New Zealand | Waikari Maori Rock Art Site


New-Zealand-South-Island-33.jpgNew-Zealand-South-Island-33.jpg

new zealand, south island, waikari maori rock art site, hikingOne of the great things about New Zealand is that it’s easy to stumble upon a great hike and/or beautiful scenery just about anywhere you go. We had done some advance planning before our 10-day campervan adventure — booked our flights and ferry ticket and sketched a rough outline of what we wanted to do — but beyond that, we took each day as it came.new zealand, south island, waikari maori rock art site, hikingAfter wine tasting in Marlborough we planned to head south and end the day freedom camping at Lake Tekapo, which was recommended to us as a beautiful place to camp and hike by colleagues who took an earlier campervan trip to New Zealand. It would be a long day of driving — about six hours — so we were looking to break it up with a hike so we could stretch our legs and do something active.new zealand, south island, waikari maori rock art site, hikingWe consulted our NZ Frenzy guidebooks and found a great 5-kilometer hike about halfway through the drive. The Waikari Maori Rock Art Site combined everything we were looking for: a hike through beautiful land that was long/strenuous enough that we’d get in a good amount of physical exertion (a steep, 90-minute round trip), but short enough that we would still arrive to our destination at a decent hour.En route, we also stumbled upon hundreds of fur seals in Kaikoura.new zealand, south island, waikari maori rock art site, hikingAs a bonus, the hike was also a cultural lesson: In ancient times, Maori hunters used the 25-meter section of limestone overhang as a camping spot while hunting in what was once an abundant forest en route between the coast and mountains. The wall is covered in carvings and drawings depicting animals, humans and other creatures.new zealand, south island, waikari maori rock art site, hikingThe carvings were discovered by archaeologists in 1876 and were studied over the next several decades. In 1929, researchers painted over the drawings with black and red house paint to make them easier to see. Both the paint and drawings themselves have faded over time so they were somewhat difficult to make out.new zealand, south island, waikari maori rock art site, hikingThe other neat thing about the Waikari Maori Rock Art Site and hike is that it is situated on public land, but to get there you have to walk through privately owned farmland. So we were hopping fences and tramping through pastures among cows and sheep.What do you know about Maori culture?The Details: Waikari Maori Rock Art SiteGPS Coordinates: -42.971297, 172.705086Google Map: https://goo.gl/maps/zHz0eHike: Steep, moderate 5-kilometer out-and-back (about 90 minutes)See more photos from New Zealand’s South Island.

Published by La Vie Overseas

I'm Natasha -- writer, runner and wife to a Foreign Service Officer with USAID. Current location: Frankfurt, Germany.

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