Trees Turned To Stone

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

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.



Further Information

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!

At:   New Zealand: The Jurassic fossil forest at Curio Bay

Text and photos by Liz; Exploring Colour (2019)

26 thoughts on “Trees Turned To Stone

Add yours

  1. Like one of your other followers, we have also visited the Petrified Forest in Arizona, but having found these fossilized trees at the water’s edge, must have been extremely exciting for the person who first discovered them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Via a “related” WP post I’d earlier looked at photos of the fossil logs in this NP and they were very colourful! It’s interesting in your article that many animal fossils were found of creatures such as reptiles, amphibibians and dinosaurs – very interesting place!


  2. Well that was worth the weight! Mad head ache this afternoon so slowly catching up! Look at this- you have your own Jurassic park right below the waves- so incredible! Nature is everyday more and more astonishing! Thanks for showing us this fossilized treasure Liz 👏👏🤗😘

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve only known about the petrified forest here in the U.S. I didn’t realize there were other such places in the world, although it makes sense that there would be. Very interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

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