Maori Tiki (New Zealand)  LbNA # 37023

OwnerWisconsin Hiker      
Placed DateNov 27 2007
CountyOther International
LocationFox Glacier, SI, New Zealand, INT
Found By 55 steps
Last Found Mar 19 2011
Hike Distance1 mi
Last EditedMay 14 2016

Location: Lake Matheson, 6 km west of the town of Fox Glacier. From SH 6, turn onto Cook Flat Road and go until you reach the Café and parking area. At the far end of the lot you can spot a trailhead sign and a map showing the path around the lake.

Time: 20-60+ minutes, depending on whether you do the entire loop

Terrain: Mostly wooded wide path with some gradual ascents/descents.

We planted this box while we vacationed in New Zealand. One aspect of the country that interested us was the Maori culture, so we created several boxes on this theme.

Suggested ink colors: Green if you would like a pounamu tiki, brown if you want a wood tiki.

In Māori mythology, Tiki is the first man. Depending on the region of New Zealand, there are many different stories about whether the first human created was a woman or a man, and various stories about who created them.

The term tiki is also applied to carved human figures generally, both by the Maori and by other Polynesians. In New Zealand, tiki is usually applied to the human figure carved in greenstone as a neck ornament. The full name is hei-tiki. In Māori usage, the word 'tiki' is also the name given to large wooden carvings in roughly human shape.

Tiki or heitiki are most commonly made from nephrite, a stone related to jade and found in several places in New Zealand's South Island. It is called pounamu in Maori, greenstone in New Zealand English. The Maori name for the South Island, Te Wai Pounamu, refers to this stone. There are traditional accounts for the creation of the stone which relate it to the children of Tangaroa. It is a very hard stone and is laborious to work, especially so with the primitive grinding tools available to the neolithic Maori.

To find the Tiki we have placed in New Zealand, you must begin the walk around Lake Matheson. The lake was formed by an iceberg that was left behind when the Fox glacier retreated 14,000 years ago.

Start at the trailhead from the parking lot and cross the sturdy swing bridge. Continue on across another bridge and take a left when you reach a decision point. Walk along until you reach a picnic table at a viewing point and then take 22 steps further to a fallen log on the left side of the path. The Tiki waits for you at the root end of the log.

The box is covered in camouflage tape so it blends in with its surroundings. Please watch for traffic coming from both ways on the path before you retrieve or rehide the box so it won’t be a target for muggles!

After stamping in and carefully rehiding the box, you can either return the way you came or continue around the lake loop. If you continue around, there are several other view points and if it is a clear calm day, you might be able to get one of those famous reflective views of the mountains in the lake.

I’d really appreciate a status update if you find the box, since we live VERY FAR away and won’t be able to check on it ourselves. Kia ora!