Roaming Down Under

Elephant Rocks, NZ

Limestone outcrops resembling elephants near Duntroon on the south island of New Zealand

Having once studied geology, interesting rock formations often find their way into my travel itinerary. Elephant Rocks in New Zealand was no exception ... plus I wanted to see if they really look like elephants.

Elephant Rocks, New Zealand

Elephant Rocks is a collection of weathered limestone outcrops tucked away on a farm near Duntroon on the south island. From this tiny town - inland from Oamaru, north of Dunedin - it is a short but picturesque drive through farmland, following the discrete signposting. It is easy to miss the parking area, being just a little space at the side of the road to pull over, with only a sign and fence crossing to distinguish it from any other sheep paddock.

A brief stroll across a paddock brings you to the rocks themselves - scattered artistically around a gentle hillside. Taking time to wander among them is the best way to appreciate the unique rounded shapes, some of which do resemble elephants if a little imagination is used.

Elephant Rocks, New Zealand

Some parts may look familiar to viewers of the film "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" - the scenes of Aslan's camp were filmed here. Unlike other film landscapes in New Zealand, you'll probably share this one with just a few sheep. Being off the tourist routes seems to keeps the crowds away.

Even if you don't recognise any elephants, and haven't seen the film, a visit to Elephant Rocks is still a worthwhile detour for anyone with their own transport - especially if you like rocks.

Elephant Rocks, New Zealand