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Dinosaurs and Badlands

Dinosaurs and Badlands

story by: Tom Ricketts

The rather ominously named badlands lay to the northeast of the Canadian city of Calgary and like most other badlands around the world, is an unusual geological formation. However combine a sightseeing trip to the badlands with a stop in the nearby town of Drumheller and you'll have a day out that you will not soon forget.

If you’re visiting the beautiful Canadian Rockies on your holiday to Canada, then chances are you will be passing through the city of Calgary at some stage. If you have a day up your sleeve, then jump in the car and head 1.5 hours northeast to the small town of Drumheller. Just as you arrive in the town, hang south down Highway 10 to Willow Creek, here you’ll find the famous Drumheller Hoodoos. Standing like pillars from the surrounding countryside, a hoodoo is a rock formation where are strong rock has sheltered the weaker rock underneath it from eroding away by wind and rain over the millions of years. So what we’re left with today are tall pillars of rocks that look almost like they have hats on. It’s hard to explain, so look at the picture to your left. Hoodoos can be found all over the world, even in New Zealand, but the hoodoos here are some of the best examples in the world. The badlands refer to the barren desert like, or moon like landscape surrounding the area.

After exploring the hoodoos, head back up the road to Drumheller. This small town is just like any other country town… except that it has the world’s tallest dinosaur standing right in the middle of it! That’s right, there’s a 25 metre replica of a T-Rex towering over the town. But wait, there’s more. As if the sight of a 25 metre T-Rex isn’t amazing enough, you can actually climb up through the body of the structure and right into its mouth! There is of course great views, and many photographs to be taken next to its giant teeth.

Staying on theme, the town is also home to the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology which in layman’s terms is a Dinosaur Museum. This impressive museum has 4,400 square metres of fossils and dinosaur bones to be discovered, including all the favourites like T-Rex, Stegosaurus, Triceratops and a lot of rare specimens you’ve probably never heard of. The place is incredibly popular and lines through the carpark are not uncommon, so try to visit on a weekday or arrange your admission in advance.

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