Curio Bay is a fascinating place to visit. “The highlight of Curio Bay (Tumu Toka) is watching the outgoing tide reveal a 180 million year old Jurassic fossil forest – one of only three such accessible fossil forests in the world. Millions of years ago the Curio Bay area was part of the eastern margin of the ancient super continent Gondwanaland. The forest was destroyed multiple times by massive sheet floods of volcanic debris; growing back only to be covered again. These events are clearly recorded by distinct bands of fossils in the now exposed cliff face. The erosion of the sea has exposed tree stumps, logs and other fascinating fossils.” — from SouthlandNZ.com
The Catlins, Southland, New Zealand.
Photos taken by Liz, 11 Nov 2019.
The Petrified Forest at Curio Bay
NB: Click on ANY of these photos to enlarge
Rocky shore platform: mounds sticking up above the water are fossil tree stumps. Long straight lines are fossil logs.
The form of the fossilised logs is clearly visible.
Explanatory Information Panels
Click on either photo to enlarge.
If you’re keen to know more, I’ve found an excellent blog-post by WP blogger Mike Pole who describes himself as: “I’m a New Zealander – paleontologist, geologist, photographer, traveler.”
He lists one of his research themes as “Jurassic paleobotany, sedimentology and stratigraphy of the Catlins Coast”.
Don’t be put off by all the big words because his writing is very conversational, interesting and easy to read. Well illustrated with photos too!
Text and photos by Liz; Exploring Colour (2019)