Home to the world-renowned Pohutu geyser and New Zealand's Maori Arts and Crafts Insitute, Te Puia is one of Rotorua's top attractions and a must-do activity when in the area.
The best way to experience the park is on a day pass, which allows you to explore the Whakarewarewa geothermal valley, get up close to New Zealand's native kiwi birds, and learn all about the Maori history and culture.
The Whakarewarewa geothermal valley is a very special place; it is rich in cultural and spiritual history and has been home to the Te Arawa people for generations. The valley itself has huge geological significance - it is home to the world famous 30-metre Pohutu geyser, which erupts over 20 times every day, as well as hot springs, silica terraces, boiling sulphurous pools and bubbling mud pools.
The region has many stories just waiting to be shared with you - and during the tour, Maori guides will proudly recount stories handed down from their tipuna (ancestors) to help you connect with the majestic site and experience its awesome power.
Te Whakarewarewa is home to many species of natives plants and birds. During the tour, guides will journey through each of these species and describe how the Maori's used these natural resources in their lives.
You will also have the opportunity to view live kiwi birds in their nocturnal kiwi house and learn all about New Zealand's national icon and the plight of this rare bird.
Maori's love to showcase their vibrant culture through song and dance. Storytelling is in their blood, and everyone and everything has a story to tell. Even the architecture at the Valley has stories behind it - with Maori carvings and structures that hold deep cultural significance, for instance, the carved entranceway and the 'Rotowhio Marae' (the meeting place).
For over 50 years, students from tribes across New Zealand have assembled at the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute located at Te Puia to learn time-honoured traditions in danger of being lost forever.
Book a guided tour with one of Te Puia's friendly guides, or experience Te Puia at your ease. Guided tours run hourly starting from 9:00am, and highlights of the tour include:
Explore the Te Whakarewarewa 60 hectare Geothermal Valley and discover the famous Rotorua mud pools and numerous geothermal wonders, including the Pohutu Geyser, the largest active geyser in the Southern Hemisphere.
See two iconic native New Zealand kiwi birds in the Kiwi House and Viewing Enclosure.
Experience traditional Maori weaving and carving before your eyes, including stone and bone carvings, wood carving and flax-weaving. Te Puia is one of the best places to experience traditional Maori practices as it is home to the New Zealand Maori Arts & Crafts Institute.
Learn about Maori Art & History at 'Te Heketanga a Rangi', which is the entrance to Te Puia. It has 12 monumental carvings, each representing celestial Maori guardians. Hear all about the past stories of the Maori settlements in Rotorua.
Receive a rare glimpse into how Maori people lived before the European settlement with a tour around a model pre-European Maori village, which includes two Maraes (sacred meeting houses).
Commemorate your day with a visit to the Taonga Gallery and Gift Shop by purchasing souvenirs, including Maori jewellery, carvings, and authentic treasures (taonga).
Operating Hours: 9:00am - 5:00pm (Day pass can be redeemed at any time during these hours).
Tour Duration: 60-90 minutes, first tour is 9:00 am running hourly, with the last tour at 4:00 pm.