By Carly Daniels
You’re about to start the climb. Looking up to the top of the mountain, and it seems to grow. Grow higher and higher into the clouds. When you reach the top you look down. But you bend too far. You start to fall. You’re falling closer and closer to the ground. You can’t scream, then the second before you hit the ground you open your eyes. You’re at the bottom of the mountain. It was just a dream. Then you start the climb. this time you know not to look too far over the top.
Mt. Maungatautari is an amazing mountain full of beautiful birds and ginormous trees. It has a huge wall keeping out all unwelcome animals, aka pests. Some say that the mountain has two different halves, and if you look at it sideways left and right you can see the face of a man and the face of a woman. A lot of people like to climb up one side and climb down the other. This walk would take the average person 5-6 hours. On the bottom of one of the sides of the mountain there is a marae. This marae holds many stories of the mountain and the Maori culture that surrounds the mountain. The stories are from many years ago when the Maori families could not just go down to the shops to buy their food and drink. They had to retrieve it for themselves. Each story has a painting, each painting has the mountain in the background. Wether it is just sitting there or people are hunting in it, it is always there. Just hanging around.
Every day people all over the world are climbing mountains but very few get to experience the wonderful, beautiful scenery of Mt. Maungatautari. Some people say that you can see the two faces of the mountain because of the King and Queen of nature died and put their souls into the mountain that caused the mountain to form in the shape of their faces. Throughout the mountain there is a special plant that helps people when they are in pain. It’s like medicine. They used it before medicine came around. If you stuck part of one of the leaves on your tongue, tour tongue would go numb, causing the pain to stop. The Maori families would also mush up the leaves and use it as a liquid, so it could help with pain all around the body, not just in the mouth. So Mt. Maungatautari does not only have beauty, but it has great uses too.
Each person who climbs the beautiful mountain gets a great experience. The experience of a lifetime. I myself have been extremely lucky and I have been able to climb up the amazing mountain twice, and each time I learnt more and more about the mountain, and I enjoyed every second of it.
Want to research more about Maungatautari, check out our collections online: https://collection.tamuseum.org.nz/objects?query=maungatautari