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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 45



"The great Arawa canoe that led the fleet which brought the Maoris from their fatherland, Hawaiki, to New Zealand, was commanded by a powerful chieftain, who was also a priest and potent magician, named Ngatoroirangi. Tradition is contradictory as to the number of canoes. On the one hand, eleven is stated; on the other, seven. This chieftain, with his immediate followers, penetrated to the Taupo country, and his first care was to erect an altar at a place named Okeretai, on the shores of the lake. Desirous of exhibiting his prowess to his followers, he performed an incantation at the altar, and then ascended one of the peaks of Tauhara, and poising his spear cast it four miles into the lake, where it was at once turned into a rock named Ruwha, and visible to this day. Ngatoroirangi is also accredited with the introducing to the waters of Taupo of the little fish, known as whitebait to the Europeans, and Inanga by the Maoris. He had tasted Inanga elsewhere, and grieving at its absence from Taupo, he procured some from the West Coast and stocked the waters, but all the fish died. Incensed at the failure, he returned to his altar at Okeretai and performed a miracle. Taking his tatara, a kind of cloak, he tore it into shreds and cast them into the lake, and immediately the water swarmed with the tiny fish the chief's soul longed for. This chief, with his two sisters, Kuiwai and Haungaroa, both potent sorceresses, are said to have kindled all the subterranean fires of the Taupo district. The imprint of his foot on a rock is shown to this day, page 79 where he stepped across one of the large rivers which empty into the lake."

If it be decided to explore the Taupo country, the tourist may, instead of returning to Ohinemutu, take the cross route to Napier, where he can pick up one of the U. S. S. Co.'s boats and proceed on his journey. But if, however, as is generally the case, he desires to economise time, he should return to Tauranga, and thence proceed to Auckland in one of the U. S. S. Co.'s steamers. And here we would impress upon our traveller the advisability of carrying with him one of the Company's monthly time tables, for by its aid he can time his movements in order that he may not miss his boat. Before bidding adieu to the Hot Lake District we think it desirable to direct the reader's attention to the important question of