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View Ediacaran Fossils for the First Time at Nilpena Ediacara National Park

by Aoife O'Riordan

May 11, 2023

© South Australia Tourism Commission

Destinations / Oceania

Nilpena Ediacara National Park, in the Flinders Ranges in South Australia, officially opened to the public April 27. The park lies 4.5 hours from Adelaide and allows visitors to embark on guided tours of its ancient grounds. Currently, visitors can only access by booking a guided tour.

 

© SATC

The park will ensure the protection and historic value of Ediacaran fossils, said to be evidence of the first life forms on earth. The park and surrounding region are also currently bidding to become a UNESCO World Heritage site, which would make it the second such site in South Australia.

 

On the audio-isual tour, visitors can touch fossil beds, “play” with fossils and enjoy the educational and immersive experience. The park sits in the middle of the outback where, nearly half a billion years ago, sat an ocean. Now, the fossil beds are brought back to life through the new audiovisual experience.

 

© DEW

Nilpena continues to be a working research site with discoveries promoting science, serving as an essential part in protecting and caring for Nilpena. The South Australian government plans to create visitor facilities to further showcase an Ediacaran fossil experience explaining the planet’s early stages of animal life.

 

Additionally, Nilpena’s former Blacksmith’s Shop has been repurposed to provide an all-access fossil experience to view the relocated Alice’s Restaurant Bed, considered one of the most important fossil beds. Access paths and a viewing platform allow visitors sustainable access to key sites in the park.

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