It’s always cool when you come across a natural phenomenon, and the Morekai Boulders located in Northern Otago are exactly what I’m talking about. How they came to be? No one actually knows, but rumors and tall tales fly rampant around this area as to how they were created. Maori (indigenous people of New Zealand) legend tells the tale that they were old eel baskets that washed ashore by the legendary canoe, the Araiteuru. Other people say the boulders are alien eggs
which is completely absurd in my book.
Derik and I had quite the discussion as to why and how we think they got there…and we both agree that they had to have been man-made, and thus not a natural phenomenon. Everyone has their own assumptions though, and I think visiting the Morekai Boulders yourself will help shed light in your mind as to why/how they’re there.
The boulders are massive in size, and almost all completely spherical. Some have cracked open over time, revealing a gorgeous hollow-ish interior filled with quartz and some sort of orange mineral. The boulders range anywhere from 3ft-7ft in diameter, and weigh several tons.
I first saw the Moeraki Boulders while browsing ‘New Zealand Attractions’ on Pinterest some time ago, and I just knew we had to get there. The boulders are conveniently located on Highway 1 between Dunedin and Christchurch, and we were on the way up to Christchurch to bring our campervan back, so making this pit-stop worked perfectly!
Luckily they’re only about 40 minutes from Dunedin, so I’ll be revisiting sometime in the near future to get a few epic sunrise shots.
We decided to head up the night before, and stayed overnight in Moeraki Village Holiday Park. The park ended up being a lot further away from the boulders than we had originally anticipated, and we almost missed the sunrise the next day because of it. That being said, the park was clean, the owner was more than friendly, and there are two amazing restaurants nearby. Unfortunately the restaurant most notorious in Moeraki was closed for the day, so we settled for the Pub down the street. I had the most amazing fish and chips I’ve ever eaten there, and sitting by the fire was super cozy and warm on the cold day!
The next morning was overcast, and my ‘super awesome sunrise’ picture idea kind of went down the drain. Oh well, the boulders were still beautiful! Also a sea lion (pictured below) scared the pants off of me as I almost backed straight into him while I was taking a picture. I seriously was almost a foot from him before Derik yelled at me to turn around. I’ve never jumped so high and ran so fast out of there in my life!
Travel Tips: Go early in the morning. You may get some gorgeous sunrise shots, and not many people will be down by the beach. Also it’s low tide in the morning, so the boulders further out will be accessible to take pictures of and climb on. Make sure you grab a cup of coffee on your way down or you way back-the cinnamon latte is divine!
Cost: Free (suggested donation upon arriving and parking in the Moeraki Boulders Cafe and Gift shop center-be nice and donate something!)