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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 4, Issue 5 (September 1, 1929)

The Arcadian Dressing Room

The Arcadian Dressing Room.

The principal clear warm bathing pool is the place from which Orakei-Korako derives its name, which means the place of adorning; it was the looking-glass water at which the people made themselves pretty for parade, the open-air “making-up” room in fact. “O” is the place of; “rakei” adornment; “Korako,” meaning white, describes the glittering silica flat. Here the page 29 men and women resorted to comb and oil their hair and deck it with feathers, and to paint their faces with red ochre (kokowai) and otherwise beautify themselves for social gathering or war-dance.

Dr. Hochstetter, the geologist who visited New Zealand in the Austrian frigate Novara seventy years ago, visited Orakei-Korako in 1860, and recorded the fact that there were seventy-six geysers and boiling springs.