Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Duntroon - Rocks!

Time for a brief stop on our trip south. Elephant Rocks, about five kilometres west of Duntroon is one of North Otago’s best kept secrets. It is, however, also a recognisable location for The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. Next door is a still standing, but surely crumbling, set for the seemingly-doomed Kingdome Come. It’s an incongruity, sitting as it is among sheep-tracked hillocks, and with a sealed road metres from its boundaries; but utterly vacant and telling a sad tale of bankruptcy, is threatening no-one and impressing few. Much more interesting are the rocks themselves. Limestone shapes erupting from the ground, formed by the movement of earth and water and shaped over thousands of years by wind into grey and cream clouds of calcium carbonate. This far from the Highway 56 they’re wonderfully silent sentinels in some still green pastureland, and an instant reminds of climbing games with friends from years back.

Jet Junior took great delight clambering over the smaller ones, and it was encouraging to see on a late afternoon that the tourists passing through on the Vanishing World fossil trail were content to leave things as they were, to take photos and sit happily atop the giants, becoming part of the landscape for a spell. There’s something restful about being enclosed by so many soft, organic curves of hill and stone face, with only the open air above and quietly grazing sheep nearby. I’ll return here again as soon as I can, I reckon.

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