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Rotorua Maori Experience

Rotorua maori Experience

The Rotorua Maori experience is the best way to learn about the Maori culture while visiting New Zealand. This post includes everything you need to know about the experience and the company we recommend.

Rotorua Maori Experience

New Zealand is a country that has so much to offer its visitors. From the stunning Southern Alps, huge volcanoes, breathtaking hiking trails, and turquoise lakes, New Zealand has something for everyone. These, although unique to New Zealand, do exist elsewhere in the world. There is, however, one experience that only exists in New Zealand and that’s the Rotorua Maori experience!

The Maori people were the first culture to call New Zealand home. In the years prior they have been the sole guardians of New Zealand’s rich flora and fauna. To this day the Maori culture still holds a huge significance to New Zealand and its people.

The Rotorua Maori experience is the best way to learn about the history and culture of the Maori people in a fun and interactive way where you’ll get involved yourself!

Here’s everything you need to know about the Rotorua Maori experience including what we thought and our top company recommendations.

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Rotorua Maori village
The Maori village!

Where is the Rotorua Maori Experience?

Rotorua is a small city located in New Zealand’s North Island in the Bay of Plenty region. The city sits on the shores of Lake Rotorua. Just outside the city is where the Maori villages are located and Rotorua is the best place to stay to experience them.

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What is the Rotorua Maori Experience?

The Rotorua Maori experience is an interactive lesson into the lives and culture of the Maori people set in a traditionally built Maori village. Run by Maori people, this experience has been kept as authentic as possible to give visitors the best insight possible into New Zealand’s Maori People.

Rotorua maori Experience
The Haka!

About the Experience

Before embarking on this journey, I was very unsure what to expect and to be honest, a little nervous. However, a traditional Maori experience was at the top of my list of things to do in New Zealand – so off we went!

We had booked our tour through Tamaki Maori Village and headed to their office in Rotorua where we were driven on a bus to the village. During the bus ride, our driver taught us some Maori words and also chose a chief for our tribe.

Once at the village, we witnessed a traditional way Maori tribes challenged other tribes. This can end in battle or a peace offering – luckily for us, this time was peaceful! The peace offering was actually a fern leaf that our tribe leader had to bring with him through the whole experience. This was the most traditional part of the tour and something that I’ll never forget!

Traditional rotorua maori experience
The offering of peace.

Next, we were welcomed into the village to learn about the Maori way of life in small interactive classes. This included learning the Haka, traditional dance, history and about the Maori face tattoos and wood carvings.

After this, we headed off to the main hall but before we entered we got to see our traditional Hangi meal pulled from the ground. This is called the “Earth Oven.” They then explained how it works and how you can do it yourself if you’re up for it!

This was really cool to see and such a great way to cook food! Once in the main hall, we got to see a few performances including seeing the Haka made famous by the New Zealand rugby team!

Then, it was time to eat! The meal provided was really amazing and included chicken, lamb, fish, salad, and veggies and was all finished off by an amazing dessert of Pavlova and cake!

hangi meal
Dinner was delicious!
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There is also an option to stay overnight at the village! Check out this blog about the Tamaki Maori Village overnight stay

What I thought

The entire Rotorua Maori experience with Tamaki Maori Village is really a great experience and I enjoyed the entire night. From the start of the night, it was really engaging and felt very authentic. The interactive learning activities got everyone involved and the village itself was a work of art.

Rotorua maori experience
Meeting the crew

Who we recommend

After joining the Tamaki Maori Village experience both Bailey and I can highly recommend them. The entire production was authentic and interactive and good value. All the staff were all so proud of their own culture and it really showed in the small details and personal connections they made with us guests. I would like to leave a special mention to our bus driver “Dennis the Menace”, what a fun bus trip back to Rotorua it was!

The Tamaki Rotorua Maori experience has been one of the highlights of my trip here so far. One of the reasons Bailey and I travel is to learn, meet, and experience other cultures. The Maori experience lived up to the hype and we are so happy to be able to support the preservation of the Maori culture – and hope we can also help you decide to join along!

Where to next?

Heading north? Check out all our post from the Coromandel and beaches around Auckland here!

Heading to the South Island? Check out all our post from Mount Cook, Queenstown and more here!

-Daniel

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