Hinemoa, the beautiful daughter of Amukaria, a great Maori chief, had seen Tutanekai, a chief and brave warrior from the island of Mokoia, only once, during a tribal gathering; yet she knew she loved him dearly. Amukaria counselled his daughter to forget this man, whose flute-playing Hinemoa heard as it came, soft but clear, across the lake which separated them.
At night she went to the shore and listened. The sound of the flute spoke to Hinemoa, giving her courage. When Tutanekai managed to get a message to Hinemoa, her mind was made up.
On the next moonless night she entered the dark, cold waters of the lake, using empty gourds as floats. She was determined to swim the long distance to her lover. Tutanekai's flute-playing kept her going, until at last she reached the shores of Mokoia.
Great was the joy when the lovers at last met, the rocks echoing Tutanekai's cry - 'HINEMOA'.