The summit offers panoramic views from the east coast, out across the Ruahine Ranges and on a clear day to the slopes of Mt Ruapehu. The area is known for producing fine wine and foods due to the warm, dry climate.
Te Mata Peak offers several nature trails for trampers and mountain bikers. Te Mata peak can also be accessed by car.
Local history portrays the area as defined by love and loss. Centuries ago the people living on the Heretaunga Plains were under constant threat of war from the coastal tribes of Waimarama. A plan was devised in which Hinerakau, the beautiful daughter of a Pakipaki chief, was to seduce the leader of the Waimarama tribes, a giant named Te Mata.
The plan succeeded, but she too fell in love and was made by her people to set impossible tasks for Te Mata to test his affections. His final mission was to bite a tunnel through a series of hills between the coast and the plains. However Te Mata chocked to death and his body formed Te Mata Peak.
Legend has it that the mists which stretch from the crown of Kahuraanake, are known to be the blue cloak with which the grieving Hinerakau covered Te Mata’s body.
- main photo courtesy www.acpalmer.co.nz