Visitors in search of the esoteric might want to stray along SH52, which makes a 120km tar-sealed loop east towards the rugged coastline from dull Waipukurau, 50km south of Hastings, re-emerging at Dannevirke. Almost 50km south of Waipukurau (and 6km south of Porangahau, where there is rare coastal access), a sign marks the hill known as Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu, which, unsurprisingly, rates as one of the world’s longest place names; roughly, this mouthful translates as “the hill where Tamatea, circumnavigator of the lands, played the flute for his lover”.

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