Old New Zealand

...Takiroa - Rock Art Site...

Taniwha (Sea Monster) at Takiroa

A rock face at Takiroa, near Duntroon in Central Otago has a number of drawings which date to the 19th century and appear to depict European style sailing vessels, people riding horses as well as taniwha, birds and other animals.

Ki Uta Ki Tai - He Ara Tawhito

(from the mountains to the sea - an ancient pathway)

Takiroa is a significant landmark in the traditions of Ngai Tahu Whanui. The rock shelter lies on an ancient pathway following the Waitaki River from the mountains to the sea. The head waters of the Waitaki River are fed from ka roimata o Aoraki (the tears of Aoraki) - the ancient mountain of Ngai Tahu Whanui. The limestone outcrops at Takiroa are said to be a legacy of Tamatea-Pokai-Whenua, a great explorer who lit fires as he walked the land. Te ahi tapu o Tamatea (the sacred fires of Tamatea) cooled to form mounds of pale white ash such as the outcrop at Takiroa.