Rotorua is one of the best places in New Zealand to experience Māori culture. Visit Rotorua to see cultural performances and taste traditional foods.

Rotorua is a hub of ‘Māoridom’ where you can experience the old and new of this unique culture in a place where the spirit of manaakitanga (hospitality) is alive and well.

Māori people have lived in the geothermal area for centuries. For many years before Europeans arrived, Māori people used naturally boiling water to cook and bathe.

The long history of Māori in the area means there is a rich depth of culture for visitors to start to understand. 

Tamaki Maori Village, Rotorua

Where can you experience Māori culture in Rotorua?

Māori villages in the area offer cultural experiences that combine dramatic performances – singing, dancing and haka.

Tamaki Māori Village

Tamaki Village gives visitors an immersive experience that allows you to see what traditional Māori life was like. You can learn the haka or poi dances, taste a hangi, and enjoy incredible performances. 

Te Puia

Te Puia is famous for its vibrant cultural performances as well as the world-famous Pōhutu geyser, boiling mud pools and the National Schools of Wood Carving and Weaving. 

Mitai Village

Mitai Village offers an authentic introduction to Māori culture. 

Whakarewarewa: The Living Māori Village

At Whakarewarewa - The Living Māori Village you can see how early Māori used the geothermal waters of this area to cook, bathe and do washing.

Ohinemutu Village

Enjoy a visit to Ohinemutu Village and see carved meeting houses and a Tudor-style church decorated with Māori art.

The history of Māori tourism in Rotorua

The Te Arawa tribe started the tourism industry in New Zealand in the nineteenth century when visitors first began travelling to the area to experience the healing qualities of the thermal waters and to visit the magnificent Pink and White Terraces which were tragically destroyed in the 1886 eruption of Mt Tarawera.

Today Māori people continue to play a major part in the local tourism industry, sharing their food, song and dance; arts including carving, weaving, tattoo, and weaponry; holistic knowledge such as Māori spirituality; as well as local history and legends.

Find more Māori cultural experiences in Rotorua

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