The Moeraki Boulders are an amazing collection of large, hollow and nearly perfectly spherical boulders that are strewn along Koekohe Beach along the southern shore of New Zealand’s South Island. The boulders are mentioned in the legends of the local Maori tribesmen, and fascinate curious onlookers and scientists alike.
Maori locals discovered the strange collection of boulders in pre-colonial times, and legends evolved around them. One popular story indicates that the boulders are the remains of giant baskets or vegetables that washed ashore from the wreck of a semi-legendary canoe called the Araiteuru. European explorers discovered and studied the boulders in 1848.
The Moeraki Boulders are a major geological oddity, formed by a process that has not yet been fully determined. Most of the boulders have softer interiors and harder exteriors, and many are at least partially hollow (a few cracked boulders can be found along the beach). The boulders have been exposed after thousands of years of erosion.
The Moeraki Boulders can be found along Koekohe Beach, a public beach that is not a fully protected area. However, development and human disturbance is minimal, so ir remains relativiely pristine even as Koekohe becomes and increasingly popular vacation destination. Web: www.moerakiboulders.com (official website).