"The majority of the rock art sites in Aotearoa New Zealand are found in Te Waipounamu, or the South Island. They are widely spread from Fiordland in the south to North Westland.
However, the major concentrations of sites are located in the limestone rich areas of North Otago and South Canterbury."
KI UTA KI TAI — HE ARA TAWHITO
From the mountains to the sea — an ancient pathway
Maerewhenua is a significant landmark in the traditions of Ngāi Tahu Whānui.
The rock shelter you can see lies within an ancient food gathering region that follows a pathway that links the mountains and the sea, along the Waitaki River.
The headwaters of the Waitaki River are fed from ka roimata o Aoraki — the tears of Aoraki — the ancestral mountain of Ngāi Tahu Whānui.
Maerewhenua is a physical reminder of our many ancestors who have passed through this landscape. This land provided shelter, sustenance, and guidance to our people.
Maerewhenua is a place to share knowledge, a place to learn from, and a repository of people and treasures from the past. Maerewhenua is a gift from our ancestors, to be passed on to all our descendants.
~ Maerewhenua site notice