Mount Hikurangi, Gisborne

Mount Hikurangi, Gisborne

Mount Hikurangi is a 1754 metre (5755 feet) peak in the northeastern corner of New Zealand's North Island, 60 kilometres (37 miles) southwest of East Cape. It is the North Island's highest non-volcanic peak.

The peak is sacred to the Ngati Porou Māori of the region, who regard it as the resting place of "Nukutaimemeha", the waka (canoe) of the legendary hero Maui.

The first sunrise of the new day

The peak is traditionally regarded as the first land in the world to catch the rays of the new day's sun, although this claim, like any such claim of its type, is open to interpretation. Certainly it is not true at any time of the year other than summer, as both Fiji and Tonga are to the east. In summer, however, because of the tilt of the Earth's axis, it does receive the sun's rays earlier than these places. It does not receive them earlier than the Chatham Islands (or, of course, Antarctica), however, and in mid-summer, some of the hills of the southeastern South Island receive the sun fractionally earlier. This did not stop the mountain gaining world prominence in the celebrations for the new Millennium, however.

See also

* List of mountains of New Zealand by height

References

* [http://www.doc.govt.nz NZ Department of Conservation web site] (use their search engine to obtain id of the current ASP for the web page for Hikurangi)

External links

* [http://www.teara.govt.nz/NewZealanders/MaoriNewZealanders/NgatiPorou/2/ENZ-Resources/Standard/3/en Te Ara: Encyclopedia of New Zealand Mt. Hikurangi page]


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