Best places to experience Maori culture in the North Island
When you visit New Zealand part of the true experience is to immerse yourself in the culture. New Zealand is one of the best places in the world to do this. We have a rich and fascinating history involving the Maori, the indigenous people of NZ. Below I’ve listed some of my favorite Maori culture experiences in New Zealand.
The Duck Tour and Tamaki Maori Village Combo
The Duck Tours have partnered with Tamaki Maori Village to create the ultimate Maori culture experience when you visit Rotorua. First, you’ll ride on New Zealand’s only genuine WW2 Landing Crafts where the guide will tell you historical Maori stories and legend stories giving you a great overview of Maori culture in the area from land and lake. From there you’ll be transported to Tamaki Maori Village, a traditional Maori village where these stories will come to life. You’ll be participating in different facets of Maori life such as the haka, poi dance and more before being treated to a Maori culture show featuring traditional song and dance and amazing stories. Tamaki Maori Village is one of the top 10 attractions in the world on TripAdvisor. This tour really is the ultimate Maori experience and a must-do when you visit Rotorua. www.rotoruaducktours.co.nz/
A free attraction you can visit that combines traditional Maori culture and Tudor influences from when the British arrived in Rotorua. Ohinemutu is a Maori settlement nestled on the shores of Lake Rotorua. Here you can visit Maori settlements with some information about the area. See the famous St Faiths Church which combines Tudor and Maori architecture. It is truly beautiful. It’s free to visit and worth checking out when you visit Rotorua.
Bay of Islands – Waitangi
The Bay of Islands in the upper North Island is home to a vast Maori history. Russell, the first capital city/town of New Zealand, was the first place that the British landed when they came to New Zealand. It has many stories of integration and the difficulties that both the Maori and British faced when they met. Also close to Russell in the Bay of Islands is Waitangi. The Treaty of Waitangi, the day that New Zealand joined the Commonwealth, historically signed in this location. See Maori culture shows, historical sites and get a huge amount of information about New Zealand history. If you want to learn about New Zealand history and culture, then Waitangi is a must-do. www.waitangi.org.nz
One of New Zealand’s top museums. It boasts a large collection of historical Maori artefacts and history. Te Papa has exhibits that they always have that hold huge historical and cultural significance but they also have changing exhibits so there is always something new and fresh for you to experience. Te Papa is located in Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, at the bottom of the North Island. If you are looking for a wide array of different history and historical artefacts you simply must visit Te Papa. www.tepapa.govt.nz
The New Zealand culture experience has to be one of the best in the world simply due to the wealth of different opportunities we have to experience it. When you visit try to immerse yourself in as much of our history and culture that you can, you really won’t regret it.