Tamatea the great Maori traveller
Maori Legend of Hot Springs
Tamatea found himself at Banks Peninsula without a fire. An appeal to the North Island brought a rolling ball of flame from Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe, part of which fell off and formed the Hanmer Springs. Since the story continues with Tamatea’s journey to Nelson during which the fire kept the party warm, it is perhaps not fanciful to detect a reference to an ancient knowledge and use of the springs by Maori travellers.