Big step forward for Bass Coast Dinosaurs Trail

20 October 2021

The Bass Coast Dinosaurs Trail has taken a major leap forward with the purchase of land in Wonthaggi to create an interactive sound and light ‘Gondwana Garden’ to boost post-pandemic tourism.

Bass Coast Shire Council has purchased land at 300 Graham Street Wonthaggi for $1.2 million, which, once developed, will feature sculptural forms and prehistoric planting. The gardens will showcase unique vegetation from 125 million years ago and the landscape in which polar dinosaurs once inhabited.

The Bass Coast is one of the most significant places in Australia for understanding dinosaur fossils. The Bass Coast Dinosaurs Trail Masterplan has been developed over the past 12 months in partnership with key government, business and community organisations. Key partners include the Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Land Corporation, local scientists, Parks Victoria, Department of Environment Land Water and Planning, Destination Gippsland, Destination Phillip Island and Visit Victoria.

Bass Coast Shire CEO Ali Wastie said the Dinosaurs Trail project would provide the region with a new world-class visitor experience.

“Honouring, acknowledging and celebrating the rich Bunurong culture and building upon the work of volunteers over the past 40 years, the Project will create diverse creative experiences at six sites, including four towns, along the coast from San Remo to Inverloch,” Ms Wastie said.

“The Project celebrates the work of scientists, volunteers and the international significance of polar dinosaurs to the Australian continent.

“The pandemic has shown us that we need to develop long-term tourism experiences. The Bass Coast Dinosaurs Trail will protect the environmental values of our region while catering for increased visitation demand and changing visitor uses.

“It will provide a platform to renew local infrastructure improving local amenity and accessibility,” Ms Wastie concluded.

The Dinosaurs Trail Masterplan was endorsed at the October Council Meeting on Wednesday (October 20).

Council expects to begin further planning and community engagement for the Gondwana Garden in the first half of 2022.

Photo caption: Bass Coast Shire, Mayor Cr Brett Tessari; Museums Victoria’s Tom Rich; Paleontologist, Professor Patricia Vickers-Rich and Dinosaur Dreaming coordinator and researcher, Lesley Kool.