Live kapa haka peformances are captivating and exhilarating. Intricate Māori art is unique and follows time-honoured patterns to tell its stories. A traditional hangi feast, cooked in the steaming ground, is a delicious cultural experience. Overnight stays on Marae share traditional living and a welcoming community spirit.
Authentic Māori cultural experiences are proudly presented right across New Zealand. Here are a few regional highlights:
Travel to the northern-most tip of New Zealand to experience the deeply spiritual Cape Reinga, known in Māori as "Te Rerenga Wairua" or "The Leaping Off Place of Spirits". The sheer cliffs surrounding the cape mark the place where Māori spirits depart New Zealand to travel back to their spiritual homeland of Hawaiiki.
Further south, near Omapere, you can join Footprints Waipoua to discover how the Waipoua Forest is intertwined with the lives and culture of local Māori. Here you will see the countrys oldest kauri tree, estimated to be between 3,000 and 4,000 years old and standing 51 metres tall.
While in Northland you should also visit the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, located near the settlement of Waitangi in the stunning Bay of Islands. The treaty grounds are where New Zealand’s founding document, the Treaty of Waitangi, was drafted, debated and signed in 1840.
Join a Tamaki Hikoi walking tour around Auckland for an engaging insight into the city's history, with an emphasis on the legends of the local iwi (tribe).
To experience Māori culture without the legwork, why not join a cultural tour at Auckland War Museum. Ideal for groups of all sizes, the tour reveals the secrets of the Māori taonga (treasures) in the museum and culminates with a spine-tingling version of the haka, New Zealand's most famous dance.
Discover Rotorua, world famous for its geothermal landscape and rich Māori culture. Te Puia, Tamaki Māori Village and Mitai Māori Village all offer a wide range of cultural experiences, from traditional welcomes by Māori warriors to flax weaving, paddling a waka (Māori war canoe) and traditional earth-cooked meals, known as hangi.
The central North Island region of Taupo is rich with Maori history and culture. Visit the beautiful tribal lands of Tuwharetoa iwi for an unforgettable cultural, food and wilderness encounter. Visitors can experience the true essence of "manaakitanga" by taking part in the gathering and preparing of a Maori feast.
Learn the ancient Māori art of bone carving near the small settlement of Rangitukia or get to know the local people during an overnight stay on one of the East Cape's many Māori meeting houses, known as marae. The large Māori population on the East Cape makes it an ideal setting to experience truly authentic Māori culture.
Marvel at historical artefacts at New Zealand's national museum, Te Papa Tongarewa. Situated alongside Wellington's waterfront, Te Papa is a convenient place to learn about Māori history.
Visit some of the significant Māori sites around Wellington with through Flat Earth tours.
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.