Travelling up the east coast we took a slight deatour to check out the famous Moeraki Boulders. Location: HERE
Geologists inform us that this scattering of septarian calcite spheres ( some up to two metres across) formed around 65 million years ago.
According to Maori history, these boulders are the remains of calabashes, kumaras and eel baskets that washed up on the beach after the canoe that brought the first peoples to the South Island of New Zealand (the Araiteuru) ran aground at nearby Shag Point.
As so often happens the boulders have now become a hot-spot destination for Instagrammers, photographers and tourists. And people like me in total denial that we fall absolutely into one or all of these categories.
Three tour buses pulled up as we arrived, so it took some fleet of foot manoeuvring to actually nail pictures framed to give some sort of illusion of isolated serenity. In actuality, it was pretty much a queue at every boulder to get a snap.
Some of the rocks stood still half-covered by the dune banks like the abandoned Easter Island statues. A few closer to the sea had broken open at the top and reminded me very much of the face sucking creature ’eggs’ from the movie Alien.
Tourist overpopulation aside, the boulders were far more impressive than I expected, each having very it’s own individual artistic design and personality. Some had quartz seams running like eyeball veins around their circumference. Others more geometric designs looking like moons of Jupiter or marbles. Still others had soft wrappings of sea-life felt and appeared more alive than inanimate.
We wandered the beach amongst these artifacts for longer than we had intended. And as the crowds thinned out the stones seemed to settle back comfortably into a more magical presence.