The Legend of (Mount) Taranaki
Taranaki, (gliding peak) is an apt description of this mountainís epic journey from the central North Island to the coast.
According to Maori legend, Taranaki used to live with Tongariro, Ruapehu, and Ngauruhoe. This changed forever when Taranaki fell in love with Pihanga (a pretty hill on the shores of Lake Taupo) Ė who just happened to be the wife of Tongariro. Tongariro exploded in a fiery rage, spitting fire, lava and burning ash, and making the earth shake as he fought with Taranaki. Broken hearted and banished Taranaki headed toward the coast,¬† his tears creating the Wanganui River as he moved Westward to his current resting place.
Today Mt Taranaki is still venerated and its summit is sacred to the tangata whenua of the area.
Image courtesy of Taranaki Newspapers Limited.
For more information, when in New Plymouth spend some time at Puke Ariki, or see some of their marvellous resources on-line including an interactive telling of the legend of Taranaki