13 Captivating Dinosaur Attractions & Filming Locations Around The World
While I loved Jurassic World’s Fallen Kingdom my favorites will always be the Jurassic Park films. I collected and enjoyed playing with dinosaurs since I was five and could barely wait for a new movie to come out that featured them. I remember laughing my ass off while watching Theodore Rex. Although I was seven at the time when it came out I still think of that movie fondly as well.
If you’re like me it’s never enough of dinosaur vibes, lush jungles, and you love to discover new destinations in nature that will give you the feeling of finding a lost world. Well, I have exciting news for you! You can go beyond Dinosaur toys and movies.
There are many amazing spots around the world where you can get lost in magical and lush wonderlands. Get lost in the amazing parks and forests where the original Jurassic Park was shot and of course at the filming locations of the Jurassic World movies.
Not to mention the most amazing museums where curators work hard to bring one of our planet’s most exciting times closer to us. You can even find adventurous spots where you can finally grab your bone brush and examine real dinosaur footsteps and bones closely.
If you’re planning a family vacation you’re in luck because these are definitely the world’s best spots for dinosaur fans of all ages!
1| Adventures await in Hawaii, USA
Image C – Unsplash – Jakob Owens
Hawaii is famous for its world-renowned beaches, lush, breathtaking nature, and of course, it’s many many filming locations. You can find the filming locations of Indiana Jones and Raiders of the Lost Ark, Lost, and my personal favorite on the list; Jurassic Park (1993) as well.
If you want to feel like you’re truly lost, leave Oahu and Maui that are the more popular areas and visit the quieter islands like Lanai Or Molokai for a real spiritual experience. Hawaii has so much to offer to adventurers and explorers so while having nice cocktails on a beach is fun it shouldn’t be the only thing you do while visiting this wondreous place.
2| Follow Australia’s Dino Trail
Image C – What’s on Watsons
Australia has some pretty amazing natural wonders that will make you want to pack your bags and just go. The Great Barrier Reef, The Pink Lake (Lake Hillier), Uluru, and even a Dinosaur Trail between Richmond, Hughenden, and Winton.
Go on a route of the lost giants and explore the unique experience and discover the world-class fossils, museums, conservations and National parks, and a Heritage Walk. These are just a few amongst many other attractions and activities that you can join during your journey. For full itineraries and tips visit Australia’s Dinosaur Trail where you can find all the info you’ll need to have a Dinosaur filled trip in Australia.
I would also recommend checking out What’s On Watsons’ fun blog post on their Dino experience in Winton.
3| Visit The Dinosaur Capital Of The World In Canada
Image C – TravelDrumheller.com
Drumheller is the place where entertainment and education walk hand in hand to help you have a perfect vacation. You can wander around for days without getting bored because you will find here everything from natural attractions, museums, and historic sites to dinosaur adventures.
Hike through the Badlands where dinosaurs once roamed and let yourself swept away by the eerie and sky-high Hoodoos and prehistoric canyons. What are Hoodoos? Good question. Hoodoos (also called as fairy chimneys) are Formed in sedimentary rock and volcanic rock formations. Their shape is affected by the erosional patterns of alternating hard and softer rock layers and these rare formations were made over millions of years.
Visit the best preserved Armoured Dinosaur in the world, go on a Drumheller DinoWalk, check out the Fossil shop or climb the world’s largest Dinosaur. You can also camp or feel like as if you traveled back in time with the help of the Last Chance Saloon.
Check out Travel Drumheller for more exciting info and tips about this wondrous place.
4| Get Lost In Vietnam
Image C – Unsplash – Jonathan Kalifat
While there is no actual dino action here you will definitely feel like as if you found the fallen kingdom. While most tourists who visit Halong Bay usually only go for 1-3 days I recommend to visit for longer and to discover the hundreds of small uninhabited islands. You can actually rent bungalows (from 20$/night) at one of these islands and grab a kayak to discover the surrounding nature. You maybe also want to know that Kong: Skull Island was partially filmed on these beguiling islands.
The other amazing Vietnam travel destination is the magnificent Hang Sơn Đoòng cave. This one is actually still on my bucket list but it just gives me one more reason to return again to Vietnam. Inside the cave, you can find a whole other world. A fast-flowing subterranean river, a full-blown jungle, and the cave is believed to be between 2 and 5 million years old.
