brewery hole


Located in the Waitaki village of Duntroon, Brewery Hole has both an interesting geological and historical story.

Brewery Hole is an excellent example of karst topography where parts of the local limestone (Otekaike Limestone) have been dissolved away creating an underground drainage system consisting of sinkholes and caves.  The local river – the Maerewhenua disappears into sinkholes and travels around 4.5 km underground – and this is what is visible at the sunken cave that is Brewery Hole. 

Prior to European settlement, the waters at Brewery Hole were referred to as ‘Waikoakoa’ (happy waters).  Historically the water was used by the local blacksmith, and from the 1970s as a water source for the Duntroon Water Scheme (although the town no longer draws its water from the hole).

Nicol’s Blacksmith Shop website has further interesting information on this interesting feature.

Latitude: --44:51:17.168

Longitude: 170:40:59.330

Easy walk


Pub 100m


Park your vehicle in between the Vanished World Centre and Nicol's Blacksmith Shop in Duntroon. 


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"What a fantastic window into the past. Today we saw fossil bones in limestone at two different sites. One set were whale bones. Just awesome that this trail has been put together, maintained and promoted."

— Mark Shipman, 

Vanished World visitor