The One About Matakauri, Manata & Matau.

Lake Wakatipu – Buy 

Here’s an interesting fact for you, Lake Wakatipu is so deep that while the surface of the lake is 310 meters above sea level, at its deepest point it is below sea level with a maximum depth of 380 meters. 

Local Māori tell a legend about the lake involving two star-crossed lovers called Matakauri and Manata. One night, Manata was kidnapped by a giant and cruel taniwha named Matau. Manata’s father was so distraught about losing his daughter, he declared that any warrior that was able to rescue her, could have her hand in marriage.  Matakauri decided to accept the challenge and successfully rescued Manata as the taniwha lay sleeping. 

After the wedding, Matakauri feared the taniwha would return and decided to deal with Matau once and for all. So, one night he crept out and set fire to Matau to ensure he would never steal Manata again. As Matau’s body melted it created a deep ‘S’ trough in the ground which then filled with rainwater and created Lake Wakatipu.

One thought on “The One About Matakauri, Manata & Matau.”

  1. Great story but probably only folk lore I’d say great photo many people have lost their lives inthat lake which has always been described as bottomless

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