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Updated: Feb 14, 2023

The Vanished World Centre in association with other Duntroon attractions and the Waitaki Whitestone Geopark are offering four Geopark Coach Tours in March to volunteers of various Waitaki voluntary groups.

As the anticipation of the UNESCO endorsement is growing towards May, the Waitaki Whitestone Geopark team is excited to bring these free coach tours to our local community and provide a unique opportunity to learn more about the treasures that are in our own backyard. Geopark Manager Lisa Heinz said, “The thought of offering the seats to volunteers seemed to provide a great way to acknowledge the work of the many local volunteers and we hope everyone enjoys a great day out with fellow volunteers.”

The tour will start in Ōamaru and will head inland to Duntroon via the Waiareka Valley and will include a visit to the Anatini Fossil site and Elephant Rocks. In Duntroon the group will visit the Vanished World Centre and Nicol’s Blacksmith Shop and will finish the day at the Takiroa Māori Rock Art Site before heading back to Ōamaru.

The attractions, guides and coach driver are donating their time and skills, and the coach hiring costs have been covered by a grant to the Vanished World Centre from the Waitaki District Council’s Community Fund.

Following the UNESCO evaluation in July last year, the Waitaki Whitestone aspiring Geopark has been nominated to become New Zealand’s first UNESCO Global Geopark. The Executive Board of UNESCO will consider the nominations during the 2023 Spring (European) session and an announcement is expected in late May.

More information can be found here:

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