From their appearance, it is impossible not to notice them. We are talking about some unique and huge boulders that have become the great tourist attraction of Moeraki, a small town in the South Island of New Zealand. These spherical rocks are found, specifically, on Koekohe Beach.
Due to their particular shape, the Moeraki rocks are part of the folklore of the Maori culture. Although the locals treat them as tangible remnants of the migration of their ancestors, scientists classify them as the result of a process of formation of the seabed. We are going to know more about them.
The origin of the Moeraki rocks
The Moeraki rocks were formed more than 60 million years ago, during the Paleocene. Its formation could be due to the hardening of the mud on the ocean floor. As the cliffs of the area receded, these huge and unique stones, whose shape is the product of erosion, were exposed.
They come in very different sizes, but some of them are almost 3 meters in diameter and weigh more than a ton. There are those that present cracks, with a shape similar to the shell of a turtle. In them, in addition, small amounts of other materials such as dolomite or quartz accumulated.
The legends around the rocks
Inevitably, the Maori people have included these rocks in their folk legends. According to the Maori, it is the remains of the provisions of a legendary ship that was wrecked. These were the pumpkins that they carried in the cellars.
The truth is that these rocks can awaken anyone’s imagination. In this way, many have identified them with mythological beings, hence they also call them ‘dragon eggs’. In any case, it is important to know that the beach is protected by the New Zealand Government as a nature reserve.
Some curiosities about the rocks of Moeraki
One of the aspects that can attract the most attention is that all the rocks are hollow. These, when breaking, hatch as if it were an egg, exposing that soft material that we mentioned.
Similar stones have been discovered near Moeraki, in Hawke’s Bay , with perfectly preserved skeletons of animals such as sea turtles and snails found inside. Some of them weigh up to six tons, but others barely exceed 3 centimeters in diameter.
Another unique aspect is that the rocks do not seem to follow any pattern, neither in their shape nor in their appearance. Therefore, in addition to being part of the Maori legends, there are those who have even considered the possibility that they are part of some type of alien contact.
One more curiosity: there is another area on the planet that has a similar deposit. In Bowling Ball Beach, in California, you can find spherical rocks like these, although smaller and without the characteristic draft that surrounds the Moeraki rocks.
The beach where these rocks are found is on the Otago peninsula, in the southeast of the South Island. It is not one of the longest beaches in Moeraki, but it is the most visited by many of the tourists who decide to travel to this country. And it has also been an inspiration for some movie hits.
In addition to the rocks, nature lovers can see a great variety of marine species on Koekohe Beach . Among them, the penguins, white-headed dolphins or sea lions stand out. Quite an experience.
Thanks to the rocks on this beach, the town of Moeraki has adapted to offer tourist accommodation. Today, this area offers a multitude of services to enjoy your stay. Many establishments, in addition to perfectly equipped rooms, offer excursions to admire the unique rocks of Moeraki.