New Zealand’s indigenous Māori culture is unique and fascinating, with a strong emphasis on hospitality and respect for the natural environment. Incentive visitors can gain an authentic insight into the country and its people with a Māori cultural experience.
Add value to a programme by bringing your team together to learn and perform an exhilarating haka; be inspired by the rich storytelling in Māori song, carving, weaving and art; and share community spirit with a traditional hangi feast, cooked in an earth oven, or an overnight stay on a Marae.
Birthplace of the nation - Bay of Islands
Waitangi Treaty Grounds is where New Zealand’s founding document, the Treaty of Waitangi, was signed in 1840. The magical site overlooks the island-studded bay, where guests to the carved meeting house can enjoy a cultural performance of waiata (songs) and the famous haka, before exploring history at the interactive museum.
Tribal treasures - Auckland
Join a tour for an engaging insight into Auckland’s history, from its volcanic peaks to its historical monuments, with local guides bringing Māori legends and stories to life. Or join a cultural tour at Auckland War Memorial Museum, exploring the Māori taonga (treasures) in the museum and enjoying a captivating cultural performance.
The heart of Māori culture - Rotorua
Experience a range of traditions, from cultural welcomes to flax weaving, paddling a waka, or a hangi feast in Rotorua, the heart of Māori culture. Options include Te Puia, Tamaki Māori Village, Whakarewarewa Living Thermal Village and Mitai Māori Village. At the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute, witness the beauty of live carving, or tā moko – Māori tattoo.
Living Māori Village - Christchurch
Journey back in time at Ko Tāne Living Māori Village to experience New Zealand as it was before the arrival of Europeans. Located in the natural surroundings of the Willowbank Wildlife Reserve, the village provides a unique glimpse into the customs and culture of local Māori through a traditional welcome, legends, dance and food.
Paddle a mighty waka - Wellington
The iconic Te Wharewaka o Poneke building, next to New Zealand’s national museum Te Papa Tongarewa, houses three traditionally carved waka/canoe. Enjoy a mihi whakatau (welcome) including waiata (song), before learning how to become kaihoe (paddlers). Take to the harbour with your new knowledge of commands and chants, haka and salutes.
Reach for the stars – Dunedin
Admire the night sky from a Māori perspective with a personalised night tour of Huriawa peninsula and a traditional interpretation of the Southern stars. Or Karitāne Māori Tours will teach guests the spiritual and cultural significance of the waka (canoe), before paddling the Waikouaiti River in a modern waka-ama.
Māori astronomy meets science - Tekapo
Located in the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve, the Dark Sky Project connects manuhiri (visitors) with the night sky. Home to a range of stargazing experiences, including the University of Canterbury Mt John Observatory, guests can enjoy a world-first multimedia astronomy experience combining tātai aroraki (Māori astronomy) and science.
- NORTHLAND - Join Footprints Waipoua for a guided walk in the majestic Waipoua Forest, learning about the affinity that Māori have with the forest. Visit the country’s oldest kauri tree, estimated to be 3,000-4,000 years old and standing 51 metres tall.
- TAURANGA - Arataki Cultural Trails uses a mobile app with proximity technology to share stories of culturally significant sites and the local area. Take its walking trail around Mauao (The Mount) which marks the entrance to Tauranga harbour.
- NAPIER - At Hawke’s Bay’s Eco-Cultural Tours, learn about the local landscape and share in traditional Māori hunting and gathering practices before enjoying your fare, prepared as contemporary Māori culinary delights.
- KAPITI - Kapiti Island is a protected nature reserve, north of Wellington, home to New Zealand’s most endangered and rare birds such as little spotted kiwi and kōkako. Kapiti Island Nature Tours’ Māori guides interpret flora and fauna and tell of local history.
- SOUTHLAND - Take a tour around Ulva Island, an open sanctuary located in Stewart Island’s Paterson Inlet, with Ulva's Guided Walks, learning about the native flora and fauna from a Māori perspective while kiwi-spotting or birdwatching.
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