Tour, Performance, & Hangi Meal at Whakarewarewa, the Living Maori Village
Tauranga, New Zealand
- Village tour: Ancestral ways live on there, including daily use of the formidable geothermal energy resources revered by the Maori as gifts from the gods. Tribal history is traced in magnificent carvings called marae.
- Cultural performance: Learn about Maori culture through stories that are fascinating and often funny; marvel at an unforgettable performance of the traditional haka, an elaborate dance of celebration, tribute – or war. Performance occurs daily at 11:15am and 2:00pm by one of Rotorua’s leading Kapa Haka Groups.
- Whakarewarewa Valley tour: Feel the power and majesty of the world's most accessible geothermal phenomena; see boiling mud pools, hot springs, and geysers, including Pohutu, the Southern Hemisphere's largest active geyser.
- A hearty hangi meal: Enjoy chicken, beef, vegetables, stuffing, gravy, corn on the cob, and the world-famous Whakarewarewa steam pudding. But it's the "steambox" cooking process that's the star – a hangi basket lowered into a steaming cooking pool.
About This Tauranga Tour
In Maori culture, the geothermal areas of New Zealand (the land they call Aotearoa) are considered gifts from the gods, and respected as such. They were created by the goddesses of fire, Te Pupu and Te Hoata, to keep their brother from freezing on Tongariro Mountain. In the process, they created the famous Pohutu Geyser.
The details vary somewhat, depending on who's telling the tale. In one version, geysers, steam vents, mud pools, and other geothermal phenomena were created directly by the goddesses as they searched for their brother.
Another version has the sisters traveling beneath the surface of the Earth; every time they raised their heads for a look, they created a hot spot. A third version says Te Pupu and Te Hoata sent fire demons to their brother's aid, who left a bubbling, steaming trail behind them.
In every version, Pohutu (Maori for a big splash or explosion) is the result. About 20 times a day, it explodes to heights of 100 feet or more – the most powerful geyser in the Southern Hemisphere, and surely one of the gods' gifts.
It's hard to believe anything cooked over something that smells like sulfur will taste good; but the smell of the cooking pool doesn't affect the taste of the food; the Maori seasoning does. On the other hand, the natural softeners in the water make the vegetable skins nice and soft. These types of pools are amazing for another reason; three of them have growths of what appears to be living sea coral – on land.
Please make your way to 17 Tryon St, Whakarewarewa, Rotorua to begin your adventure.
This tour offers independent exploration, giving you maximum flexibility to GoBe whatever and wherever you like and for the amount of time you wish to spend.
The drive to Rotorua is approximately 90 minutes to begin your adventure.
There is a ramp to access the venue.
Photography may be restricted during the Maori ceremonies.
Travelers may be asked to remove their hats during the Maori ceremonies.
Tour involves roughly 0.2 miles of walking over hard, packed gravel, cobblestone and concrete surfaces.
Cultural, Walking Tour
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated moderate. Full participation may require extended periods of walking over even and uneven surfaces, steep terrain and/or water activity in a slight current. There may be steps, inclines, cobblestone surfaces, and extended periods of standing. Participants with physical limitations should take this into account.
Suitable for all ages.
Non-refundable if canceled within 24 hours of requested services.
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