The name comes from local Maori legend and relates to the meeting of two tribes in battle and the overwhelming slaughter of one of them. As was the custom, the defeated were consigned to the hangi (earth oven) and in these two cases the hangi was so big that the feasting was likened to eating rats, hence the name - Puke; hill - kai; food - kiore; polynesian rat.
|Ngauruhoe (left) and Pukekaikiore (right)|
|Ngauruhoe from Pukekaikiore|
|"Surrender to the sky" James K Baxter|
The scrub towards the bottom slowed me enough to be able to converse with a fernbird. Back at the carpark four young Frenchmen were looking for a ride back to their vehicle at the other end of the Tongariro Crossing. I obliged.
I reckon that days like this lengthen your life.