Department of Geology


Geology Museum

Geology Museum

The Geology Museum is used regularly by students. Here, two of our international students are looking at the fossil displays.

What and where?


The Geology Museum, which is open to the public, is in the south end of the historic geology building. Our Geology Museum contains large and scientifically important collections of rocks, minerals and fossils - the largest such collection in the South Island. There are displays in the Museum itself and in the adjacent foyer.

The Museum is open to the public five days a week, from 8.30 am to 5 pm.

If you visit the Geology Museum, you may look through large viewing windows to see fossils being worked on in the Fossil Preparation Laboratory (room Gs13a). The fossils include whales, dolphins, penguins, and fish.

Geology Building from Quad

Access to the Geology Museum is from the University Quadrangle. Enter using the south steps shown here; the Museum is on the right.

Collections in the Museum are used by staff and students for research and in undergraduate and postgraduate courses. Material may be made available for scientific study by bona fide researchers; contact Prof R Ewan Fordyce (

In addition, we often host primary, intermediate or secondary school groups. If you wish to arrange a vist then please contact Assoc. Prof. Daphne Lee (, with copy to our Academic Administrator Ms A Dever ( Collections in the museum are used by staff and students for research and in undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Vertebrate Fossils

Fossil Collections

The Geology Museum holds major collections of Permian, Triassic and Jurassic invertebrates. Plant include specimens from the Jurassic, Cretaceous and Cenozoic, and there are many Cretaceous and Cenozoic invertebrates. We hold significant specimens of fossil vertebrates, mainly late Cretaceous and Cenozoic marine groups. Of note are a few highly informative plesiosaurs and mosasaurs, and Eocene-Oligocene-Miocene whales and dolphins, penguins, sea turtles, bony fish, and sharks. Staff members involved with the fossil collections are Professor R Ewan Fordyce (staff member in charge) and Assoc. Prof. Daphne Lee

See also, the Paleontology section of our website.

Rock and Mineral Collections

Our Geology Museum has arguably the largest and best rock and mineral collection in the South Island. Selected specimens are on display in the museum, and many more are stored for teaching and research purposes. The mineral collection has been the nucleus of a long history of research by Emeritus Professor D.S. Coombs, with current research by Professor Alan F. Cooper, Dr J Michael Palin, and other staff.

students in the museum

As part of their course work, Geology
students often work with fossil displays in the Geology Museum

Museum Cabinets and Fossils

For more visit the museum or contact us.

Professor R. Ewan Fordyce