Welcome to the Age of Fishes Museum
Imagine a world ruled by fish! Long before dinosaurs roamed the Earth, the mighty rivers of the Central West teemed with bizarre ancient fishes - armoured fishes, fishes with lungs, and some huge predators with jaws like crocodiles. Thousands of their fossils were found at Canowindra and give us a unique glimpse into life during the Devonian Period - the 'Age of Fishes'.
A chance discovery in 1955 revealed an extensive fossil bed dating from the Devonian Period. This 360-370 million year old fossil deposit contains the remains of thousands of freshwater fish. Many were new to science. The best of the fossils so far recovered are now on public display at Canowindra, at the Age of Fishes Museum.
Find out about upcoming events at the Age of Fishes Museum.
The Age of Fishes Museum aims to stimulate and develop a students interest in fossils and broaden their understanding of how fossils tell us about the different kinds of organisms that lived on the earth and how they have replaced one another over geological time.
The Friends Of Fossils program was established in 1995 to encourage people with an interest in the development of the Museum and the Canowindra fossils to support this world famous project.
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The Devonian Inland rivers and lakes teemed with fish the invasion of dry land had begun but the majority of life was still underwater. Life looked very different and this is the time when our fossils were alive.
A pond on the supercontinent of Gondwana finally dries up and thousands of fish die in a single place only to be covered with silt and buried for millions of years.
Dinosaurs roam the earth and our treasures remain buried deep within the ground they walk upon already 200 million years old and waiting.
The first modern Homo sapiens walk the earth in the Paleolithic Era.
Indigenous Australians walk this land.
On a country road a bulldozer turns over a rock that has been buried for 360 million years, and shortly after Bill Simpson, a Local Canowindra resident recognises its signifigance and informs the Australian Museum.
The first slab now known as the 1956 slab is moved to the Australian museum where it remains underglass for many years
The Canowindra Grossi is described and reconstructed by Dr Keith Thompson of Yale University.
Alex Ritchie and the Canowindra residents organise a rediscovery of the site and excavate a further 4,000 fish specimens across eight fish species.
A truly world class find.
Building of the current museum commenced.
The famous 1956 slab returns to its home to be permanently displayed at the Age of Fishes Museum in Canowindra.
The addition of the timeline to the museum experience is completed.
David Attenborough Visits the age of Fishes Museum and describes the Fossils as “World Class”
Canowindra continues to showcase this unique Devonian fossil collection one of only Two Devonian fish fossil museums in the World. Come and discover what lies beneath your backyard.
The Museum is open 7 days per week
(Xmas Day and morning of Anzac Day excepted)
10 AM to 4 PM. Other times by arrangement.
129 Gaskill Street
Canowindra NSW 2804