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Te Porere Redoubt, a Cultural Site in Turangi
Enjoying the local culture is a great thing to do while in Turangi. There are a number of cultural sites around Turangi but the most visually interesting would be the Te Porere Redoubt.
Located on State Highway 47, a 20 minute drive from the Turangi town centre, the trench-like structures at Te Porere Redoubt were built by the Maori warrior Te Kooti and his men, who in 1868-69 tried to hold off government forces. They were on the run after attacking a settlement near Gisborne, killing 54 men, women and children, both Maori and European.
It is thought that he carried out the revenge attack after being accused of spying when fighting alongside European troops against the Pai Marire, a cult-like Maori movement, which the government wanted to suppress. He was banished to the Chatham Islands, without trial, but escaped in a ship back to the North Island.
Many were killed at Te Porere but Te Kooti escaped the fighting and later became a religious leader under the protection of the Maori King. In 1883 he was pardoned by the government.
The site has panoramic views of Mounts Tongariro and Ngauruhoe, and plaques describing the conflict. The carpark has been upgraded, with better signage pointing out the site.
The walk to the first redoubt is about ten minutes through scrubby Manuka to the clearing. However, it is well worth the 15-20 minutes uphill through dense bush to the second and more impressive redoubt, where one can imagine the fierce fighting that went on.
Opotaka - Home of the Haka
Another cultural site of interest is Opotaka, home of the famous Ka Mate haka.
The original haka was composed by the great warrior Te Rauparaha, a chief of Ngati Toa Rangatira, who lived in the 1820’s.
If you'd like more information on what to do in Turangi, drop into the Turangi i-SITE.