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New Zealand’s iconic ‘Elephant Rock’ loses trunk after earthquakes

Elephant Rock New Zealand

The famous elephant shaped rock formation is reported to have partially collapsed due to the devastating earthquakes of the past few weeks. Located in Tongaporutu on the country’s North Island, the beach is also home to the ‘Three Sisters’, some 25-metre-high rock pillars which rise out of the sea.

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Last month the country was hit by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake which caused billions of dollars’ worth of damage and the death of two people. This triggered hundreds of aftershocks, including a 5.5 quake on Sunday.

It’s not the first time the coast’s formations have changed, as one of the Three Sisters completely disappeared in a storm in 2003, only to be replaced by a new sibling eroded out of the cliff face ten years later.

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As well as impressive rock formations, the area in North Taranaki also contains some hidden caves with old Maori carvings, including a strange six toed foot. The site is only accessible at low tide, when you follow the river down and around the headland to get to the beach.

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