Moeraki Boulders

Geological Marvels

Scattering along the sandy beach at Koekohe in the South Island are mysterious large sphere-shaped boulders believed to be created entirely by natural forces.

The Moeraki Boulders with its exquisite shape and size have long been the subject of curiosity and intrigue. The boulders are located along Koekohe Beach on New Zealand’s Otago coast, between the towns of Moeraki and Hampden.

Technically, these boulders are known as septarian concretions. They scatter either as isolated or clusters of boulders within a stretch of Koekohe Beach that has been a protected scientific reserve since 1971. The striking aspect of these boulders are their unusually large size and spherical shape, although a small proportion are slightly elongated, parallel to the bedding plane of the mudstone that once enclosed them.

There are over 50 boulders along Koekohe Beach, each boulder weighs several tonnes and are up to two metres high and some large ones are nearly three across. Some have cracks in their surfaces making them appear like some sort of giant dinosaur eggs, but are hollow.

Scientists believe the boulders are calcite concretions that have been exposed through shoreline erosion from coastal cliffs. They originally started forming in ancient sea floor sediments around 60 million years ago, and the largest boulders are estimated to have taken about 4 million years to get to their current size.

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Open:
Tours Available:   Off
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Location
Koekohe Beach
Otago Coast
Moeraki And Hampden.



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