Queenstown Campervan Hire Info: The Influence Maori Culture
However according to local Maori legend, this phenomena is due to the “Hollow of the Giant” or Whakatipua, and came about when an evil giant named Matau, kidnapped Manata, the beautiful daughter of a powerful Maori chief.
Manata’s sweetheart, a brave warrior known as Matakauri, came to her rescue, then married Manata, and later returned to fell the giant once and for all, burning him while he lay asleep.
As the snow melted, the depression left by the giant’s body formed a lake: his head in Glenorchy, his knees in Queenstown, and his feet in Kingston. The only part of the giant’s body that didn't burn was his heart, which continues to beat to this day, forming Lake Wakatipu’s ‘tidal’ rise and fall. Another local legend explains the black rocks of Refuge Point.
It tells of the first woman to swim across, Hakitekura, who swam some three kilometres guided by the dawn’s light on Cecil and Walter Peaks. Today these summits bear the name, Ka kamu a Hakitekura, or the twinkling lights seen by Hakitekura. When she landed on the point she lit a fire, which according to the legend, is why the rocks there are black, even to this day.
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