The community-inspired Vanished World Society was formed in the early 2000s 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”.

North Otago and the larger surrounding Waitaki district have been renowned for striking and informative 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.

Fossil extraction

Our Society 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.

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.
Merwyn, Chicago. Illinois (USA)

Vanished World Centre

7 Campbell Street
Duntroon, New Zealand

Winter hours : 10.00 am to 4.30 pm daily

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