top of page

Vanished World Centre


The Vanished World Centre at Duntroon is the heart of the Vanished World Trail with displays that help explain and interpret the fossils, rocks, localities, and landforms along the Trail. It houses an inspiring collection of fossils detailing the geology of the District.

Visitors wishing to participate in the fossil heritage of the Waitaki are able to gain a greater appreciation of the unique nature of the area by viewing these displays. Specimens are mostly from within a 20km radius of the village of Duntroon. The fossils – whales, dolphins, and invertebrates, reveal the marine ecosystems of the Oligocene time some 20-30 million years ago.

Vanished World Centre in Duntroon

The Centre has a fossil extraction room that allows children to gain a first “hands-on experience” of fossils. An additional room houses a collection of rocks and minerals found in the District. In combination, they are an excellent educational resource for school groups studying earth science

The Centre sells a range of geological merchandise, particularly books. There is a great range of products for young people and beginners, from model construction packages to junior paleontologist digger kits. Income from merchandise sales, together with an entrance fee helps cover running costs and the sales of the Vanished World Trail Brochure helps the Society maintain the trail.

Entrance Fee

Adult - $10

This allows access to dig your own
fossils from blocks at the Centre.

Children under 16yrs – FREE

Accompanied by an adult 

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


7 Campbell Street

Duntroon, 9494, New Zealand


Opening Hours

Summer hours

Winter hours

9:30 am – 5:00 pm

10:00 am – 4:30 pm

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
"The Vanished World Centre was a very interesting stop on our travels in the South Island.
One could spend hours (or days!) there, but even a brief visit is well worth the stop. Of particular interest was the ancient giant penguin.


bottom of page