Bay of Plenty Maori Attractions
Away from the beaches, The Bay of Plenty has a number of attractions and tours to learn and appreciate the traditions of the Maori. Here's a selection to consider...
Located near Tauranga, this is a group-only event that lets you experience Maori songs, dances and performance. You can also enjoy a traditional hangi feast and partake in some real hongi (nose rubbing).
Te Whetu Arataki
A centre in Tauranga, dedicated to preserving and sharing traditional Maori arts and culture. Here, you can book performances of haka, hongi and storytelling, and learn about Maori heritage. There are also working galleries and workshops, used by Maori artists to display their work.
A Maori meeting house that was built in Whakatane in 1875 as a 'gift' for Queen Victoria. Although the Queen never visited New Zealand, the house was eventually uprooted and moved to London, among other places, to serve as a representation of the Maori people. It then was moved to Australia, before 'living' in Dunedin until 1997.
The wharenui eventually made it back home to Whakatane and represents a majestic example of a traditional Maori meeting house (marae).
There's a visitor centre, enthralling exhibition and, of course, the house itself. The visitor centre is free, or you can sign up to a guided tour, plus the chance to enjoy a traditional hangi feast.