World Wonders

When Mt Tarawera erupted on June 10, 1886 we lost what had become known as ‘the eighth wonder of the world’, New Zealand’s famed Pink and White Terraces (Otukapuarangi and Te Tarata). For over a century all that remained of these large silica terraces were early tourist photos and artist and eyewitness impressions. Despite the destruction caused by the eruption, Mt Tarwera and the surrounding area, along with its history and legends remains a 'World Wonder'. Do you agree?

Hot Water Cups, White Terrace, Charles Spencer, 1880 - 1885, From the collection of: Te Papa
FROUDE'S DESCRIPTION OF THE PINK AND WHITE TERRACES. (Taranaki Herald, 01 July 1886) - National Library of New Zealand. Copy and paste link into new browser tab
Pink Terraces, Charles Blomfield, 1886, From the collection of: Te Papa
In addition to paintings by Charles Blomfield local people, tourists, artists and explorers have all recorded their perspectives of The Terraces from personal accounts and the descriptions of others. Compare this written description of the Pink Terraces by explorer Ernst Dieffenbach, with the Blomfield's painting and descriptions from the documentary film 'Tarawera'.
White Terraces, Rotomahana, Charles Blomfield, 1897, From the collection of: Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki
GNSscience rediscover The White Terraces. We may not be able to view the Terraces as visualised by Charles Blomfield however is this GNS discovery proof enough to support the argument for 'World Wonder' status? View the video below.
The Phantom Canoe: A Legend of Lake Tarawera, Kennett Watkins, 1888, From the collection of: Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki
Stories and legends from generations of whanau can be linked to this region and reflect the importance of the people and their history. How important is it to recognise and preserve these stories? Take some time to explore the painting. Use the analysis tool to help guide your thinking. Next read this account from the 1966 Encyclopedia of New Zealand Then watch the video and compare and contrast any new thinking with your initial ideas.
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