Thursday, October 15, 2009

Of Washing and Whare

I’d been driving for quite some time when I got to Ruapeka Marae, near Fitzgerald Glade on State Highway 5 on the way to Rotorua, so I was more than happy to pull up on the wide road berm and sit awhile. When I lived in the North Island, I must have driven past this particular marae a hundred times and never really noticed it. This time was different. I pushed my seat back, opened the windows and just sat listening to the birds, wondering what went on here on an average day.
There was no one about and I have since discovered it is one of the many Ngati Raukawa marae – of the hapu Ngati Tukorehe. Their wharenui is named Rangimarie and their whare kai is Te Aroha. It’s a pretty spot, with the bright yellow wharenui sitting to one side of a large paddock against the leafy native bush backdrop of Tukorehe Reserve. Across the fields there was a small cluster of houses – one with this fabulous billowing clothes line. (I’m not sure why, but I find clothes lines full of washing a very appealing photographic subject). After I had spent a little time here, I drove on through Fitzgerald Glade and, seeing a sign for Tapapa Marae, I swung immediately left off the highway and happily drove down a winding country road. I carried on for miles but I must have driven right past it because I ended up back out on the highway having completed a great big loop….and had to drive all the way back past Ruapeka Marae a second time. It was a fruitless search at one level, but on my two month trip around New Zealand in April-May, I made many detours like that – and I loved every second of it.

1 comment:

  1. We celebrated my Nana's 70th at Ruapeka last year in October. She saw it when she drove past with Papa and said she wanted her birthday there so we ''borrowed'' it for the weekend. Beautiful place.



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