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Ngongotaha

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Ngongotaha is a town on the western shores of Lake Rotorua in New Zealand's North Island.It is located 10 kilometers northwest of Rotorua city, and is often regarded as an outer suburb of the larger centre. However, most locals would be adamant that Ngongotaha is an independent village in its own right. Its population is 4000. Its name is derived from a legend of Ihenga, the famous Māori explorer. It is said Ihenga met the Patu-paiarehe on Mount Ngongotaha and was offered a drink from a calabash (ngongo = to drink, tahā = calabash.Ngongotaha is often referred to by locals as the "Sunny side of the Mountain". The village has strong football (Ngongotaha AFC), rugby league (Ngongotaha Chiefs), rugby union and netball teams. There are several marae within the community.The township is currently experiencing development and growth, with several new housing developments occurring, as well as the village centre developing a 'cafe' scene. The main road through the village was recently made a state highway, this now being known as SH36, running via Kaharoa and Pyes Pa to Tauranga.The Rotorua Branch railway runs through Ngongotaha, although this has been unused since the turn of the century. A Railway Park, run by enthusiasts, provides train rides on a scale model steam train and a mini diesel-locomotive on the Western side of Ngongotaha near the former line.
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