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'Riversleigh Rocks' photo competition

The department is holding a photo competition to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Australian Fossil Mammal Sites—Riversleigh World Heritage Area’s inscription on the World Heritage List (1994–2019) and to also mark the ‘Year of Outback Tourism’.

Grab your cameras or phones to enter! One winner and two runners up will be selected from each of the three categories and includes the opportunity to be featured in the department’s promotions.

How to enter

Read the following information and choose an appropriate category for your submission.

Complete the online entry form and ensure that all required fields are completed.

Submit as many photos as you like, including a catchy caption!

Make sure you receive and retain your confirmation email, which acknowledges your submission was received.

The photo competition runs until 30 October 2019. Winners will be notified via email shortly after, with the announcement also shared on this webpage along with their winning photographs.

About the location

The Riversleigh World Heritage Area stretches 10,000ha and lies in the Traditional Country of the Waanyi Peoples within Boodjamulla National Park. Riversleigh is recognised as one of the most important fossil sites in the world and has uncovered exceptional examples of the key evolutionary stages of Australia’s diversity in flora and fauna.

Riversleigh has provided an enormous amount of new knowledge about the evolution of Australia’s unique animals. The 800m Riversleigh Fossil Trail at D Site will take you to the top of a limestone bluff that was once part of a huge lakebed. The remnants of this lakebed now encases 25 million-year-old fossils of creatures including carnivorous kangaroos, predatory pouched lions, giant flightless birds and tree-climbing crocodiles!


To win, your submission must showcase one of the three categories:

  • Outback landscapes (the natural beauty of Riversleigh)
  • Fossil treasures (Riversleigh’s fossils), and
  • Riversleigh folk (the visitors and community of Riversleigh).

Outback landscapes

Image showing Riversleigh's rugged landscape.

Photographs from this category must capture the natural beauty of Riversleigh's rugged landscape.

It might be hard to imagine, but Riversleigh was once a lush rainforest, scattered with lime mineral-rich freshwater pools. The landscape of Riversleigh has changed dramatically over 25 million years and is now dominated by spear grass and the occasional native bauhinia that attracts birds and insects to its nectar-rich flowers. The environment may seem harsh in appearance but it is fragile, intricate and complex.

Some photo examples may include landscapes, plants and animals.

Fossil treasures

Image showing Riversleigh's fossils.

Photographs from this category must capture Riversleigh's fossils.

The limestone-forming geological processes that still occur at Riversleigh are the reason why fossils have formed. Very specific conditions are required for fossilisation to occur at a given site. After an animal or plant has died, burial by sedimentary deposits containing particular chemical and mineral components needs to occur—in Riversleigh’s case ancient plants and animals were rapidly covered by the lime-rich mud, preserving them almost flawlessly.

Some photo examples should include the fossils in the rock along D Site.

Riversleigh folk

Image of a man visiting Riversleigh.

Photographs from this category must capture the people of Riversleigh or the people who visit Riversleigh.

It’s hard not to become immersed in Riversleigh’s ancient landscape and experience part of the record of life. Visitors to Riversleigh play an important part of passing on Riversleigh’s unique values. The Waanyi Peoples know this region as their spiritual and sacred Boodjamulla (Rainbow Serpent) country—their strong connection to the landscape is maintained through cultural practice on their traditional homeland.

Palaeontological surveys at Riversleigh have uncovered exceptional examples of the key evolutionary stages of Australia’s wildlife and without this research, the area would not have been World Heritage Listed in 1994.

Some photo examples can include visitors to Riversleigh, members of the Riversleigh community and those who have played a special role at Riversleigh. Written permission must be sought by those pictured in the image/s (see conditions below).

Please stay safe and take care

Any photos demonstrating dangerous or potentially damaging behavior will be automatically disqualified. For further info on how to stay safe and take care of Riversleigh visit

Please help us preserve D Site—visitors are not permitted to traverse beyond the walking trail due to the highly sensitive values of the area. The World Heritage Area is under periodic surveillance to help protect the fossils.

Related information:

Last updated
12 June 2019