Our last day trip took us to two more beautiful localities in the area south of Hamilton. Firstly we visited the Mangapuhoe Natural Bridge. This is a huge limestone archway, formed originally as a large cave which partially collapsed, leaving the Bridge. The track from the road takes you through dense bush beside the river and right under the archway.
Beyond it you can walk through to a picturesque area of farmland, with a number of rock outcrops. There is a wall of rock made up of a bed
of oysters, similar to those we saw on the Whanganui River.
Next we drove to Kiritehere Beach near Kawhia. At the south end of the beach there is a large shore platform with sloping rock beds in which lots of fossils can be found. In fact whole slabs of rock are covered with fossil shells.
It is worth bringing a hammer and chisel to split open some of the layers, but even without them it is possible to find lots of fossil molluscs in loose boulders. These fossils are of a bivalve called monotis.
We spent the rest of the afternoon happily fossil hunting, then headed for home.
Here is a video of James finding some fossils: