Moeraki Boulders or Kaihinaki
1. (location) Moeraki (Otago coast).
The legend begins on a canoe the, Arai Te Uru, which returned to New Zealand from Hawahiiki under the command of Pakihiwitahi and Hapekituaraki who had returned with kumara to grow. The canoe become water logged as the food baskets (kaihinaki) and water calabashes were washed overboard at Te Kaihinaki (Hampden Beach) and were preserved in stone as what we now know to be the Moeraki Boulders.
A must see when you visit Otago
Truly unique and a amazing feature of the Moeraki coastline are these large and spherical stones. Even now there is huge debate as to how the boulders were actually formed. Scattered along the Koekohe Beach they weight several tonnes and can be up to 3 metres in diametre.
While there are many theories the scientific version is the rocks are examples of septarian concentrations. Which are sediments that were cemented into these huge rocks through mineral precipitation from the ground water. The outside of the boulders is cemented by calcite which is the reason the boulders are actually quite weak on the inside and hard around the outside. When they were first discovered by the larger outside world back in the 19th Century there were many many boulders, today only 50 - odd remain.
So justifibly the Moeraki Boulders have legal protection and it is prohibited to damage, graffiti or remove them. Enjoy the opportunity to view this natural phenomena and take a photo.