Legend of Wellington Harbour in Wellington, New Zealand - Encircle Photos

42 Legend of Wellington Harbour in Wellington, New Zealand

Have a seat here at Chaffers Marina next to Clyde Quay Wharf. Watch the anchored sailboats gently bob and weave. Then read the history of Wellington Harbour. The Māori call it Te Whanganui a Tara. This means the “Great Harbour of Tara.” Tara was the first chief of the Ngai Tara. The tribe settled here in either the 12th or 13th century. According to their legend, this arm of Cook Strait was created by two sea monsters (taniwha). They were big as whales and resembled lizards. Whātaitai was gentle, mild and protective. Ngake was energetic, inquisitive and strong. When the siblings lived in the water in front of you, it was a large, freshwater lake. Eager to escape to the ocean, Ngake tunneled through the earth until he reached Te Moana o Raukawa (today’s Cook Strait). As water rushed through the new opening, Whātaitai was caught in the eddy and washed ashore. After dying, the taniwha’s spirit became a bird named Te Keo. Now look at the hill behind you. Mount Victoria (Tangi Te Keo) and the ridge of Hataitai suburb is where the remains of the gentle monster turned to stone.


Chaffers Marina, 22 Herd St, Te Aro, Wellington 6011, New Zealand


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