Moeraki Boulders

July 05, 2006

Moerakibouldersepodr copy

Provided and copyright by: Rupert Applin
Summary authors & editors: Rupert Applin

The Moeraki Boulders are a number of huge spherical stones, found strewn along a stretch of beach near Moeraki, a small settlement just south of Hampden on New Zealand's Otago coast. These boulders are grey-coloured septarian concretions, which have been exposed through shoreline erosion from black mudstone coastal cliffs that back the beach. They originally formed in ancient sea floor sediments during the early Paleocene, some 60 million years ago. The concretions weigh several tons and are up to three meters in diameter.

Maori legend tells that the boulders are remains of calabashes, kumaras and eel baskets that washed ashore after the legendary canoe, Arai-te-uru, was wrecked at nearby Shag Point (Matakaea). Photo taken on April 21, 2006.

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