Local Heart, Global Soul

March 20, 2012

Truly a Mouthful for The Guinness Book of Records…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

So where are we going to today? If I just give you a name right now it won’t necessarily make a lot of sense so I’ll explain.

There was a definite hint in yesterday’s post with the mention of hills, hills and more hills.

Himself is despirately wanting to see a hill.  Not just any hill mind you, this one is extra special to geography geeks because it is the holder of the title of the Longest Geographical Place Name in the World.

So…now the following should hopefully make little more sense: we are headed to:

Himself displayed his talent for geography as early as age seven, by which time he already knew the name of every Capital City of every country in the world.

He still knows them and also added every new former Eastern Block state as they emerged as well as new or changed country or capital city names in the decades between then and now.

Himself also loves languages… and likes a challenge. Combine this with his love of geography and well, it should come as no surprise to learn that he learned the world’s longest place name off-by-heart years ago.

He’s even working on teaching it to our kids. Himself has hankered after visiting it for years and this is why we are driving a little used road in the Hawke’s Bay area of New Zealand … to see a hill that’s 305 metres high (1001 feet) and who knows, if it’s possible he’d love to climb the hill too.

We arrive at the place on the road where the hill can be seen, and find a huge sign that gives the name and the story behind it and thus the meaning of the name. I took a photograph of the text but it might be a bit hard to read so I’ve typed it out below:


(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Tamatea was a well known chief, warrier and exporer of his time. He is the ancestor of the Ngati Kahungunu people of Porangahau, and acquired many names to commemorate his prowess.

Whilst passing through the district of Porangahau, Tamatea encountered the Ngati Hine people and had to fight them to get past.

In the battle known as “Matanui”, his brother was killed.

Tamatea was so grieved at his loss that he stayed for some time at that place and each morning he would sit on the knoll to play a lament on his Koauau.(a kind of flute or nose flute)

Hence the name indicating the hill on which Tamatea, the chief of great physical statue and renoun, played a lament on his flute to the memory of his brother.

Since we started out early enough and everyone could use a break from driving these winding roads, Himself decides that he will climb it after all… he’s busy training for a half marathon at the moment so starts running and is soon out of sight. I take some photos of the surroundings whilst the kids get out a plastic blow-up ball we were given and start a two kid game of football on the grass nearby.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I have the DSLR camera in the car so try and follow his progress using the  zoom lens but he’s quickly masked by bush and trees. He takes my little pocket point-and-shoot camera and will take a few photos on the way up and from the top…. here are the shots he captured on his run up the hill with the longest geographical place name in the world.

(photograph © Himself)

(photograph © Himself)

(photograph © Himself)

(photograph © Himself)

(photograph © Himself)

(photograph © Himself)

(photograph © Himself)

(photograph © Himself)


  1. Wow how would you pronounce that!

    Comment by rsmacaalay — March 21, 2012 @ 5:12 am | Reply

  2. Truly an example of “just because you CAN, doesn’t mean you SHOULD!” 😉 Lovely place…ridiculously long name!

    Comment by milkayphoto — March 21, 2012 @ 12:16 pm | Reply

  3. […] https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/2012/03/20/new-649/ Truly a Mouthful for The Guinness Book of Records… […]

    Pingback by Another Trip, This Time Southwards And Home… | Local Heart, Global Soul — June 21, 2018 @ 1:00 am | Reply

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