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Mantell's Rocks

A group of large rocks on a hilcrest are associated with Gondwana are part Diorite - Gabbro.

In December 1851 Walter BD Mantell(1820-1895), then newly-appointed Commissioner of Crown Lands for Otago, embarked upon what we would describe today as a pedestrian 'Coast to Coast'.

Travelling on foot, Mantell was the first European to make the Southern traverse from Dunedin overland to the South Coast of Murihiku (Southland) and as far west as the Waiau River. His mission from Governor Grey was to negotiate the purchase of the 7 million acre (3 million ha) Murihiku Block from local Maori. Mantell arrived at Jacob's River (Riverton ) in late December of 1851 before setting out to visit the outlying coastal Maori Settlements of Oraka, Kawakaputaputa and across the Waiau River.

On his return he set out the Kawakaputaputa Reserve (395 ha) which bounded the sea and included the old kaika (settlement) garden and urupa (burial) sites. Mantell's diary records "17th January 1852 Saturday 7.30 am began cutting the (boundary) line. It runs through excellent land and near its termination crosses a fine craggy (rock) eminence grown over with gnarled old trees."
In his honour his native companion George Wera named the rockery outcrop "Matara Crags" or " Mantell's Rocks".

In 1853 after Mantell's negotiations, the land was purchased for 2,600 pound.

Continue your journey on to Cosy Nook and pause for a while to watch the ocean waves swell along the rocky shore of Garden Bay.



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