Waitaki Valley

The Elephant Rocks, Waitaki Valley

You’ll drive through the Waitaki Valley when travelling between Lake Tekapo / Mount Cook and Dunedin, and there are several cool spots to stop along the way. The Elephant Rocks, just outside of Duntroon, is one of those spots. The Elephant Rocks are a collection of large rocks sitting in an otherwise nondescript slab of farmland. Keep reading to find out more about this unique piece of New Zealand nature.

The Elephant Rocks

From the car park across the road it’s a short five-minute walk through farmland to the Elephant Rocks. The area that the Elephant Rocks are located is small and you can walk around the whole place in 10-15 minutes. You’ll see heaps of limestone rocks in all shapes in sizes — although we didn’t see any that resemble elephants! It’s a fun place to walk around and you’ll probably be joined by sheep. They add something to the scene and allow you to get some scale to your photos. You can climb some of the rocks and the views are nice — we were lucky that it had snowed the day before as that always makes things look better!

If you’re a fan of the Chronicles of Narnia you might recognise the Elephant Rocks. This area was used as the location of Aslan’s Camp in the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I’ve never seen it, but I guess I might have to watch it now! And that’s pretty much it. A visit to the Elephant Rocks doesn’t take long — I probably wouldn’t recommend you make a specific trip there but it’s worth a look when driving through the Waitaki Valley.

Getting to the Elephant Rocks

The Elephant Rocks are located a few kilometres from the main road. Turn left just before Duntroon (if you’re approaching from the Dunedin side) and keep following the signs. It takes around two hours to drive there from Dunedin.

Duntroon

Duntroon is an old town that still has some of its historic buildings, including a nice church. It’s worth a quick look when driving the route to or from Mount Cook etc. There are some other decent little towns along the road through the Waitaki Valley, including Kurow, Omarama and Otematata. My favourite thing to do on this route is the Benmore Peninsula Track – it’s not the most popular of tracks but the views are awesome.

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Jon Algie

A travel blogger from New Zealand who has just returned home after 6 years abroad. Join me as I see as much of the South Island as I can.

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