Story: Te Arawa

White Terraces, Lake Rotomahana, 1890

White Terraces, Lake Rotomahana, 1890

This oil painting shows the famed silica terraces which were colonial New Zealand’s premier tourist attraction. The White Terraces were known as Te Tarata (the tattooed rock). The Pink Terraces, known as Ō-tū-kapua-rangi (fountain of the clouded sky), were smaller and lower. Tourists were taken to the terraces in whaleboats or canoes. When the terraces were obliterated in the Tarawera eruption of 1886, many Te Arawa lost jobs as the tourist trade dried up.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: G-630
Oil painting by Charles Blomfield

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Paul Tapsell, 'Te Arawa - The Tarawera eruption', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 2 December 2021)

Story by Paul Tapsell, published 8 Feb 2005, updated 22 Mar 2017