Owhata marae is situated due east of Rotorua city, overlooking the shores of Rotoruanui a Kahumatamomoe. It is approximately, a ten minute drive from Rotorua city to Hinemoa Point.
The name Owhata was given to this area by our tupuna, Ihenga, during his early explorations. He named this place because of the many whata he first saw in the area.
Within the marae grounds there is a prominent and sacred rock called Iriirikapua.
This rock holds significant importance to the people of Ngati Te Roro o te Rangi who now reside at Owhata. In the legendary love story of Hinemoa and Tutanekai, tradition tells us how Hinemoa would sit on this rock, listening to Tutanekai playing his koauau from Mokoia Island and how she longed to be with him.
They eventually united and their descendants still live there today.
It is appropriate then, that the Whare tupuna at Owhata marae are Hinemoa and Tutanekai.
Page last updated 24 Dec 2008