Department of Geology

Vanished World Trail

By R. Ewan Fordyce

The Department of Geology is pleased to be in partnership with Vanished World Inc. – supporting the Vanished World Trail in North Otago.

The Vanished World Trail allows public access to geological localities that reveal the ancient history of the region ~ fossil sites, extinct volcanoes, mineral localities, and major landforms. Vanished World localities range from Waianakarua to Oamaru on the coast, and inland to Duntroon. The Vanished World trail is self-guided; drive from place to place, starting or stopping at any point. At most localities there is a short walk to the site.

A colour A3 brochure about the trail gives a map, photographs and comments about each site. Brochures are sold in Oamaru, at the Otago Museum Dunedin, in Duntroon at the Vanished World Centre, and other local towns.

Vanished World images - fossils, rocks and landscapes of North Otago. The original graphic panel, which is 3 m long, is on display at the Vanished World Centre, Duntroon. Photography and concepts by Ewan Fordyce, graphic design by Martin Fisher

The Vanished World Centre in Duntroon has displays of fossils, rocks and interpretive graphics. Nearby, at "The Earthquakes" and Anatini localities, fossil whales are exposed in the rock. These fossils – part of the Vanished World trail - are under protective covers to allow easy public viewing.

Ewan Fordyce has provided scientific advice to Vanished World Inc. and, with graphics artist Martin Fisher has produced displays for the Centre. Specimens from the Geology Museum (administered by the Department of Geology) are on loan to the Vanished World Centre.

Our organisations do not guarantee access to any particular site, we make no claim about the safety of natural features and private property, and we do not guarantee the right to find, collect or keep geological materials. We discourage random or destructive collecting. Most outcrops of fossiliferous rock are on private land; access is by permission of owner(s) and may be governed further by safety and health and other regulations. The collection of geological specimens for commercial purposes or for export is governed by law.