The Moeraki Boulders are so called because of their location
close to the small fishing village of the same name. The boulders
are located on a stretch of Koekohe Beach, and are unusually large
and unusually spherical. Some of the boulders stand in isolation,
but the majority are grouped in small clusters. They weigh several
tons, and range in height from about 3 to 6.5 feet. Some are nearly
10 feet (3 metres) in diameter.
Scholars believe that the boulders were formed on the sea bed
approximately 60 million years ago. It is not known exactly why the
boulders have formed as they have, but naturally they have become
the stuff of legend. A Maori explanation has it that the boulders
are the remains of a large sailing canoe called the Araiteru, which
was shipwrecked nearby.