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Otago geopark receives UNESCO accreditation

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The Waitaki Whitestone Geopark has made history as New Zealand’s first UNESCO-accredited Global Geopark.

Spanning 7200 square kilometers, this geopark is a wonderland of geological marvels. The Moeraki Boulders, with their round and mysterious shapes, are among the captivating features of this now UNESCO-accredited geopark.

After years of hard work, UNESCO’s executive board endorsed the geopark, giving it well-deserved recognition. Helen Jansen, the chair of Waitaki Whitestone Geopark Trust, expressed her joy and highlighted the area’s unique story.

The new accreditation will attract more visitors, boosting tourism in the region. This is an incredible opportunity to share Waitaki’s rich history and diverse cultures with the world.

The geopark’s application was supported by a partnership with Mana whenua, the local indigenous people, ensuring the protection of their ancestral sites and cultural significance. David Higgins, from Te Rūnanga o Moeraki, expressed support for preserving these special places.

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