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Ulladulla Fossil Walk shell fossil
Tessellated pavement on the rock platform
Ulladulla Fossil Walk
Worm hole fossils

Ulladulla Fossil Walk

Latitude -35.353094, Longitude 150.479822

Located in the Shoalhaven Region of NSW, nearest town Ulladulla

Source: Tour leader geologist Phil Smart

Link to Detailed Map

Ulladulla's coastal location in the far south of the Sydney Basin makes it geologically unique and gives the site unrivalled potential as a scientific and educational resource. The quality of preservation and abundance of Permian marine invertebrate fossils in the ~270Ma old Wandrawandian Siltstone have long been recognised by geologists. In the 1960s, the fossils in the horizontal strata of the wave-cut rock platforms at Ulladulla were studied and a number of new bivalve species were identified.

The rock platforms remained an untapped scientific and educational resource visited only by a few university and school groups until the Guided Fossil Walk was successfully introduced in 2009.

This very attractive harbourside site was chosen for the Guided Fossil Walk because it is a wonderful natural educational resource and its location beside the Princes Highway made it so easily accessible.

The abundant fossils are typical of a Permian cold water fauna and include twenty species of Echinoderms, mostly Crinoid (sea lilies); Bryozoans, mostly Fenestellid (sea fans); Brachiopods, chiefly spiny Productids and Spiriferids; Molluscs, mainly Bivalves; and Gastropods; solitary Rugose horn corals, and a branching colonial coral which are rare. Some bioturbated (reworking of sediment by organisms) horizons display a range of trace fossils including burrows, tracks and feeding trails. Plant fossils are also preserved in this shallow near-shore marine deposit as pieces of carbonized wood.

The horizontal strata bordering the Harbour offer much more than just the abundant fossils. In an easy 500m walk across the wave-cut platform, guided Fossil Walk participants are exposed to:- a diverse array of angular to rounded metamorphic and igneous drop stones a tessellated pavement that is far more extensive than the heritage listed one at Eagle Hawk Neck in Tasmania; stellate and rosette clusters of glendonite crystals mostly found as sharp moulds; carbonate cannon-ball shaped concretions built around fossil shell, glendonite or drop stone nuclei; a ~3m thick folded and faulted seismite that has horizontal strata immediately above and beneath it; an undercut sea-cliff behind a boulder beach which lies adjacent to a typical sandy beach. These highly visible geological features which are considered spectacular by almost all of the Walk participants form the basis of discussions on a range of topics including:- fossilization; moulds and casts; palaeoclimates and Permian glaciation on Gondwana; age and significance of the prominent 60° and 330° joint directions; and the geological processes resulting in the present day harbour landscape.

More information and a list of scheduled Guided Fossil Walks can be found on the website To make a booking contact the Ulladulla Visitor Centre phone (02) 4455 1269

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