moeraki boulders otago new zealand

Is It Worth Visiting The Moeraki Boulders Of Otago?

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One of the more memorable roadside stops from my time in New Zealand was the Moeraki Boulders.  Maybe it’s because it’s hard to forget perfectly round boulders on a beach or because this actually had a name, unlike a lot of the waterfalls and things wee saw.  I mean, they probably had names, but I don’t know them.  Well, these boulders are almost one of a kind and a fun little stop on your way to or from Dunedin.  If you want a relaxing beach near Dunedin, visit Tomahawk Beach.

moeraki boulders otago new zealand

I think there is a little trail from a nearby cafe that takes you to an overlook and another that brings you down to the beach with the boulders.  Some are perfectly smooth, others are broken or cracked, and some have weird turtle shell-like textures.  If you’re lucky, you’ll get to see some wildlife while you’re here like fur seals or maybe even a rare yellow-eyed penguin.

moeraki boulders otago new zealand

What are the Moeraki Boulders?

The Moeraki Boulders are huge, almost perfectly round boulders in the Koekohe Beach on the Moeraki Peninsula in the Otago region of New Zealand.  They are almost perfectly round, some half-buried in the sand, others fully on top.

They started forming 60 million years ago, kind of like a pearl.  They began forming around some kind of foreign object, like a pinecone, a fishbone, a leaf, or something similar.  Sedimentary particles and minerals started collecting around the object and the process began.  The biggest boulders took up to 5 million years to form with this process.  You can read a lot more about them in detail here.

What to bring to the Moeraki Boulders

Water bottle – It’ll be hot and humid and you’ll need to stay hydrated.  A Hydro Flask will keep your water ice cold all day long.

Sunscreen – If you plan on being outside, you’ll want sunscreen.  I like the Neutrogena a lot, but if you’ll be visiting a beach soon, you’ll want a reef-safe sunscreen.

Hat – You’ll want some kind of hat to keep the sun out of your eyes.  A baseball hat should be fine but a bucket hat or sun hat could help keep the sun off your neck.

Sunglasses – This is a must, especially with the strong desert sun.  Sunglasses are best paired with a hat on those really bright days.

Light Jacket – Because you just never know.  Weather can change quickly in New Zealand and while it’s not a long stop, you’ll want one at least in the car with you.  I usually use my rain jacket for this.

moeraki boulders otago new zealand

How much is it to see the Moeraki Boulders?

I believe there is a $2 fee to go see them, but I’m not 100% sure.  If you’ve been there recently and can confirm this, let me know below!

Where are the Moeraki Boulders?

The Moeraki Boulders are in the Otago region of New Zealand, just an hour drive from Dunedin along the coast.

moeraki boulders otago new zealand

Other things to know about visiting the Moeraki Boulders:

  • The best timee to visit is during low tide so you can actually see them.
  • These are a great short stop along the road, not something you need to plan half a day for.  If you’re passing them, I’d say stop but it’s not toally necessary to go out of your way for them.
  • If you see any wildlife, make sure to keep your distance and don’t disturb them.
  • You can try the best fish and chips in New Zealand at Lockies Takeaway over in Moeraki Village.
  • Sunrise and sunset are great times to visit.
  • It can be tough to get pictures without people in them, so you may have to be a little patient or creative in your perspectives.

Have you been to the Moeraki Boulders?  Did you like it?  Would you say it’s worth visiting?

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