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Opotaka – home of the Haka


For rugby fans, schoolchildren who have practiced the haka dance at school or visitors who have listened or witnessed the collective power of a challenge and response the Ka Mate story starts in Taupo. The war dance (haka) originated in Opotaka, located on the edge of Lake Rotoaira. The strategic location of a lake, swamp on either side was ideal for a fortified pa (village) site. The “first Haka” was credited to Chief Te Rauparaha as he was protecting from his enemies by Chief Te Whareangi and his wife back in the 1820’s. Location: Opotaka is located on SH47 between Turangi and National Park.

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