Saturday, 2 January 2021

The legend of Lake Kuirau

Back when we lived in the Tauranga there was a day we made a trip out to Rotorua with my daughter. We wanted to show her the hot pools as the whole region is full of geothermal activity. One of the walks was at Kuirau Park where the ground and water wasn't just hot but we could see the sulphur which turns a yellow/orange colour.

Here is the story behind it:

Lake Kuirau use to be cool enough to bathe in. According to Maori legend a beautiful young lady named Kuirau use to swim here, however a large Taniwha use to live in the lake.

The Taniwha would watch the girl swim until one morning he rose up and seized her. Maori believe that either she died of fright or he was taken back to the Taniwha's lair but whatever happened she was never seen again. The Gods were so angry that they made the lake boil to get rid of it. From that day on the Lake was named Lake Kuirau in memory of the lady who use to swim in the water.

Every now and again we read news stories about people who accidentally fall in (there's usually not much left of them after) or those who try to cook their food in the pools but usually there are warning signs up everywhere to stick to the paths and steer clear.

Linking up with Weekend Reflections and The Weekend Roundup.


  1. Beautiful but deadly pools. I love the story. My sister is a Park Ranger at Yellowstone and she tells about one particular very hot and very acidic pool where oftentimes the only thing left of a tourists that fall in is a wedding ring.

    Wishing you a great 2021!!

  2. this is a place I really would love to go back to. I was there once about 30 years ago and never forgot about it. First time I saw and heard a lake popping like a soda bottle. :)
    Happy New Year.

    Monica / NatureFootstep

  3. What an interesting legend. I've been near places like this where you can actually feel the heat coming up from the pools. The last place I remember seeing this sort of thing was in Costa Rica.

  4. Geothermal activity is fascinating. Love the story, I've not heard it before.

  5. Many years since I was in Rotorua. Not sure if I have been to this lake, somehow I don't think so.

  6. Grusome and fascinating together. I grew up in the deep south but started my working life in Rotorua - my first encounter with sulphur springs. Beautiful and awesome.

  7. ...geothermal areas are fascinating, we don't have them in this area. What a an interesting legend. Happy new Year to you Amy.

  8. Shudder. 'fall in?'. What a horrid way to go.
    I live Rotorua, it's smell and all the thermal activity. Wouldn't ever get close to those boiling springs though

  9. We used to live in a town that had geothermal underneath their walkways. When it snowed it melted right away making it safe for people to walk. This was in southern Oregon in the US.


Waitangi Marae

Just after Christmas we took my parents to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds , now that they have the museum there the whole place has grown quite...