Friday, April 5, 2013

Concretion Dragon Eggs

After finally moving into the house and getting some what settled, the extra long Easter Weekend rolled around.  The weather was amazing so we decided to get in the car and go for a day trip.  We headed North up SH 1 about an hour and a bit to take Bodie to see some 'big rocks and dragon eggs' on Koekohe Beach in a town called Moeraki.

The Moeraki Boulders are very large (up to 2.5 m in diameter - close to 7 feet in diameter) septarian concretions which started forming on the ocean floor some 60 million years ago.  These boulders formed within the sedimentary rock with help from a carbonate mineral called calcite, which concreted the clay/silt material.  As a result, the concreted material were/are more resistant to weathering.  And so as the years went by, the mudstone eroded away and the boulders were exposed and sit on the beach today!

Being a family of geologist and having a little boy who is obsessed with dragons, makes visiting this beach exciting.  Everytime I go there I am marveled at what I am seeing, climbing on, and climbing in!  This time it was really great to take Bodie there and see his face when he saw the big rocks and hearing him talk about dragon eggs.

If you want to read more about how the boulders were formed as well as see some very cool photographs, visit this link:

Afterwards we drove out along a dirt road to Katiki Point Lighthouse (built in 1878) and Wildlife Reserve.  Here you walk along a short path where pass by a seal colony on the rocks (smell them before you see them).  Carrying on a bit further you get to a DOC yellow-eyed penguin viewing station.  This is a little wooden hut built into a bank with binoculars.  Here you can view the most significant breeding site for yellow-eyed penguins/hoiho in North Otago (! 

Unfortunatly, we didn't see any penguins and Bodie was really disappointed we couldn't go up the lighthouse.  He was sure that Elliot was there and he wanted to go and see him (think Pete's Dragon).

Here are some photographs from the day:

Bodie found a "B" on the beach and wanted to sit and eat his ice block in it.

Bodie and Mom on a rock.

Bodie doing what he does best... climbing.

Simon is 6 feet tall!

Getting there:
Moeraki Boulders
Coming from the north - Oamuru to Moeraki
The boulders are about 40km (approx 30 minutes drive) south of Oamuru – along a stunning scenic road! Just follow State Highway 1 towards Hampden.

Coming from the south - Dunedin to Moreaki
The boulders are an approximately 1 hour drive (75km) north of Dunedin up State Highway 1.

Moeraki is signposted on State Highway 1 approximately 4 km south of Hampden. After turning off State Highway 1, turn right onto Tenby Street, then right onto Lighthouse Road, and follow to the end

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