Bottle Point is a rugged point of land semi-circling Otu Bay. The island off Bottle Point was once joined to the point with a narrow natural rock bridge that collapsed in 1916.1
There is a legend that long ago a party of warriors invading Rangitoto ki te Tonga / D’Urville Island chased local Māori across the land bridge at the end of the point, trapping them. The invaders decided to sit and wait until the fugitives’ food and water supplies were exhausted. The invaders were thwarted when the defenders decided to throw their possessions into the sea and jump in themselves, committing suicide and avoiding capture.2
Punaatawake Bay is south of Bottle Point. The name of the bay loosely translates as the breath of the legendary octopus, Te Wheke.3
Māori oral history recalls the Polynesian navigator Kupe was led to New Zealand by the giant octopus Te Wheke-o-Muturangi. Intent on killing the octopus that was robbing his tribe of fish, Kupe, along with his family and some warriors, set out in a large waka to hunt it down. The octopus swam south for weeks and eventually took shelter near Cook Strait/ Te Moana-o-Raukawa, where Kupe found it. After a long battle, Kupe killed Te Wheke with a blow to the head.4
Puotewheke (Scuffle Island) is an offshore island between Punaatawake Bay and Black Reef Bay. The name was also given to a small blowhole off Bottle Point. If the tide and the sea are right, the sound and force of the blow hole shakes the surrounding ground.5
1. “Bottle Point”, New Zealand Gazetteer, (Land Information New Zealand, 2018), accessed, June 25, 2018, https://gazetteer.linz.govt.nz/place/17059 .
4. O’Shea, Steve and Wassilieff, Maggy, “Octopus and squid - Octopus in New Zealand”, Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, accessed, June 26, 2018, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/octopus-and-squid/page-4 .
5. ” Puotewheke (Scuffle Island)”, New Zealand Gazetteer, (Land Information New Zealand, 2018), accessed, June 25, 2018, https://gazetteer.linz.govt.nz/place/4857 .