Whenua – Ōmakō

Ōmakō is one of the Ngāi Tahu names for the Lindis Pass area. The name denotes both the pass and the river. This dramatic and iconic landscape which links Te Manahuna (Mackenzie Basin) with the lakes of Central Otago was part of an important ara tawhito extending from the Waitaki river mouth to Lake Hawea. Such traditional travel routes were fundamental to the operation of the Ngāi Tahu mahinga kai system. Tuna (eels) were gathered from the Ōmakō River and the wider region was renowned for weka hunting and for its plentiful plant resources including taramea (speargrass) and tikumu (mountain daisy).

Photograph: Tony Bridge.

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