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Elephant Rocks - Limestone outcrop

Vanished World

Proudly at the heart of

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Fossils and Geology

The community-inspired Vanished World Society was formed in the early 2000’s to help raise public awareness of the geology in the Waitaki district. Vanished World actively promotes the conservation, science and appropriate use of fossils, outcrops and landforms through education, science-communication and “hands-on experience”.​

North Otago and the Waitaki district is renowned for its striking geological features for more than 150 years. These features including fossils, limestone, volcanic sequences and landforms have been important in the conceptual origins and ongoing development of geological science at a national level.

Geologists from the University of Otago have developed a positive and ongoing relationship with landowners in the Waitaki district, as part of a research program on local fossils.

Limestone weathering at Anatini

School holiday programme


Learn about geology and fossils during each of the three mid-term School Holidays!

School outing at Elephant Rocks

Visit us

Vanished World Centre - Lady with child digging fossils

Vanished World Centre

Visit our inspiring display collection of fossils detailing the geology of the Waitaki District

Self Drive Scenic Tour map

Self Drive Scenic Tour

Explore the district at your own pace; information panels are placed along the way.

Duntroon township

Explore Duntroon

There is so much to do and see around that you should plan some time exploring the area. 

Fossil shells in limestone

Fossil Extraction

Vanished World has gained significant technical support and specialist display materials from the Geology Department of the University of Otago.

Our Fossil Centre at Duntroon and the Vanished World Trail with its freely accessible set of locations has provided the Society with the tools to engage the Waitaki community and visitors with the geology of our Region.


7 Campbell Street

Duntroon, 9494, New Zealand


Opening Hours

Summer hours

9:30 am – 5:00 pm

Winter hours

10:00 am – 4:30 pm

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