Maori Rock Carvings Lake Taupo
Cruise with us across stunning Lake Taupo to view the...
In the late 1970s master carver Matahi Whakataka-Brightwell came to his mother's land at Lake Taupo. On a boat trip around the Western Bays he saw the cliffs at Mine Bay and decided to use them as a canvas for his work.
Matahi decided to carve a likeness of Ngatoroirangi, a visionary Maori navigator who guided the Tuwharetoa and Te Arawa tribes to the Taupō area over a thousand years ago. In recognition of the multi-cultural nature of New Zealand, Matahi also carved two smaller figures of Celtic design, which depict the south wind and a mermaid.
The Ngatoroirangi carving took four summers to complete and the carvers took no payment other than donations to cover the cost of the scaffolding. The artwork is Matahi's gift to Taupo.
The carving has become an important cultural attraction for the region and a clear demonstration that traditional Maori knowledge and skills continue to be passed from generation to generation.
The Mine Bay rock carvings can only be reached by boat and are best viewed up close from a kayak. Read a blog about the trip from a visitor.
View the Maori Rock Carvings by kayak or with boat operators such as the Ernest Kemp