The Moeraki Boulders - New Zealand

The Moeraki Boulders are a group of very large spherical boulders scattered along Koekohe Beach on the South Island of New Zealand. According to local Maori legend, the boulders are gourds washed ashore from the great voyaging canoe Araiteuru when it was wrecked upon landfall in New Zealand hundreds of years ago.

Scientists consider them to be geological marvels, formed around 60 million years ago in a pearl-like process that took as long as four million years. Some of the boulders weigh several tons and are up to 3 meters in diameter. Additional boulders are beginning to be exposed through continual shoreline erosion of the coastal cliffs that back the beach.

The Boulders are one of the most popular tourist attractions on the Otago Coast. And, while you would never know it from this photo, there were three large tour groups here on the morning that we visited. With some patience and a little luck, I was able to snap this image during a moment while all of the other tourists were off investigating other boulders scattered around the beach.