuminating Australia’s own prehistory.
Fun-filled and informative tours are tailored to suit children of all ages from primary through to secondary school. Students are encouraged to extend their learning at the museum through interactive experiences – after a formal discussion in each section, guides provide time for students to explore, touch hands-on fossils and specimens, ask questions, and take photos. Specimens include a 150 million-year-old dinosaur bone, a piece of fossilised dinosaur dung that is over 100 million years old, and a 150-kilogram meteorite.
Experience the museums’ latest exhibit, a massive Stegodon – one of the imposing relatives of the woolly mammoth. Standing at 4 metres high and stretching 7.5 metres from tusk to tail, this awe-inspiring Stegodon towers over even the tallest person and offers a unique experience.
School tours are available throughout the day, but are most popular at night when the museum is closed to the public. Programs run for a total of 90 minutes – an hour is allocated to a guided tour through the exhibition space, and half an hour for students to explore the interactive displays and browse through the museum’s gift shop which houses Canberra’s largest display of fossils, minerals, and crystal specimens for sale.