In Māori tradition, Taranaki Maunga once dwelled with the other mountains – Ruapehu, Tongariro and Ngāuruhoe – in the centre of the North Island. He and Tongariro fought a titanic battle for the favours of the beautiful, bush-clad Pīhanga. Taranaki was finally defeated and made his way to the west coast of the North Island, forming the Whanganui River during his flight. As he rested one night a spur of the Pouākai Range grew out and prevented him from continuing the following morning, so today he remains in splendid isolation in the west.
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Penguin Random House
Reference: Peter Gossage, Battle of the mountains, NZ. Auckland: Reed Publishing, 2005
Artwork by Peter Gossage
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