On our way back to Christchurch we had a lovely stop at the Moeraki Boulders, situated on a beach on the Eastern shore of the South island. Since the tide was low enough we were able to see them scattered about the sand. They were huge! . . . and also perfectly round. A couple were split in the middle so I could hop inside.
New Zealand’s indigenous people pass down a Maori legend of an overturned canoe, some say they were thrown from an ancient volcano, and as they are almost perfectly spherical, others suggest an alien origin. The most popular belief is that of a scientific origin: they formed in ancient sea floor sediments – created by a process similar to the formation of oyster pearls. For the oyster, this core is an irritating grain of sand. For the boulders, it was a fossil shell or piece of wood. The original seabed has since been uplifted to form coastal cliffs.
The Moeraki Boulders make a fascinating stop, both for the dramatic coastal scenery and the curious geological phenomenon.