Hangi, Te Puia
Te Puia is one of Rotorua’s major attractions, combining natural thermal wonders with traditional Māori culture, arts and crafts. It’s found in the Whakarewarewa Valley, at the southern end of Rotorua town, and is home to an authentically recreated Māori settlement. Take a guided tour around bubbling hot pools and geysers, spot the iconic Kiwi and experience an exciting cultural performance.
The living Māori village
On the other side of the valley lies Whakarewarewa, The Living Māori Village. Home to the Tūhourangi-Ngāti Wāhiao people, residents have been welcoming and sharing their enviable way of life with visitors for over 100 years. Combining Māori culture with geothermal treasures, discover an enviable way of life where locals utilise the earth’s forces for warmth, cooking and bathing. Learn Māori history, the origins of the village and how it adapted after a devastating volcanic eruption. Feast on delicious food, cooked in the backyard, courtesy of Mother Nature’s geothermal steam boxes and mineral pools.
It costs nothing to wander through the Māori village of Ohinemutu, immediately to the west of the town centre on the lakefront. This is a modern-day Māori settlement, with a marae, school, medical centre and community buildings. The church of St Faiths sits on the lake shore, complete with beautiful Māori carving. Bear in mind that Ohinemutu is not a tourist attraction; people live, study and work here, so if you do visit please respect the locals and ask permission if you are unsure of whether to enter a certain area or take photos. If you want insider knowledge, then a guided walk is the perfect way to connect with the culture, people, history and landscape of Ohinemutu. Kia Ora Guided Walks run daily walking tours of the village, St Faiths Church and the Māori carving workshop.
Mountain Jade Carving
A family business that’s been crafting beautiful pieces of greenstone for many years, Mountain Jade offer visitors an opportunity to experience their work first-hand – taking tours through their carving workshop daily. Find them on Fenton Street.