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Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown, New Zealand | by FraserElliot
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Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown, New Zealand

Lake Wakatipu is the 3rd largest lake in New Zealand. The lake has a rhythmic rise and fall in water level, roughly about 12 cm every five minutes, known as a seiche.


In Maori legend the seiche has become the beating heart of a dead giant. The Maori legends state that the giant Matau was burnt to death in his sleep after he abducted a chief's daughter, burning a massive hole in the ground and melting the ice and snow of the surrounding mountains, forming the lake. The lake is a large S shape, like a giant, curled up and sleeping on its side. Matau's head rested at Glenorchy, at the north of the lake, and his feet south in Kingston. Queenstown sits on Matau's knee. Legend states that a Giant's heart is impossible to destroy, and causes this rise and fall in water levels.


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flash panorama - i wish it was a 360 degree shot


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Taken on January 19, 2009