Interesting Facts about Split Apple Rock

6 Fun Facts about Split Apple Rock You Never Knew!

Many people come to Split Apple Rock every year as it’s a popular tourist attraction, and for good reason. This has to be one of the country’s most picturesque spots, which is why it’s virtually obligatory to snap a photo of it when you’re here. 

There’s more to this place than the “split apple” itself, though. If you’re interested, here are seven fun facts about Split Apple Rock.

In “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” Split Apple Rock was portrayed as part of Middle Earth, adding to the fantastical environment of the film. Its unique, almost surreal shape was a perfect fit for the epic scenery in this fantasy adventure.

Similarly, the “Power Rangers” series often featured otherworldly landscapes, and Split Apple Rock was no exception. In episodes where our heroes needed to solve riddles or face challenges, this iconic rock often served as a backdrop, creating an intriguing and mysterious atmosphere. 

2. It is made of granite from the Cretaceous period and is estimated to be around 120 million years old.

Split Apple Rock’s granite composition hails from the Cretaceous period, a prehistoric era dating back approximately 120 million years. This timeline places the formation of Split Apple Rock roughly around the same time dinosaurs roamed the earth, adding another layer of intrigue to its story.

But the granite was formed deep within the earth’s crust under immense pressure and intense heat, a process that spans millions of years. Over time, natural forces like erosion and weathering revealed this remarkable formation, giving us the split apple-like appearance we see today.

3. The most likely cause of Split Apple Rock is a natural phenomenon known as ice wedging.

Ice wedging is a natural process that occurs when water seeps into the crevices of rocks, freezes, expands, and eventually splits the rock apart. In the case of Split Apple Rock, during the colder months, any water that seeped into the tiny cracks in the granite would freeze, and its volume would expand. 

This expansion exerts a substantial amount of pressure on the surrounding rock. As the seasons change and temperatures rise, the ice melts and water drains out of the crack. 

This leaves a larger void and allows even more water to seep in during the next freeze. Over time, this cycle of freezing, expanding, thawing, and refilling can result in the rock splitting in two, much like the appearance of Split Apple Rock.

4. The Māori people of New Zealand have their own legend about how Split Apple Rock was formed.

According to Māori legend, Split Apple Rock was formed during a quarrel between two gods. These celestial beings were both vying for the possession of a unique, golden apple. 

Unable to decide who should be the rightful owner, they engaged in a fierce tussle, ultimately causing the apple to split in two. The two halves then fell into the sea and hardened into stone over time, resulting in the formation we see today. 

This myth adds a layer of cultural significance to Split Apple Rock, encapsulating the local Māori tradition of attributing natural phenomena to the actions of gods.

5. Split Apple Rock is also known by its Māori name, Tokangawhā, which means “burst open rock.”

Tokangawhā, which translates to “burst open rock,” beautifully encapsulates the physical appearance of Split Apple Rock. By using this name, the Māori people acknowledge the rock’s distinctive formation while also paying tribute to their own cultural heritage and the power of nature.

6. The rock is approximately 160 feet from the shore and sits in shallow water.

Despite its distance from the beach, the rock formation is quite accessible due to the relative shallowness of the surrounding water. This makes it a favourite spot for tourists and locals alike who enjoy swimming, kayaking, or canoeing to the rock.

Its unique location also offers an excellent opportunity for snorkeling and underwater exploration. From certain viewpoints on the shore, the rock appears to be floating, creating a magical and otherworldly scene that has fascinated many for generations.