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Dinosaur Excursions

The Inverloch Dinosaur Dreaming dig site is Victoria’s most productive dinosaur fossil site. From its discovery in 1991 to February 2013, some 15,000 bones have been collected from the fossil layer. Visits to the site are organised through the Bunurong Environment Centre through holiday, school or visitor programs.

Visiting the Dinosaur Dig Site

On a supervised excursion with an expert palaeontologist you will see the main dig site, the dinosaur footprint, the caves, earthquake fault lines, fossilised trees and lava from the volcanic intrusion. With patience and luck, you may even find a dinosaur bone!

Genuine dinosaur bones can be difficult to recognise, and are easily confused with other objects such as plant remains, chemical concretions and other natural features in the rock. Bones are often brown coloured, and usually show either the smooth exterior of the shaft or the spongy bone marrow when exposed by erosion.

Try your luck at finding the Inverloch Dinosaur Footprint! It’s on the shore platform about 100m north of the stairs at The Caves.

Safety

Please note: many of the coastal cliffs are unstable and should not be climbed, or used for shelter. Rockfalls are common and can occur without warning. Be alert for unexpected big waves on shore platforms. Be aware of tide movements, otherwise you could be trapped in a remote location by the rising tide. Remember that rock surfaces can be slippery and care should be taken at all times.

Getting There

The site is near The Caves, between Inverloch and Cape Paterson. From Inverloch drive along the Coast Road towards Cape Paterson. After Flat Rocks and the RACV resort, The Caves is next on the left. Eagles Nest is further on.

Book and CD

An education kit suitable for all ages is available from the Environmental Centre for anyone studying dinosaurs and fossils. The kit comprises a book about the Dinosaur Dreaming project and a CD with five Powerpoint presentations and 30 teaching and learning activities.


If You Find Something

On an organised field trip, your discovery will be transferred to Museum Victoria for analysis and identification. You, the finder, will receive a Certificate of Discovery, and your find will become part of the permanent collection at the Museum. If you find something while searching the coastline on your own, please:
  • Leave it there - don’t risk damaging it by removing it without specialised equipment.
  • Remember where you found it - take photos or record the GPS location.
  • Report your find - to the Bunurong Environment Centre and a palaeontologist will arrange to identify it for you.

Dinosaur Dreaming

Museum Victoria and Monash University have conducted Dinosaur Dreaming digs since 1994, originally at the Flat Rocks site outside Inverloch, Victoria. The project evolved to include other localities along the Bass and Otway Coasts, and now focuses on a locality 230 km south-west of Melbourne on the Otway Coast named Eric the Red West. For more information see:
  • The Dinosaur Dreaming project since 2014 – now shifted to the Otway Coast site, Eric the Red West.
  • The Dinosaur Dreaming blog – images and stories of crew taking part in excavations from 2008 to the present.
  • The original Dinosaur Dreaming site – 2008 to 2013 activities.

  • Dinosaur claw
    Mike Cleeland with Year 8 students Cameron Scales, Ayden Machell.

    Dinosaur Claw Discovery
    Sarah Vella, Great Southern Star
    May 12 2015

    EXCITEMENT broke out among geology students from Wonthaggi Secondary College who discovered a 115 million year old dinosaur claw at the Inverloch dinosaur dig site on Thursday.

    Year 8 students Cameron Scales, Ayden Machell and their mates dug a large rock out from the sand when Cameron spotted something unusual when they broke it open.

    He showed the object to palaeontologist Mike Cleeland, who suspected it was an ornithopod dinosaur claw. An immediate search took place for the other half of the broken rock, and Ayden soon retrieved it.

    The complete claw is about 3cm long and was presented to dig manager Lesley Kool on Saturday. "It's most probably an ungual phalange, or claw, from one of the herbivorous ornithopod dinosaurs known from this area, possibly Qantassaurus," she said.

    The specimen has been transferred to Museum Victoria for expert preparation, which involves removal of the encasing rock and extraction of the entire claw to allow positive identification.

    Cameron and Ayden will then receive a certificate of discovery, recognising their role in the ongoing research into Victoria’s lower Cretaceous dinosaurs. The first dinosaur bone ever found in Australia was a similar claw, found nearby at Eagles Nest by geologist William Ferguson on May 7, 1903.