5| Explore The Brazilian Amazon Rain Forest
When we talk about lost worlds and unique experiences, Amazonia must be on the list because the world’s largest rainforest has unforgettable adventures for you. Earth’s lung covers 40% of the South American continent and can be a dangerous place to visit if you don’t plan ahead and choose your guide wisely since the Amazon is home to many fascinating but deadly creatures.
I don’t want to kill the fun vibe here but please keep the environment in mind as well before and during your stay. Since 2004 the deforestation rate is declining in Brazil thanks to improved law enforcement, the pressure from environmental groups, and there had been new protected areas and indigenous territories created as well. Yet, there’s still much left to do and we have to keep protecting this unique ecosystem.
This immense natural beauty offers an experience of a lifetime and the team of Tropical Tree Climbing tour company helps you to explore these wonders while teaching you about conservation on your adventure. Their offbeat adventures were recognized by National Geographic and many other prestigious companies. You can choose from many thrilling adventures from photography tours to tree climbing and river cruises.
Come on Indy, grab your hat and whip and let’s discover the lost worlds of Amazonia.
6| Discover China’s Biggest Dino Spot In Lufeng
Image C – Flickr.com – Andy L
Lufeng county is located only 58km away from the beautiful city of Kunming and it became well-known during the 30’s because of dinosaur fossils. Lufeng or as it’s also called ‘The hometown of fossils’ has a nice collection of dinosaur fossils and your journey around Yunnan province will be worthwhile.
Spend some time in Kunming and visit Lufeng from there. You can discover ancient temples and villages, and experience the beautiful cultural heritage of the province. Be prepared for the fact that English is not a widely spoken language in China especially after you left the bigger cities like Beijing or Shanghai.
Check out our post on how to learn languages quick and easy where we give useful tips on how to learn the basics in any language and communicate more easily with locals while you travel.
7| Have An Otherworldly Experience In New Zealand
Image C – Unsplash – Hamish Dowson
New Zealand has one of the most spectacular natural treasures on earth. Some would even say it has the most. Adventurers, artists, photographers, and film crews traveled to this land to find new, and otherworldly destinations. One of its most famous locations is the Hobbiton. It’s widely known that ‘The Lord Of The Ring’ was mainly shot in New Zealand but ‘Chronicles of Narnia’, ‘Wolverine’, and ‘The Last Samurai’ also had many scenes shot here.
If you want to see a lost world that seems to be untouched by humans, endless starry nights and magical Glowworm Caves you should head to New Zealand. But you can have your dino treats as well.
For long it was thought New Zealand had somehow fallen off the dinosaurs’ radar. However, the discovery of dinosaurs in New Zealand has begun when the first fossil bones were discovered in the 70’s. You can also meet Tuataras here: New Zealand’s living dinosaurs.
Tuatara is a lizard-like reptile and you can even meet this dinosaur survivor on certain small islands around New Zealand or off mainland sanctuaries.
8| Enjoy Some Trekking In The Dinosaur Valley State Park, USA
Image C – Dinosaur Valley State Park
Follow along the Paluxy River and follow the tracks left by dinosaurs in the mud at the edge of an ancient ocean. If you’re an outdoorsy type of person this Park is for you. You can go hiking, swim, have a nice picnic, go horseback riding or grab your tent and camp for a couple of days while learning about nature and dinos.
Don’t forget to check in with Dinosaur Valley State Park before your visit because the Dinosaur tracks are in the riverbed and are not always visible. So, depending on the season and weather conditions they may not be visible. Make sure to contact them and ask about the dino track visibility to avoid disappointment.
9| Explore The Natural History Museum In London, UK
Image C – Unsplash – Kafai Liu
In case you plan to visit London this is the museum you shouldn’t skip. It’s our favorite museum not just in London but in the world. The building itself is an architectural masterpiece and the exhibitions and attractions are always gorgeous, exciting, and perfectly entertaining for all ages.
Of course, our favorites were the Dinosaur exhibitions and don’t worry because you can find plenty. You can find a roaring T-Rex, check out the skull of a Triceratops or visit the Dinosaur Gallery and explore fossils.
On the image above you can see ‘Dippy’ the Diplodocus. Unfortunately, Dippy was replaced and now the center stage is held by the genuine skeleton of a young blue whale. Dippy is on a UK tour (and will be for sure until 2020) so make sure to check out NHM.com to see which museum he’s at the moment if you want to visit him.
