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Maori Cultural Tours- Ka Mate!

Posted on: June 20th, 2014 by Marketing_ANZ No Comments

The yellow light of the torches flicker to fight the darkness of the night. Suddenly, a giant warrior covered with traditional tattoos begin to yell out as he approaches… Lead in their chant by a their that man, the group of strong warriors begin yelling out in unison, slapping their hands against their thighs, stamping the ground, standing ready to charge into battle…it’s at this moment you realize one of the best decisions you’ve ever made was going on Maori Cultural Tours.


Whether you want to spend a few hours or a full day experiencing native Maori culture up close and personal, it will be the memory of a lifetime. You will learn about Maori traditions and rituals, body art, experience song and dance, and participate in a traditional feast.

Whether you choose the North Island or the South Island, multiple venues are available to immerse yourself in Maori culture. No matter where you turn, you will get to feel the combination of English and Maori culture in New Zealand. Rotorua is a frequent and popular destination a short 3 hour ride from Auckland on the North Island. On the South Island, Kaikoura is only 2 hours outside of Christchurch. Both cities have parks that offer an immerse Maori experience.

Haerenga – The Journey

Respect is an important part of Maori culture as is tradition. Someone from your group must be elected as the Chief. The Chief will make a peace offering to the village elder when you first arrive at the Maori village. But first, you must be properly welcomed.

Te Wero – The Welcoming Ritual

When you enter your Maori village, you will be greeted with a Te Wero, the traditional ceremonial greeting. Prepare yourself, you are about to experience a world famous Haka up close and personal.

Haka – The War Dance

The Haka is a traditional war dance that is preformed before charging into battle. The warriors of a village use the Haka as a greeting and as a show of strength. It is at this point your groups appointed Chief will make the peace offering to the village elder. After witnessing a Haka first hand, making a peace offering is something that you will not think twice about doing.

Hongi – The Greeting

After your chief has made the peace offering, you greet the Maori not by hugging or shaking hands but by touching nose to nose.

Karanaga and Powhiri – Welcome to the family

When your peace offering has been accepted and you touch noses, a Karanga or welcoming call is belted out for all the villagers to hear an announce that you have arrived and been accepted. A Powhiri (welcoming dance) is performed. In Maori culture, you aren’t just a visitor but a member of the village while you are there.

For many people, the war dances and traditional welcome ceremonies are enough adventure to write home about. However, much more excitement is coming!

From here, you get to explore Maori culture first hand. Stroll through a traditional village and experience traditional New Zealand life and culture like a native. Step back through time to a New Zealand that existed before Europeans arrived and witness the cultural traditions of a proud people.

Relax by a crackling campfire and listen to the songs of the Maori people. Hear the stories of how the Maori braved the Pacific Ocean to explore and tamed the lands of New Zealand.

Maori artists use the human body as their canvas. Not for the feint of heart, watch them use traditional tattooing methods to tell their story.

Craftsmen display ancient carving techniques that lead to gorgeous and intricately carved wood hearths and war clubs.

Musicians will sing and play instruments not just sing the waiata (song) of their people but also to help lure birds into traps.

Learn how to weave cloth from traditional artisans and experience first hand Maori agricultural practices.

Most venues also have whaikorero (lectures) to teach you all about Maori history and culture.

Te Hangi – The Feast Awaits!

A Hangi is an ancient method of cooking food by combining heated stones and water to create a giant earthen steamer. Your appointed Chief may be asked to grab a spade (small shovel) to help scrape away the earth from the top of the oven.

For hours, everything inside was steaming and combing flavors to make the perfect feast. Carrots, potatoes, kumara (sweet potato), rewena bread, soup, locally sourced seafood, smoked meats including lamb and herb stuffed chicken. There is usually succulent brown gravies as well as salads. This is the perfect time and place to sample New Zealand’s world famous wines.

Of course, save room for dessert! New Zealand is famous for the Pavlova which is a meringue cake that is crispy on the outside and soft and light on the inside and is covered with fresh cream and fruits. If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, you may have a chance of trying hokey pokey, vanilla ice cream infused with solid lumps of honeycomb toffee.

Sit back, embrace the warmth of the campfire, and prepare yourself for the Poroporoaki.

Poroporoaki – Goodbyes

The Poroporoaki is a traditional closing ceremony. There will be much singing, dancing, and your last glimpses into ancient Maori culture.

Does this sound like it should be a part of the dream adventure of a lifetime? CLICK HERE to find pricing information and more details.

We hope that you’ve found this information helpful. Should you have any concerns or need some help planning that dream vacation to New Zealand, don’t hesitate to call us directly.

Toll Free 888-359-2877 (Mon-Fri 8:30am – 5:30pm Central US)

We’d love to help you customize your perfect trip of a lifetime.

About New Zealand Reviews
Rating of  Average of 4.88 on a total of 33 Ratings
Janet H. Rust
Wonderful Time!

We had a fabulous time in Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji. You arranged fun excursions that we all enjoyed and then a relaxing time in Fiji before we returned to the US. Especially enjoyed(...)

Patricia Ehli
The greatest lifetime memories were made on this adventure.

The vacation was well organized. When we came face to face with a cyclone the team had our backs and made sure that our vacation continued. Each of our sleeping accommodations were amazing. (...)

James Thomas
Spectacular scenery

Great trip, saw great things on North and South Island

Denise Leaks
I had a fabulous time in New Zealand. My accommodations were very convenient and comfortable.. Since I was traveling solo it was important that I felt safe and I did.