Monday, January 5, 2009

Lake Wainamu

After a hot and tiring climb of the Bethells sand dunes, the lake is a welcoming relaxing cool dip. You can coat yourself with the wet sand to give yourself an iron sand spa. Then wash off in the fresh water lake.

Cultural history

The main stream that flows from the junction of Wainamu and Wai o Pare is known as Waiti, or the stream where the Ti or cabbage tree (Cordyline species) grows adorning the banks. From this stream comes the name for the village that was located at its mouth.

At the head of Lake Wainamu are two hilltop pa, the first is Te Pae Kaka or the resting place or perch of the Kaka. To the north above Toetoeroa is a well preserved little pa known as Poututerangi.
The ridge that separates Roto Wainamu and Roto Kawaupaku is known as Soloman's Ridge and has the pa known as Pakowhatu situated at its peak.

On the northwestern edge of Lake Wainamu was the little village known as Ohutu that nestled amongst the grove of Pohutukawa trees that still grow there. This area was also known as Te Rua Taniwha or the lair of the Taniwha, the Taniwha Mokoroa lived at Wainamu as a mokai or pet of the Turehu people.

These names are landmarks that act as constant reminders of the past, or what is referred to as ‘tohu' or symbols providing proof of traditional land ownership to the Kawerau a Maki today as they did to their ancestors before them.

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