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The community -inspired Vanished World Society was formed in the early 2000's to help raise public awareness about the geology of the Waitaki district . The Society is active in promoting the science , conservation and appropriate use of fossils , outcrops, and landforms, through a process of education , science -communication and “hands on experience”.


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. 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.

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 Duntroon Wetlands area is located just off the Highway.  A dedicated group of locals, under the auspices of the Duntroon and District Development Association are working hard to protect the wetland area with the intention of maintaining an environmental asset for generations to come.

Pupils from the Duntroon School have helped the project by planting native plants that compliment the wetlands. 

The committee acknowledges the invaluable support of Meridian Energy at every step of the project and Geoff and Jan Keeling who farm the adjoining property.

Visitors to Duntroon and cyclists traversing the Alps2Ocean Trail can enjoy wandering through this special place.
This is a work in progress, but already the birds are making this their new home and frogs and fish are happy to live here too. 


The Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail is New Zealand in all its colour and beauty - from our highest mountains, past great lakes and rivers, and down to the ocean. Suitable for all ages, the 9 section bike trail is an easy to intermediate grade, linking the Southern Alps to the Pacific Ocean.

Allow 4-6 days for the entire ride, or simply try a day excursion. Whichever option you choose, the A2O Cycle Trail is sure to be a memorable experience.


The Elephant Rocks are the weathered remnants of the Otekaike Limestone formation which lies above the Oligocene Kokoamu Greensand.

The rock formations of the Elephant Rocks vary from 1–10 metres (3–33 ft) across and are naturally scattered around a grass paddock on a gentle hillside over an area of about 200 metres (660 ft) across. The rocks themselves are rounded and pockmarked from weathering, but do not specifically resemble elephant shapes. The pasture is part of a private farm, and sheep may be present. Access is permitted via a 5-minute walk across the farmland from opposite a parking bay on the Island Cliff-Duntroon Road. The Alps to Ocean Cycle Trail passes the site.

The Elephant Rocks area has been used as a filming location for the first Chronicles of Narnia movie in 2005 when it was transformed into Aslan's camp.


Nicol’s Blacksmith Shop is the only easily accessible ‘authentic village blacksmith’ in New Zealand.

It is located on State Highway 83 right in the middle of Duntroon township.


The Nicol’s Blacksmith Shop has been a part of Duntroon life for over 100 years.
It's future was uncertain until four local farmers purchased the Blacksmith Shop in 1975. In more recent times, the Nicol’s Blacksmith Historic Trust was formed and ownership was transferred to the Trust. 
New Zealand Historic Places Trust’s recent classification as catergory one, recognises it is as place of national significance, emphasising its authenticity and importance in telling the story of the role of the horse in the development of this nation. 

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