Looking for an authentic cultural experience in New Zealand? Look no further than Tamaki Maori Village.
What is Tamaki Maori Village?
Ready for a little history lesson? Don’t worry it’s not a boring one! Back in the ‘mullet era’ also known as the 1980’s, a young kiwi guy called Mike Tamaki, wanted to share Maori culture with the world in a new exciting way and say goodbye to stuffy old museums. With the help of his brother Doug Tamaki, who sold his pride and joy (his Harley Davidson) they were able to build from scratch an authentic, pre-European Maori village set in an ancient forest, upon the tribal lands of Tumunui, just outside Rotorua. And from there, Tamaki Maori Village was born.
To this day, Tamaki Maori Village impresses thousands of tourists visiting New Zealand. They employ more than 80 local people and contribute significantly to the local community and economy. They are the only indigenous tourism company in New Zealand to win the most prestigious award in tourism, The Supreme Tourism award. They have also won the Ernst and Young – Entrepreneur of the Year Award as well as many other regional culture and heritage awards, including the Golden Backpack Award for the ‘Best Cultural Experience’ throughout Australasia 2010-2013.
Basically, Tamaki Maori Village is New Zealand’s most awarded Cultural Tourism experience
Still not convinced…
Why should I go to Tamaki Maori Village?
Because it’s so much fun!
No, seriously it is. The evening’s entertainment begins as you excitedly wait for the Maori chief and warriors to appear from the forest. The distant sound of drumming begins and you hear war cries as the tribe emerge on a traditional canoe. A selected chief from your own group steps forward and performs the Powhiri, an ancient ceremony of welcome that allows visitor’s safe passage into the village.
Once you enter the serene forest setting, you’ll be invited to take part in activities from days gone by, including stick games, poi demonstrations and the Haka. You’ll also learn about the ancient traditions of tattooing, weaving, arts & crafts and listen to Maori stories & legends.
Best Hangi in Rotorua
After the evening’s games, you will be taken through to the Hangi pit. Here you’ll learn about how your dinner has been cooked on hot stones, in a traditional underground oven. The earth is carefully scraped away to reveal baskets of food cooked beneath the ground in exactly the same way the Maori did hundreds of years ago!
A night of entertainment
While your dinner is being prepared you’ll enjoy a cultural performance from the tribe. Including Poi displays, live music, singing and dancing and of course a Haka! Once the performance is over you’ll head over to the dining hall for a feast fit for a king or Maori warrior. Dinner is in a buffet style and there is plenty to choose from including lamb, chicken, fresh seafood, sweet potato, kumara and heaps of salad. For dessert, take your pick from sponge cake and custard or a classic Kiwi pavlova. You can also help yourself to tea & coffee throughout the night including traditional kawakawa tea. The evening ends with one final song and Maori message.
“On the whole it’s a brilliant, well executed evening that brings you much closer to Maori customs and traditions than you ever would at a museum. It’s light, fun and extremely entertaining. You go home knowing more about Maori culture and can appreciate the importance of keeping it alive.”- Catherine Atton, Backpacker Deals Social Media & Content Manager
How much is Tamaki Maori Village?
Lucky for you, we have an exclusive rate for Tamaki Maori Village of $117 saving you 10%. Check out our deal here.
You can visit every day (except Christmas Day), in the evening at 5:00pm, 6:15pm and 7:30pm.
1072 State Highway 5, Tumunui 3073, New Zealand