We visit a number of landforms and man-made structures which are famous for being the “longest” or the “largest” in their domain. But now, here is a landform which is though not a stand out from the perspective of its volume but is unique in terms of its name which, as per the Guinness Book of World Records, is the longest name of any place.
Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateapokaiwhenuakitanatahu is the Maori name for a 305 metres hill which stands in Porangahau, the southern part of Hawke’s Bay in New Zealand.
The literal translation of Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateapokaiwhenuakitanatahu is “The summit where Tamatea, the man with the big knees, the climber of mountains, the land-swallower who travelled about, played his nose flute to his loved one”. This hill is dedicated by the local people of the region to their ancestor Tamatea Pokai Whenua who was a valiant warrior of his time and whose son, Kahungunu founded the tribe of Ngati Kahungunu.
As per the legends of the region Tamatea was a well built man who fought many battles and made many raids. In one such battle called Matanui Battle he lost his brother. Thereafter, he stayed in the place for quite some time grieving the loss of his brother and during this time every morning he used to lament the loss by playing his maori flute. The lament is still a popular folk rendition in this part of New Zealand. From the top of the Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateapokaiwhenuakitanatahu the spiritual mountain of the Ngati Kere tribe can be seen. Though, the name of the mountain is shortened by the local people to Taumata while talking but, the board which gives access to the mountain has this name displayed on it. The first instance of fame came for it when it was found to be the second longest place name found in any country speaking English. Thereafter, it was found to be the second longest name of place found in the world as per the Wises New Zealand Guide. The name in use currently is known to have 85 letters. There are although other versions of the name which have 92, 105, and 125 letters, respectively.
The place is of great tourist interest not only for its name but also for the scenic beauty of the location. The best way of visiting the Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateapokaiwhenuakitanatahu hill is by driving in the south direction from Waipukurau and after going for 55 km to take the Wimbledon Road on the right. A 5 km drive on this road brings us to the name board of the location. As the mountain is known to be a private land therefore tourists or outsiders require permission to go inside the premises. Once inside, it provides a number of locations worth capturing in the camera. The cities which are located nearby to this place are Palmerstone North, Napier, and Masterton which can in turn be reached from the largest city of New Zealand, namely Auckland.