Moeraki BouldersNatural Spherical Creations

This remarkable sight, is one of the most mysterious geological formations of spherical shapes on the planet, which are creations of entirely natural forces.

The Moeraki Boulders are enormous round boulders, scattered across the picturesque sandy Koekohe Beach on the Otago coast of New Zealand. They are situated at a place named Kumara, midway between Hampden and Moeraki townships, about 40km south of Oamaru, in the South Island. The Moeraki Boulders are some of the unique natural attractions of New Zealand that continue to fascinate tourists.

The striking aspect about the fifty boulders scattered along Koekohe Beach, are their varied sizes and shapes, some in clusters, others lying separate. At first, they appear spherical, but some are more ovoid shaped and others are slightly elongated. Some boulders have tortoise shell type markings on them, while others have split open to reveal hollow and sometimes colourful cores. Each boulder weighs several tonnes and can be up to two metres high.

The boulders are grey-colored septarian concretions, which have been eroded out by wave action from the cliffs of soft, black mudstone that back the beach. They originally formed on the sea floor when the mudstone was accumulating during the early Tertiary period some 60 million years ago. The largest concretions are traversed by cracks, filled by yellow calcite.

According to Maori legend, the boulders are gourds washed ashore from the great voyaging canoe Araiteuru, when it was wrecked upon landfall in New Zealand hundreds of years ago. Koekohe beach is also home to interesting wildlife. There is a yellow-eyed penguin sanctuary, a seal colony and Hectors dolphins can be seen playing in the waves off the beach.

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LocationKoekohe Beach
Otago Coast of the South Island
Moeraki and Hampden.





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