Te Kowatu O Hatu Patu [The Rock of Refuge], Waikato

Te Kowatu O Hatu Patu also known as The Rock of Refuge.

The rock stands at the roadside near Atiamuri, about 26km south of Tokoroa. The hollowed out rock was used by the legendary Hatupatu, a member of the Arawa tribe. When returning from exploring the forests he was being followed by a mysterious bird-woman. While trying to outrun her, he came upon a huge rock. Repeating a karakia he ordered it to open for him. “Te kohatu nei- e matiti matata”. Legend has it that the rock immediately split open and he hid inside until the bird-woman disappeared.

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