The Tamaki Maori Village is New Zealand’s most awarded cultural tourism attraction and if you want to experience Maori culture during a visit to Rotorua, Tamaki makes it both easy and rewarding.
While you can make your way to the village independently, the return coach transfer is included in the price so that option is recommended. Your group will arrive at the outskirts of the fortified village but no one can enter the tribal grounds until the formal welcome ceremony (Powhiri) has been completed. Warriors perform intimidating haka challenges and then a peace offering is laid at the feet of your group’s appointed ‘chief’.
On accepting the peace offering the welcome call (Karanga) echos through the forest to tell the villagers that you have arrived and the Powiri is performed as the official welcome and you cease being a visitor and become one with the village (Tangata Whenua).
You then explore the traditional village to be immersed in the way of life and ancient customs. This is followed by the lifting of the hangi – the authentic feast that has been cooking in the underground oven for more than three hours. As well as a magnificent three course meal, guests experience Maori culture through story-telling, song and dance and the evening ends with the official closing ceremony, the Poroporoaki.