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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 4, Issue 7 (November 1, 1929)

The Home of Rua

The Home of Rua.

From Opuruahine, the far end of the Lake Waikare-moana, we set out for Maungapohatu, the home of Ruatapu, the “Prophet” of the Rocky Mountain. This stage of the journey, a distance page 43 of about 23 miles, was completed in 1½ days. About 13 miles from Opuruahine, along the road now under construction by the Public Works Department over the Huiarau Ranges (which will connect Rotorua with Waikare-moana via Te Whaiti and Ruatahuna), we reached the spot known as Papatotara where a native track runs off to the right to Maungapohatu. Camping at this site for the night, we, early the following morning, proceeded along a beautiful winding native track, which had been used by Te Kooti in years gone by. It was a perfect summer's day when we tramped through this extensive Kahikatea Forest and the song of the tui and the scream of the kaka were much in evidence.

We had luncheon at an old village named Kake-wahine, which had been deserted ten years previously. We then commenced our ascent of the Puaugahua Range (open window) about 3,200ft, where was obtained a perfect view of Mauugapohatu (the sacred mountain). The village with Rua's homestead lay before us. Rua himself was absent, but his family extended to us wonderful hospitality. Our respects were paid to Mr. J. Black, of the Presbyterian Mission, a gentleman whom the writer had the pleasure of previously meeting in Wellington. At this village we had the honour of shaking hands with an old Hauhau warrior, 96 years of age, a most kindly old gentleman nowadays.

The tribesmen of Tuhoe-land were the last native clan to lay down their arms and submit to the pakeha laws, and are now the most loyal of British subjects.

Natives Of The Urewera. A wahine and child at work in the potato fields at Ruatoki.

Natives Of The Urewera.
A wahine and child at work in the potato fields at Ruatoki.