Abel Tasman’s Split Apple Rock: Logic or Legend

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There are at least three ways to get to Split Apple Rock. Take the long, but scenic route by tramping (hiking) through the forest. Paddle to it in a kayak or climb aboard a tour boat and cruise around. Regardless of your mode of transport, almost everyone who visits Abel Tasman National Park ventures past this colossal lump of granite and marvels at how it has been cleanly sliced.

Ask any geologist and he or she would explain water simply seeped down through a crack and froze during the Ice Age. The severe temperature changes caused the boulder to split.

That’s logical, but certainly lacks the drama of the Māori legend. They say a giant seabird laid an egg on a pile of rocks next to the South Island and disappeared. Both the Sea God and the Land God claimed it as their own. A battle ensued causing one of them to slice the egg in half rather than his opponent. Neither was interested in a chopped egg and left the halves to turn into stone. Guess the gods didn’t fancy a massive deviled egg.

If you enjoyed this story, you may also enjoy another one about Abel Tasman National Park or an entire book of them in The Unguidebook: New Zealand’s South Island.