Many years ago, a beautiful Maori princess called Manata was stolen by a giant of the name Matau. The king declared that whichever man saved his daughter from Matau would win her hand in marriage. Now, the King had previously refused to allow the marriage of his daughter and Matakuri, and so, still completely in love, he vowed to avenge the princess.
He battled to the top of the mountain where Matau held the princess captive. He rescued Manata and set fire to Matau and his home. As the ice and snow melted a huge hollow was formed in the rock which filled with water creating a huge lake.
Unusually, the lake features a tidal wave and legend has it that the rise and fall is caused by the ever-beating heartbeat of the spirit of Matau.
Queenstown now sits on this lake enshrouded in legend. Lake Wakatipu winds round the city for 90 kilometres, reaches depths of 410 metres and is lined by The Remarkables mountain range.