Rock art

A giant moa (extinct flightless bird) stalking regally is among the subjects of some of New Zealand’s most significant prehistoric rock art in the lush hill country of inland South Canterbury.

A giant moa (extinct flightless bird) stalking regally is among the subjects of some of New Zealand''s most significant prehistoric rock art in the lush hill country of inland South Canterbury.

The limestone bluffs and caves of this region are the natural art galleries to 90 per cent of New Zealand''s remaining rock art - all within a 70 kilometre radius of Timaru.

There are at least 300 rock art sites in South Canterbury and more are being discovered all the time. There is a huge amount of work going on right now in preserving these sites and providing access and information for the growing number of visitors keen to have this unique glimpse into New Zealand''s past.

Drawn on the smooth limestone are figures representing the Maori hunters and gatherers who, while sheltering here, recreated the world they saw around them - they drew their dogs, moas, New Zealand''s massive extinct eagle and creatures straight from Maori mythology.

Central South Island Tourism can provide media with more information about South Canterbury''s rock art and provide details on how to visit some of the sites.