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Moeraki Boulders

These ancient, geological oddities have been capturing the imaginations of scientists and the local people for years.

Marvel at the remarkable size and near-perfect, round shape of the Moeraki Boulders and study the beautiful patterns marking the rocks. Walk along a secluded beach and spot fur seals playing offshore.

Find these mysterious spherical boulders scattered across pretty Koekohe Beach. Each boulder weighs several tons and the larger ones have a diameter of up to 3 metres (10 feet).

Maori legend says that these are eel baskets that were washed up here when the voyaging Araiteuru canoe was wrecked on nearby Shag Point. Scientists explain the obscure objects as mudstone concretions that were formed approximately 60 million years ago.

Look closely at the boulders and notice how some appear cracked while others have flowing lines and lighter colours. These features are believed to be a result of weathering and reactions with minerals such as dolomite and quartz.

Not just the setting for these remarkable natural wonders, Koekohe Beach is also a fantastic spot for a coastal stroll and to simply relax on the sand. Lucky walkers may even see dolphins and fur seals splashing in the water not far from the shore.

Follow a refreshing walk with a trip to the waterfront café found on the hill above the boulders. Enjoy a drink as you take in the view and refuel with a sandwich or some freshly cooked fish. Before you leave, head to the gift shop next door to buy souvenirs, clothes and jewellery that has been created by local artisans.

Koekohe Beach is located on the Otago coast, a 30-minute drive south of Oamaru and an hour north of Dunedin. The beach and boulders can be accessed at any time and the café and shop are open daily.


Guide to Exploring Moeraki Boulders


Map

Top Moeraki Boulders Hotel & Accommodation Deals

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Riverside Haven Lodge & Holiday Park NZ$88
Riverside Haven Lodge & Holiday Park

Riverside Haven Lodge & Holiday Park

2328 Herbert-Hampden Rd, Herbert, OTA
     
    2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Situated in Herbert, this spa holiday park is within 9 miles (15 km) of Hampden Beach, Moeraki Boulders and Totara Estate. Moeraki Lighthouse is 11.5 mi (18.5 km) away.

    The Mill House
    The Mill House

    The Mill House

    2358 Herbert-Hampden Road, Herbert
       
      3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Situated on the riverwalk, this guesthouse is within 9 miles (15 km) of Hampden Beach, Moeraki Boulders and Totara Estate. Moeraki Lighthouse is 11.2 mi (18 km) away.

      Old Bones Lodge NZ$94
      Old Bones Lodge

      Old Bones Lodge

      468 Beach Road, Awamoa
         
        2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Situated in Awamoa, this beach guesthouse is within 6 miles (10 km) of Grainstore Gallery, St Lukes Anglican Church and Oamaru Harbour. Woolstore Complex and North Otago Museum are also within 6 miles (10 km).

        Brydone Hotel Oamaru NZ$140
        Brydone Hotel Oamaru

        Brydone Hotel Oamaru

        115 Thames Street, Oamaru
           
          3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in the heart of Oamaru, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 5-minute walk of North Otago Museum, Forrester Gallery and St Lukes Anglican Church. Woolstore Complex and Grainstore Gallery are also within 10 minutes.

          Oamaru Motor Lodge NZ$159
          Oamaru Motor Lodge

          Oamaru Motor Lodge

          391 Thames Highway, Oamaru
             
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Situated in Oamaru, this motel is within 2 miles (3 km) of Whitestone Cheese Factory, Forrester Gallery and Janet Frame House. North Otago Museum and Woolstore Complex are also within 2 miles (3 km).

            Bella Vista Motel Oamaru NZ$168
            Bella Vista Motel Oamaru

            Bella Vista Motel Oamaru

            206 Thames Street, Oamaru
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Situated in the historical district, this eco-friendly motel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Oamaru Gardens and Oamaru Harbour. Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony and Bushy Beach are also within 3 mi (5 km).

              Highfield Mews Motel NZ$178
              Highfield Mews Motel

              Highfield Mews Motel

              26 Exe Street, Oamaru
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in the heart of Oamaru, this motel is within a 15-minute walk of Whitestone Cheese Factory and Janet Frame House. Oamaru Gardens and Oamaru Harbour are also within 2 mi (3 km).

                Ascot Oamaru Motel NZ$125
                Ascot Oamaru Motel

                Ascot Oamaru Motel

                500a Thames Highway, Oamaru
                   
                  3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Situated in Oamaru, this motel is within 3 miles (5 km) of Whitestone Cheese Factory, North Otago Museum and Forrester Gallery. Janet Frame House and Oamaru Gardens are also within 3 miles (5 km).