Jurassic Garden app

Families visiting Sydney’s iconic botanic gardens can now journey back through time and experience Australian dinosaurs and megafauna through the child-friendly, augmented reality app, Jurassic Garden.

By downloading the app, users are able to take photos that include images of huge augmented reality Australian dinosaurs. The technology is now available at three sites: the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan and the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah.

The Jurassic was a geologic period and system that spanned for 56 million years, from the end of the Triassic Period 201.3 million years ago (Mya) to the beginning of the Cretaceous Period 145 Mya. The Jurassic constituted the middle period of the Mesozoic Era, also known as the Age of Reptiles.

In the Sydney Garden, you can now encounter the Muttaburrasaurus eating the Wollemi Pine, known as the “dinosaur tree.” In the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden and Australian Botanic Garden, you’ll meet six dinosaurs matched to plants they liked to eat including:

  • Minmi paravertebral, eating soft tree ferns
  • Procoptodon goliah, located within Sclerophyll forest
  • Muttaburrasaurus, eating the Wollemi Pine
  • Diprotodon optatum, eating Saltbush
  • Australovenator, amongst cycads
  • Pteranodon, with Coccolithophore (seaweed).

Collectible cards are also available for purchase at each sited in sets of six. This will inspire further interest from children, encouraging them to visit all three gardens to learn about the dinosaurs and their plant food sources and habitat.

“Dinosaurs are a monumental hit with youngsters,” said Dr Greg Bourke, Curator of the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah. “The Jurassic Age in general fires their imaginations and helps them develop a deeper curiosity for the world of science.”

Dr. Bourke said that the Jurassic Garden app has been in development at the Gardens for well over a year.

“We have trialed and tested this app with great results and are now excited to offer it to the public. To ensure accuracy, we have even planted certain species of plants as dinosaur food, to make the connection possible.”

Now the Jurassic Garden is being rolled out as a permanent educational feature across the Botanic Gardens sites to highlight the plants that once served as a food source or habitat for these ancient creatures.

How it works

  • Download the Jurassic Garden App here 
  • Head to your local botanic garden
  • Pick up a map from the Visitor Information Centre
  • Follow the signs to the Dinosaur.
  • Scan the marker /AR code with your smart device camera to make the dinosaur appear
  • Take a snap and share on social media #jurassicgarden

 The Jurassic Garden App initiative received grant funds from Inspiring Australia (NSW).