Cape Reinga is the northern most point on the North Island of New Zealand, and it’s off this coast where the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific Ocean.
It’s one of those magical destinations that you see on a map, dream of getting to one day, but never quite make it. This has been true for Anne and I, but on this trip we did make it, and we are very glad we did.
Whilst we really enjoyed the vista of the rugged coast line, the lighthouse, and the meeting of the sea’s, it’s the Maori Legends which are worthy Continue reading →
Standing at the lookout on the most easterly point of the Kaikoura Peninsula, you can see forever……….well, maybe not forever, but you can see a very long way. They say you can even see the North Island from here on a clear day.
Maori legend talks of the demi-god Maui, who landed an enormous fish from his canoe and used what is now the Kaikoura Peninsula to steady his foot.
The fish became Te Ika a Maui (New Zealand’s North Island), his canoe Te Waka a Maui (the South Island) and the strong seat of his canoe became Te Taumanu o te Waka a Maui or “the seat of Maui’s canoe” (the Kaikoura Peninsula).
In Maori legend the Araiteuru canoe (one of the large ancestral canoes that came from Hawaiki) was wrecked on Shag Point while on its way south in search of greenstone. Food-baskets and kumara on board were washed ashore. The kumara became irregularly shaped rocks and the circular food-baskets became the Moeraki Boulders, called by the Maori Te Kaihinake (the food-baskets). The reef at the mouth of the Shag River is said to be the petrified hull of the canoe, and a prominent rock nearby to be the mortal remains of its navigator, Hipo. Names of passengers are given to hills in the area. The legend is an example of how a colourful story would be woven around the physical features of the landscape to perpetuate a knowledge of geography in a culture without a written language.