• Geoparkadmin

School holiday competition: How were the elephant rocks formed?

Updated: Jul 25, 2019

Here is a school holiday competition for local children who live in the Waitaki Whitestone Geopark area. Most locals have been to see the Elephant Rocks, located on the Ngapara to Duntroon Road. Some people photograph them, others climb them and everyone looks at their animal like shape and ask themselves: "How were these Elephant Rocks formed?"


Elephant Rocks on a sunny Winters day

Mike Gray, Chairmen of Vanished World Committee, says "I am not sure that we have all the explanations that we would like. We know what our Geologist thinks, but are there other explanations that we have not considered? We would love to know what the local children think about this question. Is it simply a matter of geology, perhaps they were transported there, or were there magic forces involved too?"


If you think you know the answer to this important question, then you should start thinking and writing. Perhaps add a diagram or illustration to help with your explanation. We plan to show off the best explanations on the wall of the "Dig Room" in the Vanished World Centre. And, by the way, there are three separate age categories - Under 10 years, 10 - 12 years, and over 12 years. There is a "Dig a Fossil" kit for the winner in each category.


Entries should be no bigger than an A4 page and include your name, age and phone number. They can be handed in at the i-SITE Centre in Oamaru or at the Vanished World Centre in Duntroon by Sunday August 04th.


Good luck with this challenge!



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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, 

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