Matakaea (Shag Point), located immediately north of the Waihemo (Shag River) on the Otago coastline, is where the famed Ārai-te-uru waka capsized. The Ārai-te-uru waka came from the ancient homeland of Hawaiki, bringing kūmara to Aotearoa. After reaching Te Ika-a-Māui (North Island), the waka then travelled down the east coast of Te Waipounamu. The journey was reasonably smooth until the waka encountered heavy seas at the Waitaki River mouth. Here the round food baskets and water-carrying gourds were lost overboard, forming the Moeraki boulders; the waka then continued down the coast before capsizing at Matakaea.

Find out more about Kāi Tahu placenames here.

Group 1270

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