Free enamel pin when you buy any two Atlas Obscura products. Shop now.

Porangahau, New Zealand

The Longest Place Name In The World

Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauo tamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronuku pokaiwhenuakitanatahu. 

Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronuku-

-pokaiwhenuakitanatahu holds the world record for being the longest place name on the entire planet, at the length of 85 characters. 

This 1,000-foot hill on the North Island of New Zealand is named after Tamatea, who was a legendary Maori explorer who traversed across the vast lands of New Zealand. To honor his exploits, the Maori people named a hill after him, and to show their true adoration, they used an entire sentence. The 85 character toponym translates literally to “the summit where Tamatea, the man with the big knees, the slider, climber of mountains, the land-swallower who travelled about, played his nose flute to his loved one.”

Although the 85-charter toponym is the official name, there are many other versions of the name that are less commonly used - for example, “Taumata-whakatangihanga-koauau-o-Tamatea-haumai-tawhiti-ure-haea-turi-pukaka-piki-maunga-horo-nuku-pokai-whenua-ki-tana-tahu,” which has 105 letters and translates to “the hill of the nose-flute playing by Tamatea - who was blown hither from afar, had a slit penis, grazed his knees climbing mountains, fell on the earth, and encircled the land - to his beloved.”

Regardless of whether it’s spelled with 85 letters or 105, this hill remains the Guinness Book of World Records leader for longest place name, and has become a tourist attraction for geography and word nerds from across the globe.

Edit Place