This 1,000-foot hill near the township of Porangahau holds the Guinness World Record for the longest place name with 85 characters. Locals call it Taumata or Taumata Hill.
Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu translates to “The place where Tamatea, the man with the big knees, who slid, climbed and swallowed mountains, known as the land-eater, played his flute to his loved one”. The hill is located in the southern part of Hawke’s Bay on the North Island of New Zealand, near Porangahau.
Porangahau is a small coastal settlement located in the southern part of Hawke’s Bay, on the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island. The settlement is situated on the shores of Porangahau Bay and is known for its rugged coastline, beautiful beaches, and rich Maori and European history.
It has an elevation of 1,001 feet and is often called “Taumata”. The name originates from Maori legend, which tells the story of Tamatea, a great chief, warrior, and explorer who traveled across the land of Aotearoa (New Zealand) playing his flute to his loved ones. The hill got its lengthy name from a native warrior named Tamatea. Legend has it that after his brother was killed in a fight with another tribe, Tamatea spent the following days grieving his loss by playing his flute on the hill.
Tamatea is revered in Maori culture and is seen as a symbol of courage, wisdom, and exploration. His legacy continues to inspire many people today, both in New Zealand and around the world.
Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu is a significant landmark in New Zealand and attracts many tourists each year. The name has also become famous for its length and is often cited as an example of the unique and complex nature of the Maori language.
You can find the hill by driving south from Waipukurau for about 55 kilometers and turning right onto Wimbledon Road. A sign displaying the name is situated about five kilometers along this road. It’s a great photo opportunity. The actual place is on private land, so permission is required before you can walk to it.
- “Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu” on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu
- “Hawke’s Bay places – Porangahau and districts” on Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand: https://teara.govt.nz/en/hawkes-bay-places/page-4
- “Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu: Longest Place Name” on Atlas Obscura: https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu
- New Zealand
- “Tamatea” on NZ History: https://nzhistory.govt.nz/people/tamatea
- “Tamatea-pōkai-whenua” on Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand: https://teara.govt.nz/en/1966/tamatea-pokai-whenua
- “Tamatea – The Explorer” on Maori Myths and Legends: https://maorimythology.com/maori-myths-and-legends/tamatea-the-explorer/
- “Porangahau” on Hawke’s Bay Regional Council: https://www.hbrc.govt.nz/hawkes-bay/towns-villages/porangahau/
- “Porangahau – History and Heritage” on Hawke’s Bay Regional Council: https://www.hbrc.govt.nz/hawkes-bay/towns-villages/porangahau/porangahau-history-and-heritage/
- “Porangahau Beach Campground” on Porangahau Beach Campground: https://porangahaubeachcampground.co.nz/
- “Porangahau War Memorial Hall” on Heritage New Zealand: https://www.heritage.org.nz/the-list/details/7907