Lake Tarawera’s Tuhourangi past

Lake Tawarwera was only a couple of kilometres from Buried Village and worth the trip; not only for the lush setting, but there was a clear view of the notorious Mt Tarawera lurking silently on the horizon.

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Lake Tarawera with Mt Tarawera (on the left)

Around the lake was an easy walking trail where I went in search of ancient Tuhourangi rock paintings. They’d been submerged under the lake after Mt Tarawera’s eruption, but in the early 1900s when the lake’s level subsided, they were revealed.

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Tuhourangi rock painting

Steps led down to red ochre drawings near the base of the boulder. As I peered at these representations of men paddling in long canoes, I was lucky to meet Naomi who said the art work was done by her ancestors, now known as Ngati Wahiao.

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Naomi Roto Hunt-Mihaka posing not far from her ancestors’ rock paintings

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