22 May 2023

Waitaki Whitestone set to become UNESCO Global Geopark

From Nine To Noon, 9:30 am on 22 May 2023
Boulders on the beach

Moeraki Boulders Photo: RNZ / Nate McKinnon

With its unique rocks, boulders and cliffs, the Waitaki Whitestone region is set to become New Zealand's first UNESCO global geopark. After four years of work by the Waitaki Whitestone Geopark Trust, a nomination for global geopark status was accepted by UNESCO last year and it's expected to be officially rubber stamped at the end of the month.

Including features such as Elephant Rocks, Te Kaihīnaki Moeraki Boulders and Omarama's Clay Cliffs, the region will be recognised as an area of international geological significance. It's hoped the move will boost tourism and help protect the special heritage sites and landscapes. Kathryn is joined by the Chair of the Waitaki Whitestone Geopark Trust Helen Jansen and Geopark manager Lisa Heinz to hear more about the road to UNESCO accreditation and what it will mean for the district.