Gateway to Maori Tourism
New Zealand is a country that has everything a tourist can ask for: mountains, lakes, and unbeatable experiences. An element that has received far less attention is the history and the culture that is embedded in the landscape. However, the past few years has seen an exponential rise in the number of people visiting NZ to experience the ‘Maori culture’ and Maori Tourism.
Maori culture has often being described as ‘rich’, ‘traditional’ by people who have experienced them. The Maori people came to New Zealand more than 1000 years ago and today they make up 14 per cent of the population. A cultural tourism in New Zealand is pivotal in knowing the heritage, customs, practices & traditions of the rich Maori culture, that has played a major role in shaping the New Zealand history. Currently the Maori people live in the northern & southern islands of New Zealand. Visiting these cities, you can explore and experience the social, cultural & spiritual life of Maori people.
Wanna experience Maori culture in it’s truest form? Try visiting Bay of Plenty, Auckland, Waikato, and the Northland regions.
So, what all can you experience? Where do you go? Here we list a few places where you can experiemce Maori culture. Post reading this, make sure you rent a car or take your own and drive around New Zealnd to experience the Maori culture.
Tribal meeting grounds
To observe Maori culture in its most traditional form, try visiting a tribal meeting ground also called ‘a marae‘. In places such as Northland, Auckland, Rotorua, and Canterbury, there are organised tours which provide access for visitors to attend these tribal meetings. The tribal meetings usually start with a ‘Maori welcome’ which is followed by a couple of cultural performances. Maori people are known for their hospitality and sometimes go to the extent of inviting the guests to their ‘caved meetings’, which will give you a first hand exposure to their 1000 year old culture.
A well known or a USP of the Maori culture is famous ‘kapa haka’ or more commonly reffered to as ‘haka’ performance. Seen the opening performance of All Blacks rugby team? Yep, that’s part of the Maori culture & gives you a glimpse of what ‘haka’ performace looks like. And here’s a secret- You get to see the best ‘haka’ perfromace in the Northern Islands of New Zealand.
All major cities in New Zealand such as Auckland and Queenstown have Maori mueseums that offer some great insights on rich culture of the Maori culture. The mueseums house a some rare pieces of precious jewelleries, traditional weapons, and other antique stuff used by Maori people. Some of these mueseums go the extra mile and have live demonstration s of how things are were/ are weaved by Maori people.
One of the most enriching elements of the Maori culture is story telling & has been passed down through various generations. Arguably the best location to hear about a Maori legend is Waipoua on the north-western coast of North Island. The Northern Island has the one of the largest surviving Kauri forests where some of the trees are over 2000 years old! There are quite a few guided tours which elaborate on stories of Tane-Mahuta- who is popularly known The Lord of the forest & creator of light.
If you liked this post, check out the article written by our friend Ari: A Maori Experience in Rotorua.