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Waitangi day is usually filled with free concerts, kiwi celebs, the Prime Minister, royalty and yummy kai (food)! If you don’t like crowds or festivals, then a visit to theany other day of the year is a great experience.
The beautifully carved Māori meeting house and the 35m war canoe (made from two massive kauri logs) are really spectacular. The canoe, (Ngatokimatawhaorua) is the world's largest ceremonial war canoe. The greatest thing about these historical beauties is that you can get up close and personal, not restrained by barriers and ropes as other exhibits around the world restrict you from having a tactile experience.
At Waitangi you can experience guided tours, cultural performances, workshops, or try a hangi (food cooked underground) and concert. The cultural show has had rave reviews for its authenticity, so be sure not to miss it! The gift shop is not full of tacky plasticsouvenirs, there are lots of authentic crafts, literature and souvenirs, plus beautifully crafted jewellery.
If you want to take a bit of a stroll, the walking track leads past mangroves to Haruru Falls, where the water falls in an unusual horseshoe shape. The track is a relatively easy walk through mangroves and forest. In Māori legend, the lagoon below is home to a taniwha; a serpent-like creature that lurked in watery dens or caves. The Haruru Falls (meaning big noise), was once the base for a multitude of canoes, and the riverbanks home to numerous Māori villages in the 19th Century.
Just a wee bit famous: Haruru had NZ’s first recorded road, and Waitangi; New Zealand’s largest war canoe.
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