An awesome and insightful itinerary learning about the rich culture and history of the tangata whenua of Aotearoa, New Zealand.
Education Tours NZ – Maori Legends
“Māori culture is an integral part of life in Aotearoa, New Zealand. For millennia, Māori have been the tangata whenua, the indigenous people of Aotearoa. Arriving here from the Polynesian homeland of Hawaiki over 1000 years ago, the great explorer Kupe, was the first Māori to reach these lands.”
Since Kupe’s arrival, and the subsequent arrival of a number of tribes from throughout the Polynesia to settle in Aotearoa, New Zealand, the country has become melting pot of cultures. However, unlike many indigenous people of the world, Maori have managed to retain much of their culture and traditions and integrate them in to modern living. We explore the world of modern Maori, the place they come from and where they are going by visiting a number of locations, meeting genuine locals and experiencing Maori owned businesses.
Arriving at Auckland Airport we spend our first night in Aotearoa, New Zealand’s biggest city staying centrally in a local hotel. We take a moment to chill at the hotel before making our way through the city to the harbour side and a local restaurant where we enjoy getting to know each other over dinner.
The next morning we make our way to Auckland Museum and meet our local guide who will take us through the Discovery and Settlement of Aotearoa, right through to the colonisation and eventual treaty with Britain. We continue our travels afterwards and eventually arrive in Rotorua, the home of Maori Culture in New Zealand. After we’ve checked in to our accommodation we make our out for an evening of Maori Culture and Cuisine.
With a day of adventure ahead of us we split in to two groups, half taking on the rapids of the Kaituna River and the other half soaring overhead on the Ziplines above. This Maori owned business is co-owned by the Tangata Whenua of the area, the people of Ngati Hinerangi. These ventures provide a combination of thrills, culture and ecology to make for a classic New Zealand experience.
This morning we pack our things and ready to depart for our next stop, Murupara. On the way there we stop at one of the worlds most popular mountain bike parks and enjoy a cultural excursion on the Maori owned land, guided by a Maori owned business. We learn some of the rich history of the area and see how the local tribes have used sport, art and business to show their connections to Papatuanuku (Earth Mother). Eventually we continue out to Murupara to meet our local Maori hosts for the next few days.
Enjoying the locals hospitality, we immerse ourselves in Maori arts and culture learning everything from Haka (War Dances) to Raranga (Traditional Weaving) and Hangi (Earth Oven Cooking Method).
After farewelling our new friends we make our way to the foot of Mt Tarawera to meet the Kaitiaki of the mountain for a guided cultural tour of the sacred land. Here we learn about the geological history of the volcano as well as the cultural stories of the Ngati Rangitihi people. We make our way back to Rotorua afterwards and take time to relax, leisurely visit the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute, and reminisce on an awesome week with new found friends learning about the traditional values of Whanaungatanga, Manaakitanga and Kaitiakitanga of the Maori people.
Itinerary – Daily breakdown
1. Arrive Auckland Airport and stay in Auckland – Hotel Accommodation – Auckland
2. Morning: Auckland Museum. Evening: Cultural evening show and feast – Hotel Accommodation – Rotorua
3. All Day: Rafting and Ziplining the Kaituna with Maori owned and operated businesses – Hotel Accommodation - Rotorua
4. Morning: Cultural E-Bike Tour. Afternoon: Walk to old Maori Rock Art – Communal Accommodation – Maori Lodge and Marae
5. All Day: Cultural immersion – Hotel Accommodation - Maori Lodge and Marae
6. Morning: Mt Tarawera Volcano Tour. Afternoon: Relax at hotel. Evening: Geyser by Night Maori Arts and Crafts Institute – Hotel Accommodation - Rotorua
7. Return to Auckland Airport for flight home