Some places are so special they demand reverence, and once experienced, hold an unassailable place in your memory. Hikurangi, the sacred mountain of Ngāti Porou, is one these places. This mystical spot is the first in the world to greet the sun each new day. At a lofty 1,754 metres (the highest non-volcanic peak in the North Island) and with its cloak of bush and coterie of surrounding peaks, Hikurangi dominates a landscape of scenic splendour. At 1,000 metres above sea level are nine carvings depicting Māui and his whānau (family). There are many legends about the feats of Māui. The most famous of which is the creation of New Zealand/Aotearoa when Māui fished up the North Island (also known as Te Ika-a-Māui or The Great Fish of Māui). It is said that the final resting place for Maui’s waka (canoe) is on Mt Hikurangi.
You can arrange guided tours with Ngāti Porou Tourism, no one can give you the local history like those who live and breathe it. Tours can include marae visits and 4×4 tours to local culturally significant sites.