Moeraki is a small fishing village on the South Island of New Zealand. It’s known for the Moeraki Boulders, a popular tourist attraction. Apart from that there’s some interesting and rare wildlife to be found and they claim to have the best fish and chips in the country (according to some even the world).
Are Moeraki and its famous boulders worth a visit? We’ll tell you all about it in this blog post.
Visit or skip the Moeraki Boulders?
The Moeraki Boulders are often described as geological marvels, millions of years old. In our humble opinion they’re just huge boulders on a beach. New Zealand has way more beautiful nature to offer, so we would recommend to not waste too much time here.
If you do decide to pay the Moeraki Boulders a visit, try to go during sunset or sunrise. We’ve seen some amazing photos online. However, there are many locations in New Zealand where you can make stunning sunrise and sunset photos. Inform yourself beforehand about the tide and plan your visit during low tide.
We parked at the Moeraki Boulders car park, where there’s a café and (of course) souvenir shop. From there starts a walkway leading down to the beach. Technically you have to pay $2 per person to use that walkway. Ahum. It’s a short walk over the beach before you reach the boulders. If you take the other track starting from the café, you end up at a viewpoint to see the Moeraki Boulders from above.
Meet Moeraki’s wildlife up close
We met two kinds of wildlife up close in Moeraki. The place to be to admire the rare yellow-eyed penguin is Katiki Point, at the tip of the Moeraki Peninsula. We saw some New Zealand fur seals there as well. You can spot them playing in the water down below or taking a rest up on the cliffs, just meters from where you’re standing. We’ve written down all you need to know about visiting the wildlife at Katiki Point in another blog post.
Another top location to spot New Zealand fur seals up close is Shag Point. Turn off on Shag Point Road from State Highway 1 and follow this narrow sealed road all the way to the car park. At a certain point the road will become unsealed and you’ll see a sign saying “Matakaea Scenic Reserve”. This means you’re almost there. A Seal Viewing Walk departs from one side of the car park, but we went down the grass on the other side, where we entered the car park. There’s a geocache hidden there too. Keep your distance and don’t block a seal’s path to the water. Watch your step and look around. We were surprised more than once by big New Zealand fur seals suddenly showing up behind us!
Try New Zealand’s best fish and chips
Brecht read about it online and the owner of Moeraki Boulders Kiwi Holiday Park confirmed it: Lockies Takeaways has the best fish and chips in the country. There’s barely any seating inside and only a couple of picnic tables outside, so we took our order back to the campsite. The owner is very friendly and his battered fish and homemade tartare are to die for. My mouth is watering just thinking about it! Be warned, you won’t be the only one queueing for Lockies famous fish and chips.
Even though we weren’t that impressed by the Moeraki Boulders, Moeraki is definitely worth a visit. It’s amazing how close you can get to the wildlife there. Don’t get too close though, you don’t want to disturb them. The rare yellow-eyed penguins were so cute, and even though the New Zealand fur seals are smelly, they’re fascinating to meet up close! End your visit to Moeraki with fish and chips from Lockies Takeaways. You won’t be disappointed!
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