Moeraki Township is just south of the Moeraki Boulders Scenic Reserve. Well signposted from state highway 1 it is well worth a detour into. This once riotous whaling station is now a sleepy little fishing village and is in an idyllic spot on a small peninsular and golden beach. There are a few walking tracks up onto the hill and just a little further south from the township is Katiki Point home to the Moeraki Lighthouse (1877). Here you can watch yellow eyed penguins come ashore at dusk and dolphins are also often spotted.
The Kotahitanga Church (1862) contains beautiful stained glass windows that were made in Rome, depicting Christ, Mother and Child and an elderly Maori leader Matiaha Tiramorehu, a local chief. Fleurs' Place, a very well known restaurant also sits on the harbour and is the perfect place to enjoy lunch or dinner.
When British television chef Rick Stein was told he could choose to go anywhere in the world to write a travel article for English newspaper the Daily Mail, he chose Fleurs Place in Moeraki, New Zealand.
Fleurs Place is a restaurant, cafe and bar right on the waterfront at the old jetty in Moeraki. Their specialty is fresh fish straight from Moeraki Bay fishing boats. Run by the well-known New Zealand chef Fleur Sullivan, the restaurant was established on an early whaling station site in 2002 and is built from gathered collectables and demolition materials from all over New Zealand. There's water on three sides, fishing boats bobbing in the harbour, the famous Moeraki boulders across the bay and, to the north, the open sea. Fleur uses only the freshest of local ingredients - indeed, fishing boats land their catches right into her restaurant.
On the southern most tip of the Moeraki Peninsula is the Katiki Point Historical reserve. Access is via a metal (unsealed) road from Tenby Street in the Moeraki Village, called Lighthouse road. The reserve is 4km from Moeraki village. Katiki Point has a rich history, beginning with the establishment of a Maori village and Pa (fort). Traces of the historical terraces and food pits remain.
The reserve is home to a New Zealand fur seal breeding colony, numerous sea birds including Little Blue Penguins and a Yellow-eyed Penguin colony. The most prominent feature on the point is the magnificent lighthouse. First lit on the 22nd of April 1878 the last lighthouse keeper was withdrawn in 1975.
The Katiki Pt. Penguin Trust was formed in 2000 by Janice Jones and Walter Keiner to support Janices work in building penguin habitat and providing a hospital for sick and injured penguins. Under the leadership of Rosalie Goldsworthy, a team of dedicated volunteers maintain two reserves which are home to two penguin colonies. They are called Barracoutta Bay and Katiki Pt. These two reserves are also home to Sooty Shearwaters, Little Blue Penguins and White Fronted Storm Petrels.
The Moeraki Boulders can be found along a short access road, signposted to the coast, around 21 kilometres north of the town of Palmerston and just north of the small and beautiful township of Moeraki. These large spherical stones are scattered along the beach and were formed over 60 million years ago. Some of the stones have been found to contain dinosaur bones and in some cases complete skeletons of extinct marine reptiles. Some stones weigh over 2 tonnes and are over 2 metres in diameter. Maori legend tells that they were the food baskets of a wrecked ancestral canoe.
Entry is just a $2 coin donation which you pop in the donation box as you enter.