Story of the Maori Rock Carvings

NGATOROIRANGI – ONE OF NEW ZEALAND’S MOST EXTRAORDINARY ARTWORKS

The story of the rock carving of Ngatoroirangi begins with the artist’s grandmother.  Te Huatahu Susie Gilfbert of Ngati Tuwharetoa asked her grandson Matahi Whakataka Brightwell to create a likeness of her ancestor Ngatoroirangi on a totara tree to create a permanent connection for her family to the land.  When Matahi arrived in Taupo, there was no totara tree to carve, so he journeyed onto the lake for inspiration.

The rock alcove at Mine Bay became the canvas for one of the most extraordinary contemporary carvings New Zealand has ever seen.  Surrounded by smaller sculptures depicting tupuna (ancestors) and kaitiaki (guardians), the carving now towers 14-metres above the deep water of Lake Taupo and is one of the North Island’s biggest tourist attractions.

"We had such a great time. Everybody loved the trip and we would like to do it again. we loved the fishing, the shooting,BBQ the friendliness 7 knowledge of the staff and Charlie brown is cool. we had such great weather as well. We have already recommended this trip to everyone in our company as something to do when in Taupo. Thanks so much for having us!"

− Sarah Middleton

"I would like to extend our gratitude to Simon, Ali, Emma and of course Charlie Brown for providing a fantastic day on board 'Supercat' yesterday. The Taupo staff fishing trip is a highlight in our calendar this year. The Claybird shooting, fishing and the dinner was fantastically organised and appreciated by all and we landed two Rainbow trout!"

− Neill Ross

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− Patrick Bourke,