Our son is absolutely crazy for dinosaurs, like so many other four year olds. Our front room is littered with plastic dinos in all sizes and colours. Every time we leave the house, he’s clutching either a T-Rex or a Diplodocus.
As we drove along the freeway from Sydney, the excitement swiftly built and we listened out for the roars of those prehistoric creatures from the depths of the valley.
“Ooh, I just heard one,” he yelled out delightedly as we got closer.
By the time we pulled in to the car park, the dino enthusiast was DESPERATE to see a dino.
Fortunately, Scenic World had strategically positioned a rather impressive brachiosaurus right outside the multi-storey concrete mass. And it was moving!
After a closer inspection, we headed for the entrance, jumping nervously when we heard the fierce grumblings of a huge Tyrannosaurus Rex standing guard just outside. Out came the smaller T Rex that we had brought from home, and a long conversation between the two ensued.
It was only disrupted when the larger T Rex twitched grumpily and sent us on our way.
He wasn’t the only obstacle that stood between us and Dinosaur Valley however. We still had the gift shop to contend with. But I managed to steer us past the brightly coloured display of dino goodies, and finally we were on our way down into the valley.
We had my one year old in tow, so we opted to travel down via the cable way rather than the steep railway. The descent into the rainforest helped to banish all thoughts of toys as we flew down through the dense canopy past sheer sandstone cliffs and tumbling waterfalls to arrive at the bottom.
A few degrees cooler thanks to the tree cover, it felt like we really had arrived in a different pace and time. Off we set along the boardwalk, peering between the ancient tree trunks for a glimpse of anything that would indicate we were on the right track.
It didn’t take long to spot the first sign – a cluster of bones.
A little further along, we came across a set of stegosaurus footprints, and further on, the fossilised remains of two dinosaurs still entwined in the throes of battle.
Deeper into the rainforest, a blackened T Rex skull loomed ominously, gigantic teeth bared.
But around the next corner, we left the bones behind us as we came across the real deal – a mother fussing over a next of eggs which had started to hatch.
A few steps further along, a pair of dinos faced off aggressively. We looked up and saw a group of Pteranodons flying overhead before coming face to face with a Minmi.
What came next was a total surprise. One of Scenic World‘s friendly staff was standing by the boardwalk cradling a baby triceratops named Barbara. She invited us to pat it which we enthusiastically did. Its soft texture and lifelike movements were convincing enough to have our frantic four year old 100% certain that dinosaurs are making a serious comeback to Planet Earth.
We passed the rest of the triceratops family, and came across a hut used by the dino rangers. Filled with quirky dino bits and bibs like teeth, snacks and photographs, it was a fun little stop before heading back along the boardwalk to catch the cableway back up to the top.
As we flew back up above the trees, we listened out for any more wild squeals and roars but we concluded they must have all gone to sleep. Until next time dinos.