Saturday, June 13, 2009

Grand Central

Tongariro National Park. April 2009. Ajr
I’m a North Islander – brought up in the Waikato – but my favourite North Island landscape has always been the central plateau – that marvellous, barren, rusty-red expanse that is now, in tourism terms, being billed Te Kahui Tupua – The Sacred Peaks. Combining the three districts of Ruapehu, Wanganui and Rangitikei, it is without doubt, the most geographically spectacular area of the north. The three mountains Ruapehu, Tongariro and Ngauruhoe and the three rivers, Whanganui, Whangaehu and Rangitikei are the dramatic focal points. This is an area riddled with Maori legend – too long and convoluted for me to repeat here. Suffice to say it has always had a special place in the hearts of Maori. And it was in 1887 that the Ngati Tuwharetoa paramount chief, Horonuku Te Heu Heu Tukino IV gifted what is now Tongariro National Park to the people of New Zealand, creating our first (and the world’s fourth) national park. In 1990 the area was declared a World Heritage site and is the first in the world to be given the status of cultural landscape, in recognition of its importance to Maori culture. You can read more about Te Kahui Tupua by visiting

1 comment:

  1. Your page just gets colourful by the day I really enjoy your photography some places I don't even know of... Mean maori mean (I know your not maori, just an expression)


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