valley of the whales


Named after the discovery of whale and dolphin fossils found here in the Otekaike Limestone - forming the cliffs of both sides of this valley.

Inland from Duntroon and on the Vanished World Trail is the impressive Valley of the Whales. The underlying, thinner and older Kokoamu Greensand can be seen in places as can the Ototara Limestone. 

You can almost imagine you are at the very bottom of the seafloor here with the walls rising steeply on each side.  Park your vehicle near the Vanished World signage in this valley and be transported to a time when this area was under a wide shallow sea and teeming with marine life.  Preserved fossils that have been recovered include molluscs, sea urchins, other invertebrates, as well as rare whales and dolphins. 

The Awamoko Stream that flows the length of this valley has eroded down through the limestone beds to expose the massive geological sediments.  Moa bones have been found in some of the swamp settings here – more recent relics of a time gone by.

Latitude: --44:55:24.882  Longitude: 170:40:55.012

Scenic views  & Photo opportunities


To get to Valley of the whales, head south from Duntroon on SH83, turn right onto Livingston-Duntroon Rd. Follow the road for 5km, turn onto Island Cliff-Duntroon Rd. Follow the road for 3.5km and park your vehicle at the parking bay with a Vanished World Trail sign.


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News &

"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