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Finding Fossils

Kiritehere Beach near Kawhia. A great place for fossil hunting.

Kiritehere Beach near Kawhia. A great place for fossil hunting.

Where can I find fossils?

There are many localities in New Zealand where you can find fossils yourself. Check here for an online map of some fossil hot spots in New Zealand.

The Kiwi Fossil Hunter’s Handbook is a fantastic resource to find out some hot spots for searching as well as understanding what the fossils tell us.

Just discovered! – marine reptile bones in a Hawkes Bay stream

Just discovered! – marine reptile bones in a Hawkes Bay stream

Any sedimentary rock (even some volcanic deposits) can potentially yield fossils. Most important of all is to keep your eyes open when you see a rock outcrop.

If you are very keen, a geological map of the area you are visiting will tell you the ages and rock types that you will see in exposures such as in road cuttings, river beds or bluffs.

Do I need to know anything before I go looking for fossils?

There are a few things you need to know in order to make your fossil hunting trip safe and successful. Read our advice for fossil hunters.