Island romance in Lake Rotorua - Roadside Stories

A Manatū Taonga audio guide to Mokoia Island and Lake Rotorua.

Check out the Ministry for Culture and Heritage's audio guide to Mokoia Island in the Video tab.

Mokoia Island in Lake Rotorua is the setting for the well-known Māori love story of Hinemoa and Tūtānekai, who kept their relationship a secret because of family disapproval. The pair were united on the island after Hinemoa’s epic swim across the lake, guided by the sound of her lover’s flute music.

Māori love stories
Lake Rotorua
Te Arawa
Tūtānekai’s flute
Hinemoa’s swim

Roadside Stories are a series of audio guides to places of interest on major road trips in New Zealand. Each guide tells the story of an attraction along the way – its people, its history, its cultural and natural significance. For more information about Roadside Stories visit

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