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Moeraki Boulders

Moeraki Boulders
Photo Information
Copyright: Ralph Starck (HapiSnapa) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 208 W: 20 N: 343] (2534)
Genre: Places
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2010-04-08
Categories: Nature
Camera: Nikon D 300, Tokina 12-24mm f/4, Kenko Pro 1 Digital Protector
Exposure: f/10.0, 1/400 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2010-05-18 23:02
Viewed: 2254
Points: 14
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The Moeraki Boulders are situated on Koekohe Beach in the South Island, at a place named Kumara, midway between Hampden and Moeraki townships in North Otago. The boulders are grey-coloured septarian concretions, which have been eroded out by wave action from the cliffs of soft, black mudstone that back the beach. In places, partially exposed concretions can be seen in the cliffs. They originally formed on the sea floor when the mudstone was accumulating during the early Tertiary period some 60 million years ago. The largest concretions are traversed by cracks, filled by yellow calcite. In some the upper part is worn away; only a shell remains, looking like discarded segments of orange peel. The concretions weigh several tons and are up to 12 ft in circumference.

According to Maori Legend, the origin of the boulders dates from the loss of the Arai-te-uru, one of the large sailing canoes that came from distant Hawaiki. On her quest south for the precious greenstone, the canoe was wrecked near Shag Point (Matakaea). The reef which today extends seawards is the canoe's petrified hull, while close by, in the shape of a prominent rock, stands the petrified body of her commander. Strewn along the beach are the boulders which represent the eel baskets, calabashes, and kumaras washed ashore from the wreck. The name Moeraki means “drowsy day”.

Thanks for looking

reggaetime, Royaldevon, dilshan74, SunToucher, Experiment, brech has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Bonjour Ralph
Extraordinaire phénomène de la nature!!!Ces concrétions sont vraiment incroyables.On dirait des boules de glace.
Belle image avec une documentation extrêmement enrichissante.TFS Ralph.Catherine
Ravie de faire partie de vos favoris.Merci

Hello Ralph,

I do love how there is always a legend to explain unusual, natural features! They do make life interesting!
This is a fine shot, well composed for thirds and with the sand channel providing a good lead towards the focal boulders; these are sharp with excellent textures, and shadows which help to reveal their shape.

Have a good day,
Bev :-)

Amazing Ultra Wide Angle POV with great Dof, sharpness and color in this well composed and exposed shot. Very useful notes to supplement this interesting shot- well done and TFS!



Hello Ralph
Thanks for the history on the these odd boulders. Great capture and TFS.


  • Great 
  • rychem Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 736 W: 13 N: 634] (21244)
  • [2010-05-19 9:33]

Very interesting subject - these rock formations and very interesting note.
Great shot

Hi Ralph,
Did you know that the same boulders can be found in California? It is amazing to see such perfect spheres in nature. I like your POV a lot since it gives a great idea about the size of the boulders. The harsh light is well controlled with no over exposed areas and just a few shadow areas.

Hi Ralph,

Great rendering of this unique phenomenon. Good colour mix with nice, soft light. Interesting shot of an intresting subject complemented by a very interesting note.

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