moeraki boulders scenic reserve new zealand

Tina Coghlan submitted this photo into the “That’s Awesome” Photo Contest of the Moeraki Boulders in New Zealand. I thought they were so cool they deserved their own Badge of Awesome post.

moeraki boulders scenic reserve new zealand
Moeraki Boulders, New Zealand

More than 50 of these unusual boulders can be found on Koekohe Beach on New Zealand’s Otago coast. They are very large spherical concretions, which are lumps of sediment bound together by a mineral cement and growing like a giant pearl might. A great example of nature’s awesomeness. The boulders range in size from 0.5 metres to 2.2 metres in diameter and can weigh up to seven tonnes.

Tina and her husband, Shaun “Boots” Coghlan visited the boulders on their honeymoon a few years ago. “The boulders are wicked,” says Tina. “They started forming over 60 million years ago on the ocean floor and have been exposed by erosion from the sea water, waves and wind. Very cool.”

Very cool indeed and I think the Maori legend explaining their formation is just as cool. According to the legend, the boulders are the petrified remains of eel baskets that washed to shore after the Araiteuru, a massive sea-faring canoe, ship-wrecked at nearby Shag Point.

They also go by other names, including Hooligans’ Gall Stones, Giant Gobstoppers, Aliens Brains and the Bowling Balls of Giants. Call them what you like, I just call them awesome.


Check out the Moeraki Boulders website for more information.

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