THE DINOSAUR TRACKWAYS OF BROOME
The dinosaur footprints around Broome (Rubibi) are recognised as the most significant in the world with track ways stretching for about 80km along Broome’s sandstone coast line from south of Broome up along the Dampier Peninsula. These were laid down during the early cretaceous period; some 120 million years ago. There are potentially over 20 different types of tracks: those of theropods, three toed carnivorous dinosaurs that walked on two legs; sauropods, massive, long-necked four legged herbivores and others.
For thousands of years the tracks of the small carnivorous theropods have been part of the cultural heritage of the First Nations people of the Dampier Peninsula and greater west Kimberley. The tracks are integral to a ‘song cycle’ tracing the journey of a Dreamtime creator being known as Marala or ‘Emu Man’.
The extent of Broome’s track ways emerged in the late 1980s, when local naturalist Paul Foulkes and partner Louise Middleton, working closely with Aboriginal custodians, identified these and other types of tracks around Broome. Foulkes and Middleton were the first to recognise the many large round impressions that occur in the Broome sandstone as sauropod tracks - the mighty Brachiosaurus, the tallest of the herbivorous sauropod family. With some prints up to 1.7m in diameter the animals would have been up to 35m in total length. It's hard to conceive a beast weighing up to 20 fully grown elephants once roaming our coastline.
The diversity of the Dampier Peninsula’s dinosaur track fauna is unparalleled in Australia, if not globally, and in August 2011 the tracks were included in the West Kimberley National Heritage List, hopefully leaving them protected for many more thousands of years.
Thousands of dinosaurs stomped through the intertidal sands and mud along the shoreline completely changing the topography, with only a small proportion being of museum quality. Since 2011, Dr Steven Salisbury of the University of Queensland has headed up the most recent scientific research. This work has identified numerous discrete sites and literally thousands of dinosaur tracks of various sizes. Prints are scattered around Roebuck Bay and along the coast, some theropod tracks can be reached by foot from Gantheaume Point when tides are below 2.16m, but be aware that the rocks are slippery and the climb can be tricky.
Some of the better preserved sauropod trails can be seen on the other side of Roebuck Bay.
Getting to Gantheaume Point
Gantheaume Point is serviced by the Broome Explorer Bus - only during high season. The bus is a one way trip in the morning and you will need to either walk along Cable Beach to return, or organise other transport back into town.
To get to Gantheaume Point take the Gantheaume Point Road, off Gubinge Road.
To access the beach with 4WD, use the ramp opposite the Turf Club carpark (parking also available here)
Please observe all signage in regard to 4WD vehicles on the beach here and only stay in the designated areas.
The dinosaur footprints in Broome are scattered around Roebuck Bay and along the coast, some can be reached by foot from at Gantheaume Point when tides are below 2.16m, be aware that the rocks are very slippery at Gantheaume Point. The Broome Visitor Centre encourages all visitors to be mindful of the request by Traditional Owners to stay on designated paths at Gantheaume Point and Minyirr for your own safety. Tides can change quickly in this location. Please note that lifeguards do not patrol Gantheaume Point.
Footprints can be seen at low tide around Cable Beach, Gantheaume Point and Reddell Beach. View the brochure for more information.
Dinosaur Coast Management Group
The Dinosaur Coast Management Group (DCMG) is a not-for-profit organisation, formed in 2015 to protect and promote the dinosaur tracks of the Dampier Peninsula and to educate the public about their cultural and scientific importance. For more information visit the Dinosaur Coast Management Group website.
Download the Dinosaur Coast Track Guide app!
There is also a Dinosaur Coast Track Guide app you can download.
Note: Due to tides and sand movement, as well as cultural reasons it does not provide GPS or track maps detailing track locations.
The ‘Dinosaur Track Guide App’ and ‘Information Brochure’ have general location information and tips on how to identify a track.
What you should know before you go...
When exploring for dinosaur tracks please be careful not to step on edges or drive over the tracks.
Please be aware that Broome's coastal locations experience large tidal movements.
Most track locations need a tide of less than 2.4 metres for tracks to be visible.
View our tides page for details.
Your safety is important and we do not encourage anyone to take risks or put themselves in dangerous situations. Do your research before you go!
Consider joining a walking tour or shallow boat tour with an experienced guide. Talk to the team at the Broome Visitor Centre for details 08 9195 2200
Broome Dinosaur Experience with Dianne
Come and walk with dinosaurs on one of Broome’s beaches. Stand next to where a giant Sauropod or carnivorous Theropod stood 130 million years ago.
Learn about what Broome was like then and the dinosaurs that roamed here. Your guide will be Dianne Bennett. Dianne works closely with palaeontologists from the University of Queensland and is a member of Dinosaur Coast Management Group. Dianne will advise on the location as the best spots change daily as the sands move with the tides. Tours are walking tours, solid shoes that can get wet are recommended and transport to locations is not provided.
See ancient dinosaur footprints
Join a boat tour to see the dinosaur footprints! WOW, you can't get much better than this! Awe inspiring Kimberley Coastline, secluded bays, dinosaur footprints and cocktails.
Hop aboard Tutti Frutti, Broome Dinosaur Adventure's purpose built shallow landing vessel and enjoy a fully guided tour with entertaining and informative commentary surrounding everything Broome. One of the highlights of this tour is standing in the perfectly preserved, 120 million year old dinosaur footprints that are fossilised in rock on a secluded beach. Learning about the early Cretaceous period and the dinosaurs that stamped their mark on history will leave you bewildered. The specially designed boat allows you to disembark directly onto the beach and is the perfect boat to explore this intriguing coastline. Enjoy a leisurely cruise up Dampier Creek where you can get up close and personal with the flora and fauna and take in the spectacular surroundings, of the white sands and many winding tributaries whilst sipping sparkling wine and enjoying gourmet nibbles.
Enjoy the various bird species found within Roebuck Bay and keep your eyes peeled for various other marine animals such as turtles, sea snakes, sharks and rays.
Main header and gallery photos courtesy of Broome Dinosaur Adventures.
Visit the Dinosaur Coast display
The Broome Historical Museum has a fantastic display with lots of information about Broome's Dinosaur Coast. Visitors can see actual casts of the four different types of footprints. There are also audio-visual displays that tell you more about the tracks or you can take a selfie standing next to the footprint of the largest dinosaur in the world (yes found in Broome).
View the brochure here. The museum is located at 67 Robinson Street, Broome.
Museum enquiries (08) 9192 2075
Broome Panoramic Town Tour
Broome and Around's Panoramic Town Tour tour includes a visit to Gantheaume Point and the replica dinosaur footprints there. This stunning and insightful tour is in air-conditioned comfort will introduce you to the sights and history of our unique town.