Moeraki Boulders Facts

There are lots of interesting facts to learn about the Moeraki Boulders. The more you know about them, the more fascinating they become!

Stunning Moeraki Boulders at Sunrise

Stunning Moeraki Boulders at sunrise

  • There are over 50 boulders along Koekohe Beach.
  • The biggest boulders weigh 7 tons and measure over 2 metres across.
  • It took about 4 million years for the largest boulders to form to their current size.1 The tiny fragments however began forming about 60 million years ago.
  • There were many more boulders on the beach back in the 19th century, based on old photos. People took the smaller boulders to use as garden ornaments or as souveniors. This is of course now illegal to do.
  • There is one very large Moeraki boulder outside the Otago Museum in Dunedin – it was taken there by truck in the late 1800s; long before laws were changed to give protection to the boulders. It is located outside the old main entrance of the museum on Great King Street. It measures 6 feet (over 182cm) in height and weighs more than 7 tons; making it one of the largest boulders. There are also much smaller boulders on display inside the Museum.


Small Moeraki boulders on display at the Otago Museum

Small Moeraki boulders on display at the Otago Museum

  • Maori call the boulders “eel pots”. Some locals call them “hooligans gallstones”. Other names that have been bestowed upon the boulders include “giant gobstoppers”, “alien’s brains”, “the bowling balls of giants” and the “Stonehenge of New Zealand”!
  • The Moeraki Boulders have legal protection and it is prohibited to damage, graffiti or remove them.
Moeraki boulder outside Otago Museum in Dunedin

A Moeraki boulder outside the Otago Museum in Dunedin

References
1. The Moeraki Boulders; anatomy of some septarian concretions J. R. Boles, C. A. Landis, P. Dale 1985

23 thoughts on “Moeraki Boulders Facts

  1. My late husband and myself spent our golden wedding anniversary in New Zeland in 2006 and we visited the boulders. I now have a lovely memory of them as I did a water colour painting of them which now hangs on my wall in England.J

  2. I love it its awsome the rocks look awsome and unbelievable i like how you guys give me information about it all every where i go i can search what i need and i comes up☺

    • You receive an F, sir, for your poor use of punctuation in your one continuous statements. Your English professor would be so disappointed in you. It is clear that there should be multiple sentences here, but you showed none! Go back to school.

  3. My name is lisa, my family and I will go to Oamaru on 2.12 next year. Then We visit Moeraki Boudlers. Could you tell us tide time about this view point?

  4. So is it a requirement to only visit at low tide? This site is not clear about that and its a long way to go if the timing is all wrong.
    There is a question here from someone about when low tide is but nothing actually saying whether it matters a great deal or not.
    I would hate to be disappointed as my visit to Dunedin includes a trip out to see them.

  5. Please explore having Department of Conservation create an animated video showing the progressive formation of these Boulders. The explanations I have found do not begin to graphically explain their four million years’ creations. We found CoC billboards very helpful during our recent travels around South Island. We think the Boulders, which already enjoy public awareness as marvels of nature, deserve scientific scrutiny, if such has not already been done. Let us know what we may have missed! Thanks.

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