Lake Hauroko

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Lake Hauroko
Lake hauroko.jpg
Location Fiordland National Park, Southland District, Southland, South Island
Coordinates 46°00′S 167°20′E / 46.000°S 167.333°E / -46.000; 167.333Coordinates: 46°00′S 167°20′E / 46.000°S 167.333°E / -46.000; 167.333
Primary outflows Wairaurahiri River
Basin countries New Zealand
Max. length 40 km (25 mi)
Surface area 63 km2 (24 sq mi)
Max. depth 462 m (1,516 ft)
Islands 1 (Mary Island)

Lake Hauroko is located in a mountain valley in Fiordland National Park in the South Island of New Zealand. The long S-shaped lake is 30 kilometres in length and covers an area of 63 km². The surface is at an altitude of 150 metres (490 ft) above sea level, and the lake is 462 metres (1,516 ft) deep. It is New Zealand's deepest lake.[1][2]


One of the country's southernmost lakes, it is 35 kilometres northwest of Tuatapere, between the similarly-sized lakes Monowai and Poteriteri. It drains via the 20 kilometre-long Wairaurahiri River into Foveaux Strait 10 kilometres to the west of Te Waewae Bay. The name Hauroko is of Māori origin and translates into English as "sounding wind".[3]

Burial on Mary Island

Lake Hauroko has two Islands, one smaller island adjacent to Teal Bay at the Southern end of the Lake and the larger Mary Island situated adjacent to First and Second Bay west of the lakes only road access. Mary Island, is the focus of several local myths, including one that the island is subject to a Māori curse. Such stories are dismissed by local Māori. The island is famous for the discovery of a burial site of a Māori woman in 1967, who is known as "the lady of the lake" by Southland locals. The burial site is in a cave on the eastern side of the island. Believed to have been placed on the burial site sometime between the late 16th century and 17th century, possibly around 1660, the woman was laid to rest wearing a flax cloak with a dog skin collar weka feather edging around her neck, and was seated upright on a bier made of sticks and leaves. The reasons for the burial in this manner are uncertain, although it has been suggested that these burials were to either make sure the remains were protected from desecration by enemies, or to protect living descendants from a dangerous "tapu" (a Māori word that means sacred, forbidden or taboo[4]) that the ancient Māori may have believed the ancestral bones possessed. This led to the belief that this woman was of high-ranking status, which was later discovered through an archaeological investigation that she was a chieftainess of the ngati moimoi tribe. The burial still remains on the island today, with a grille made of steel and wire mesh ensuring that interested people can still view the burial, but the woman will remain untouched.[5][6][7]

See also


  1. ^ Nathan, Simon (13 July 2012). "Lakes - New Zealand lakes". Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 15 June 2015. 
  2. ^ Esler, Lloyd (9 October 2014). "Hauroko NZ's deepest lake". The Southland Times. Retrieved 15 June 2015. 
  3. ^ Davidson, Janet. "Duff, Roger Shepherd". Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. The New Zealand Government. Retrieved 6 September 2015. 
  4. ^ Moorefield, John C. "Tapu". Maori Dictionary - Te Aka Māori-English, English-Māori Dictionary. Retrieved 6 September 2015. 
  5. ^ Davidson, Janet. "Duff, Roger Shepherd". Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. The New Zealand Government. Retrieved 6 September 2015. 
  6. ^ Simmons, D. R. (20 April 1967). "The Lake Hauroko Burial: Preliminary Report". New Zealand Archaeological Association Newsletter: 66–68. 
  7. ^ "Kōiwi Tangata Human Remains". Archaeological Guidelines Series: 12. 22 February 2010.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help);
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