45. Timaru, Moeraki Boulders and Kakanui Coastline
In Timaru, I went and spent a couple of hours in the Te Ana Maori Rock Art Centre which is set within the Information Centre. It was an awesome exhibition and didn’t only focus on Rock Art but also gave a lot of information about how Maori lived in the area both before and after Pakeha (non-Maori New Zealanders) arrived. It was beautifully set up and better still I had full permission to take photos and touch everything possible – fabulous as I typically have real trouble stopping myself from touching and sniffing things in museums. What couldn’t be touched was set behind glass to keep it protected from desirous sweaty fingers, like the original rock arts.
There was a real mokihi, a river boat ingeniously built from bundles of harakeke/flax flower stems which I fell in love with. My tour guide said back when they were used a lot, mokihi would become waterlogged after a few hours in the water, so they kept several at a time at strategic points along the river so you could swap out of a wet one to let it dry out, and jump into a dry one. They were shared between different travellers, who always ensured one was left for others to use.