A place of deep serenity and awe.
41 miles east of Oamaru, deep in the heartlands of the southern psyche of New Zealand, lies a place so absurdly beautiful, it is hard to believe there are not droves of tourists all over the place. On the contrary: the dozens of times I was there noone ever was around.
The Elephant Rocks are a group of ca 20 limestones up to 8 meters high and 20 meters long which have withstood erosion better than the surrounding fields and are standing (some of them shaped like elephant's heads) like enormous prehistoric artefacts in a natural amphitheatre. The scenery is positively surreal: surrounded by sheep paddocks on silent, rolling hills at the feet of the southern alps the elephant rocks radiate a paganistic spirituality that puts a furrowed brow even on hardened atheists like me, inspiring thoughts about ancient Maori gods and the creation of this weird bit of earth on the planet we live on by the very same.
There are no sounds to hear, apart from the odd sheep burping and some birds twittering in the background.
The rocks are on private property and camping in the area is only allowed after agreement by the proprietors of the field and littering and taking samples is of course (and rightly so) strictly forbidden. Go there, take a book or a meditation rug or just yourself and wait for nature to give you a natural high.