Birdlings Flat Museum

BY JULIAN THOMSON (GEOLOGIST)
Accessibility: EASY
Birdlings Flat Gemstone & Fossil Museum specimen
A private collection that mainly consists of semi precious stones and fossils collected over a 50 year period off the beach at Birdlings Flat and other parts of Canterbury.
Gemstones from around the country
Vince and Colleen Burke gathered these specimens from the rivers, Hinds, Ashburton, Hororata, Rakaia, Waipara, Conway and Rangitata, Mt Barossa, Mt Somers, White Cliffs, and Gawler Downs to find many pieces of petrified wood, agate, jasper, quartzites etc, and Glen Affric and Motunau beach for fossil crabs and shells.
Museum Shop
Visitors can see the work shop, tumblers, diamond saws and vibro lap cutting machines, all working to polish the gemstones. The museum has the largest known collection of petrified woods found at Birdlings Flat and originated from the Waitaki River. The largest agate found since 2003 is 68kg, and in 2007 a 158 kg log of agatised, petrified wood was found.
Directions/Advisory

67 Hillview Road, Birdlings Flat. Follow the Christchurch - Akaroa Road (SH75) south out of Christchurch for about 45 kms from the city centre. Turn onto Poranui Beach Road for Birdlings Flat and then turn R onto Hillview Road.

May be closed on Tuesdays, so please ring first: Ph (03) 3290812. Also phone for special viewing, school groups or any group who wants a special day to visit the museum.

Google Directions

Click here for Google driving directions

Accessibility: EASY

Open seven days a week, 9.30am - 5pm. Free admission. A donation is appreciated in order to enhance the display.

Features
Sedimentary Volcanic Plutonic Metamorphic Fossils Minerals
Geological Age
Variable, going back to the Mesozoic, up to 300 million years ago
Zealandia Evolution Sequence
Eastern Province (Mesozoic growth): 300 – 110 million years ago