In addition to being the Trout Fishing Capital of the World, did you know Turangi is also home of the greatest All Black haka. Even the Kiwi Experience buses stop there on the old pa site to show the uninitiated Lions Tour party the birth place of the haka.
Did you know that in preparation for Lions Tours and what was to come, the local Turangi Maoris were practising the haka even before Rugby was invented by the poms. This is true!
TRM were almost reluctant to show this as this haka thing is sooo overdone, but Tongariro anglers really need to know this. In case the above sign may be too small to read, a brief summary of the inscription is as follows:
Around 1820, the Tongariro tribe shelterd the fugitive chief and hid him in a food storage pit where his enemies could not find him. He expressed his thanks by performing his haka – “Ka Mate Ka Mate”. How this dance of gratitude morphed into a threatening war dance is another story a bit beyond a fishing report.
Yet Rugby was not founded until 1871? More useless information? As Turangi did it first, to introduce 21st century commercial attitudes, I wonder if all the other copy-cat replica versions should have to pay a commission to Turangi? Could Turangi take out a retrospective patent? Wow! That’s better than a fishing story…
So now you know. Image below looking across Lake Rotoaira on Thursday towards where the Tongariro Alpine Crossing emerges above Ketetahi Springs.