There are lots of interesting facts to learn about the Moeraki Boulders. The more you know about them, the more fascinating they become!
- 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.
- 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.
1. The Moeraki Boulders; anatomy of some septarian concretions J. R. Boles, C. A. Landis, P. Dale 1985