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Find Footprints

Walk with a Palaeontologist

Associate Professor Steve Salisbury explains the key features of a site near Broome in an 8 minute film.

Track site key features

The footprints can be hard to recognise as they all weather differently.

Take some time to check out the images in the Dinosaur Coast Track Guide App.

If you can go to the Broome Museum and Broome Library there are casts of actual footprints from the Dinosaur Coast.

Searching tips

Remember the footprints are only found in the rock known as Broome Sandstone.

Look for rock that varies in colour between light reds -> light brown -> white -> pinks and often has subtle ‘lines’.

More about the tides can be found here.

Finding dinosaur footprints at Gantheaume Point on the Dinosaur Coast
Theropod track in sandstone
Identifying dinosaur footprints using Dinosaur Coast Track Guide app

Dinosaur Coast Track Guide App

Best tide times to see dinosaur footprints

The footprints are found on the beach between the high and low tidemarks (intertidal zone). Many can only be seen when the tide is low, at a height of 2 metres or less.

Visit the Bureau of Meteorology website to view the tide times, or learn more about tides.

Please note

This app is NOT a track locator and has no GPS functionality. The Dinosaur Coast Track Guide App shows you where to go to find tracks and the best times to see tracks.

The App contains photos of how the tracks weather or erode (all tracks erode differently). Spend some time and ‘get your eye in’ before you go tracking.

The coastline is very dynamic and sand shifts constantly, so sometimes the footprints are hidden, or others may be revealed.

Sauropod tracks on the Dinosaur Coast Broome

When you find a footprint

Do not clear sand from the tracks, step in or on the edges of the tracks or drive over the tracks.

If you see any suspicious activity or people removing tracks, immediately ring the Broome Police on 08 9194 0200 and alert the DCMG on 0400 769 019.

Occasionally a small team of DCMG volunteers/scientists might be seen cleaning and drying the tracks. This is only done when the tracks are being documented for scientific purposes.

Repeated cleaning out sand is the fastest way of wearing away the tracks so please do not do it.

Sauropod tracks on the Dinosaur Coast Broome

Understanding the tides

High and low tides are caused by the moon and, to a lesser extent, the sun.

As the earth rotates every 24 hours, the moon’s gravitational pull generates the tidal force. The tidal force causes Earth (and its water) to bulge out on the side closest to the moon, and the side farthest from the moon.

These bulges of water (high tides) are greater when there is a new or a full moon, and are referred to as spring tides. Then, seven days later, there is a neap tide when the sun and moon are at right angles to each other and the ‘bulges’ are not so pronounced.

When the sun crosses the celestial equator and day and night are of approximately equal length — known as equinox — on or around 21 March and 23 September, exceptionally high and low tides occur, called King Tides.