The Mysterious Moeraki Boulders

The Great Richard MacManus of the Great New Zealand

In the last two months, I’ve gotten to meet two great Kiwis: Richard MacManus (founder of ReadWriteWeb), and Ray Furgeson (NZ Ambassador to the US). John P, who put up the video of my art yesterday, set up a dinner down in Austin during SXSW with me, Richard MacManus, Elyssa Pallai, Cali Lewis, Sean Ammirati. We ate at the famous Oasis here in Austin and saw a beautiful sunset. John gave us all a secret look at some sweet new features of Woopra before we bloated ourselves on Mexican food. It was great!

I also was very happy to find out more about Richard, his background, and more about the way he thinks about things. I’ve always been a fan of ReadWriteWeb, and even went out to their “Real Time Web” conference last year. I hope I didn’t bore Richard and Elyssa by talking about my plans to move my family and to New Zealand… but I just get quite excited about their country. Maybe with today’s photo of the strange spherical boulders, you’ll see why.

If you want to find out more about what it looks like there, just click the New Zealand category here on the site!

The Six of us at Dinner at the Oasis.  BTW, I’m the one in the glasses.

New Tweetboard Widget

I added a new Tweetboard widget there on the left. It’s a quick way for you to check in on the latest tweets and conversations on Twitter. I am at

Daily Photo – The Mysterious Moeraki Boulders

These are some of the most mysterious and alien structures I have ever seen!

Yesterday I remarked that I had a major in computer science. Well, for a short time, I had a double-major in comp sci and Geophysics. I got pretty deep into it until I had a fight with a Geology teacher over an intellectual matter (he was wrong and still is), and I dropped that half of the major. Anyway, it never dulled my interest in rocks and Earth science. So, when I saw these strange round rocks for the first time, I was extra-fascinated. Not that I had any idea what they were. My years of geology training did me no good at all… I think it was even more frustrating because I knew all the things they could not be. The remaining possibilities just seemed off-the-chart impossible.

And worse, I didn’t have a mobile connection to Wikipedia to help me figure it all out with my iPhone-tricorder!

After I got back, I was able to figure out a bit more of the arcane science around it all. Even more interesting, I read that 12 miles south of this spot is another are called the “Katki Boulders”. They contain the bones of mosasaurs and plesiosaurs. Cool!


  • love it, they look like turtles buried in the sand. I love how the HDR brings out the texture of the rocks. Instant desktop photo 😀

  • Simon

    Here again is another situation where people make things much more difficult than they are really!
    It is obvious that these are fossilised droppings from the prehistoric (prehysteric ?) giant rabbit – rabbitus giganticus preposterous.

  • Lauren

    Love this shot. I visited the Moeraki Boulders for the first time 2 years ago with my kids. I know the reality of their origin but I prefer my daughters story that they came from outerspace.

  • Love the shot! The horizon being dead middle is tough to pull off for me unless it’s a cityscape! This works great! I probably would have missed this – not realizing the composition would make for an interesting shot!

  • love the symmetry …. LOL @ ur comment .. one in the glasses 😀

  • Great photo and interesting information about the boulders!! And LOL about the glasses, too!! 😉

  • Fred

    Great photo and story.

    But you can’t get off the hook that easily. All of us crystal heads would like to know what the intellectual issue was – if it was geological, that is.

  • incredible, trey.

  • Awesome view…. Great picture…

  • casusan

    Oh wow! The boulders are so interesting – love the sky with this shot too! Super one Trey – funny glasses comment!

  • This is impressive, Trey, and makes me really want to visit NZ soon. After I’ve practiced my HDR a bit more, that is =)

    By the way, thanks for using CC licensing. It means that I can make this my desktop background without guilt.

  • I’m glad that you clarified that you are the one in glasses in the photo. That helps a lot. 😉

  • dan wax

    Awesome pic as usual Trey..
    On your D3X what do you usually have your saturation and sharpness set to?

  • Harbles

    I assume this was processed from a single raw file?

  • Thanks all!

    Harbles – no – it was 5 exposures

    Dan – I have all that set to the default settings

    Lauren – yes my kids had all kinds of ideas for them too!

  • Steve Clarke

    So what is the scoop on the Moeraki Boulders Trey?
    My best guess is that they were rolled there some distance by a glacier and they left in that location once the glacier receeded.
    How far off am I?

  • Trey, can you let me in on how you have the tweetboard on your site?

  • Hehe well – everything I know I know from Wikipedia!

  • Trey….where in New Zealand will you move?

    Just curious, as I am thinking of moving my family there as well…

  • We are thinking about the south – come join us down there !!

  • Depak Bhardwaj

    @ BTW, I’m the one in the glasses.: LOL.. what a coincidence.. All guys are having glasses.

    BTW really nice pic Trey. I am a long time followere of your blog but never commented much. I am a big fan of your photography. Its always inspiring. And Oasis, dont I love the place. A perfect place for dinner. When are you planning your next photowalk?

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  • Trey: the Moeraki Boulders are awesome. First saw them 30 years ago, and then again in December 2009. Magical spot. I did a panorama ( ) but I like your HDR too. Just super!

  • Wonderful capture! I missed seeing these magical boulders when I was there, and the maddening part was I was sooo close having visited both Christchurch and Dunedin! I’ve been dreaming of my return, and photographing those boulders in eerie light. Wouldn’t it be cool to photograph a lean, tall woman with long hair emerging from one of the cracked rocks?

  • Sue

    For those of you who visit Northern California, Bowling Ball Beach in Point Arena has wonderful concretions…you just need to make sure you visit at low tide.

  • Incredible shots, magic place, thank you for the post

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  • Awesome view Amazing!

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