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Jurassic Petrified Forest

Boo! How does a tree get petrified?

By the late Jurassic period, New Zealand was an extensive landmass linked to nearby parts of Gondwana (Australia/Antarctica).

At that time Curio Bay was a broad floodplain flanked by active volcanoes which flooded the forests with volcanic debris. The lower parts of the trees were buried and turned to stone. The trunks that lie exposed were carried in by the flood and were partially buried.

Due to the very complete nature of this process known as ‘silification’, the petrified wood and its texture are of an unusually high quality.

It looks very much like real wood yet feels just like stone.

Curio Bay is the site of one of the world’s finest fossil forests. The platform of petrified stumps, fallen trees and fern imprints are easily accessible at low tide, or can be viewed from the platform above.

The Curio Bay Tumu Toka Natural Heritage Centre will interpret this unique and special story so it can be shared and understood by everyone.

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