Mixing fun with learning over the school holidays is so easy on Queensland’s Fraser Coast where children can discover everything from the wonders of pre-historic dinosaurs and ancient living creatures to native animals, amazing marine mammals and colonial history.
The adventure begins with the world of dinosaurs at Maryborough’s heritage-listed City Hall which is being be overrun by amazing animatronic versions of prehistoric creatures of all shapes and sizes.
The hands-on SciTech Explore-a-saurus exhibition features Muttaburrasaurus, one of the most complete dinosaur skeleton specimens found in Australia, and the carnivorous Tyrannosaurus rex, King of the Cretaceous Period.
Fraser Coast Small Business Portfolio Councillor Chris Loft said a world of discovery awaits families, with the exhibition adding a new dimension to a Fraser Coast holiday.
“Visitors can test their strength against a T-Rex jaw, recreate the sounds of various dinosaurs, uncover fossils and bones at a dig site and learn about how dinosaurs lived – from how fast they ran to how they digested their food,” Cr Loft said.
The next stop is the Fraser Coast Discovery Sphere where children can absorb exciting facts about some of the world’s most amazing living pre-historic creatures and marine mammals.
Fraser Coast Opportunities acting Tourism Manager Tas Webber said this included whales and turtles and the chance to come face to face with an ancient lungfish, a fossil leftover from the dinosaur age.
“The Discovery Sphere’s school holiday program includes the chance to feed reef fish, pat a star fish and play with reptiles.”
Real wildlife encounters can be experienced out on the calm, protected waters of the Fraser Coast on an eco-tour to see dolphins, turtles, rays and other marine creatures.
“Even more animal experiences are on offer at the Fraser Coast Wildlife Sanctuary near Maryborough, where children can learn about Australia’s native animals as they pat dingos, feed kangaroos, emus, camels and hold a snake,” Mr Webber said.
A mega Discovery Deal allows families to double their fun when they combine a visit to the Explore-a-saurus with either the Discovery Sphere or Wildlife Sanctuary. Tickets and package deals are available from the Maryborough City Hall Visitor Information Centre or pre-book on line at www.ourfrasercoast.com.au/dinosaurs
A visit to the Fraser Cost over the holidays also presents families with the opportunity to also do some digging into early colonial history.
According to regional tourism ambassador and guide ‘Mary Heritage’, history is anything but a dry, old subject in Maryborough.
“In Maryborough, celebrating the past is done with such a large dose of fun that children often don’t realise it is a learning experience as well,” said Carmel Murdoch, who plays the Mary Heritage persona.
“There are quirky tours and intriguing museums which bring to life Maryborough’s fascinating, colourful and sometimes dark history as one of Australia’s major immigration ports in the 1800s and one of Queensland’s oldest cities,” she said.
“Time cannons are fired on city streets by costumed ambassadors and replica old steam trains chug through our heritage-listed riverside park.”
Over the holidays, the museums at Portside, Maryborough original port district, will host special children’s activities and a Dinosaur Discovery Trail can be followed around the city.
“Maryborough is also the birthplace of Mary Poppins author Pamela Travers and is filled with Poppins magic, including a statue outside the author’s heritage-listed home, public art and displays, a guided tour and a Magical Mary Discovery Trail,” Mrs Murdoch said.