Off the well-travelled tourist routes, the Elephant Rocks are part of the Vanished World Trail, leading through several geological wonders of the Waitaki District.

Elephant Rocks, Otago, New Zealand

Elephant Rocks, Otago, New Zealand

Located near Duntroon, between Oamaru and Omarama in Otago, the Elephant Rocks are fairly straightforward to find: from near Duntroon, take Livingston-Duntroon Road and follow the signposts until you get to the Elephant Rocks.


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The Elephant Rocks are massive limestone formations sitting in a sea of grass on private farmland. The rocks were once sand at the bottom of the sea that accumulated 25 million years ago. These sediments were buried and the pressure turned the sand into rock, or limestone. When the whole area of limestone lifted and surfaced, the forces of the wind and water did their part in shaping the limestone.

Elephant Rocks, Otago, South Island

Elephant Rocks, Otago, South Island

The rocks come in all shapes and sizes, and are popular with climbers, especially for doing some serious bouldering. The area may also give some people a certain sensation of déjà vu; especially those that are fans of “The Chronicles of Narnia” movie: the Elephant Rocks served as a location for Aslan’s camp.

Elephant Rocks, South Island

Elephant Rocks, South Island

But whether you are a Narnia fan, climber or just a regular traveller, the Elephant Rocks make for a fascinating off-the-beaten-path stop on your way around Otago.

What lesser known New Zealand sights off the beaten path are among your favorites?