While Dippy is hugely missed there is no reason to feel down for long because this museum has many other interactive experiences that will make you smile and leave you in awe. Two of our favorites are the ‘Crime Scene Live’ with this murder-mystery interactive experience you can work together with the scientist of the museum to catch a killer, and our absolute favorite is the ‘Dino Snores for Grown-ups’ that lets you go on an after dark adventure in this marvelous museum.
10| Go Digging! Worldwide
Image C – Adventures In Preservation
Did you know that you can actually become a part-time paleontologist/archaeologist and do some digging for yourself? You can find opportunities worldwide and can choose from one-day digs and longer-term volunteer opportunities. Many of these archeological adventures don’t require previous experience on your part and you can even find free ones.
Here are a couple of sites you can check out to find opportunities.
11| Explore the Dinosaur Tracks In Denver, USA
Image C – Dino Ridge
Dinosaur Ridge has been ranked as the top dinosaur track site in the US so you don’t have to take only my word when I say that you’ll have one hell of a time here. This Park has a long and fascinating history and scientists made some of the most important discoveries here by the Arthur Lakes.
Some of the most well-known dinosaurs were first discovered here, including Stegosaurus and Apatosaurus. Later in 1973 dinosaur tracks were discovered and research revealed it’s part of an ancient seaway that was frequently trampled by dinosaurs, simply put a “Dinosaur Freeway.”
In 1989 ‘The Friends of Dinosaur Ridge’ was founded with the purpose of preserving the fossils and to educating the public about this natural history area.
Dino ridge offers various programs and tours you just have to visit their site and choose what suits you best. From summer camps to Adult field trips you can find anything and everything to feed your curiosity about the “Age of Giants”.
12| Have Quick Jurassic Coast Getaway, UK
Image C – Unsplash – Will van Wingerden
Go beyond London and have a nice weekend in Dorset. Calming sea, beautiful nature, and of course a World Heritage Site where once dinosaurs roamed. It’s only a three-hour ride from London and I think it’s more than worth for a visit to the richest heritage sites for prehistoric remains.
If you like long walks you’ll love walking around here. You will find 185 million years of the Earth’s history across 95 miles of coastline. Probably the most impressive and beloved stops are Durdle Door (on the image above), Lulworth Cove (perfect for families and couples), Old Harry Rocks, and Portland with its gloomy lighthouse.
You can choose from hundreds of programs and museums. The best if you visit JurassicCoast.org and check on what and where is happening during the time of your visit.
If you’re seeking the fallen kingdom this will be a true walk through time for you. You can enjoy and learn more about your beloved time period while indulging breathtaking landscapes and if you visit beaches like Charmouth you can hunt for fossils yourself.
13| Go For & Beyond The Pyramids, Egypt
Image C – Unsplash – Fynn schmidt
In case you don’t know a lot or anything at all about dinosaurs or fossils in Africa you don’t have to feel bad because dinosaur fossils in Africa are rare. Dinosaur treasures are mostly hidden under lush vegetation rather than exposed rocks which makes them hard (if not impossible) to find.
However, earlier this year (2018) a critical discovery finally was made when scientists found a bus-sized dinosaur in Egypt. This plant eater, called Mansourasaurus is not only a new species but also offers a clue to an ancient mystery. This well-preserved dinosaur (also called ‘the holy grail of dinosaurs’) from the end of the Age of Dinosaurs in Africa finally gave answers to the course of dinosaur evolution in Africa.
Why do scientists believe it’s a remarkable discovery? Good question.
Back in the day (about 335 million years ago) all the continents of the world were connected as one supercontinent called Pangaea. But it began to break apart (about 175 million years ago) and eventually ending in the alignment we see today.
For long it was believed that the African dinosaurs were completely isolated but this discovery proves that there were still connections to Europe. Which would mean dinosaurs could have been living and moving across the continent during the period and were able to (or at least had the chance) to mix with dinosaurs on other ancient land masses.
So while the Pyramids and vibrant bazaar’s of Cairo are bucket list worthy sights you might want to spend more time in Egypt and do a tour in the Dakhla Oasis as well. If you’re lucky you might just make the next remarkable discovery.