Wednesday 5 January 2022

Dunedin rocks. Sort of...

I know it's a privilege, but it also feels quite odd, to be writing a *cough* column about the Organ Pipes just outside Dunedin, which I haven't actually visited, and referencing in it Iceland's Reynisfjara and Northern Ireland's Giant's Causeway, both of which I have.

I could also add Bishop and Clerk on Maria Island, Tasmania, and the Gawler Ranges in South Australia. All of them are spectacular and fascinating: weathered hexagonal columns of rock (basalt or dolerite), either upright or horizontal or both, but always fitted together with marvellous precision. 

Though of course, they're not at all - fitted together, that is. They're actually formed by a mass of molten lava cooling at precisely the right speed and in the perfect conditions for the rock to crack into that particular pattern. It's still a marvel, though, that something as raw and violent and unpredictable as an eruption can result in something so satisfyingly neat and geometrical. 

I'm a sucker for them every time. They can be found all over the world, and I would love to see more of them, one day. Probably, though, I should start with Dunedin.

Credit DunedinNZ

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