A keen-eyed fossil finder has unearthed further proof that Maungataniwha is a hotspot of ancient finds.
Mechanical engineering student and Forest Lifeforce Restoration Trust (FLRT) volunteer Fraser Scanlen was participating in the annual whio survey at Maungataniwha in December when he first spotted some fossilised shark teeth in a concretion.
Bigger finds were yet to come, when on January 22 he returned to Maungataniwha to find more fossilised pieces of bone in a large semi-buried rock in Mangahouanaga Stream.
Fraser's fossil finding frenzy didn't stop there. Next his sharp eyes caught a third find while in the streambed, a rock with sections of fossilised rib in it.
Fraser said if he had to pick a favourite of the three finds then it would be the collection of fossils embedded in the large rock he was most proud of.
He said his trick to being able to spot fossils was the distinct brown colour many of them had.
"Once you can spot that sort of colour brown, because there is no other stone that colour in the riverbed, you can tell it is almost definitely bone."
"When I first spotted that, it was one of those real small nodules sticking out. Once you touch it you can feel it's quite rough."
He said he was already keen to get back out there as soon as he could and possibly find some more fossils.
"I think a lot of people would be pretty keen to at least have a go at that sort of stuff."
FLRT Manager Pete Shaw said he Blake Riogard and Gus Garaway were with Fraser when he uncovered the large rock in January
"A quick movement of some gravel removed more pieces of bone. However, a big log was lying on the submerged rock. Blake cut this off and the rock was revealed."
He said the rock the second set of fossils were found in weighed about 200kg.
"We used two 2-metre long crowbars to flip the rock over and there was plenty of rock on the other side as well! "
Luckily FLRT chairman Simon Hall had his helicopter nearby and he gave permission for pilot Be de Vries to longline the find out.
Pete Shaw said the largest rock could possibly be a mix of elasmosaur and/or pliosaur bones, both large aquatic reptiles, from the late Cretaceous and late Jurassic periods respectively.
He is in touch with experts from the Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences in Lower Hutt to help identify the fossils.
The fossils are all kept at Maungataniwha in the Waiau camp.
Maungataniwha is known as the area where famed palaeontologist Joan Wiffen first found evidence of land-based dinosaurs in New Zealand.