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Maori Culture

Maori Cultural Attractions – Places to Visit

Authenticity is the hallmark of a great tourism experience. Aotearoa New Zealand delivers a unique cultural encounter with indigenous Maori explaining through song, dance, food and cultural artefacts the pivotal role Maori have in New Zealand. Throughout NZ are authentic locally driven Maori attractions, read more to find out where to go…

A maori marae (meeting house and meeting ground), Rotorua, New Zealand
A Maori Marae (meeting house and meeting ground), Rotorua




Rotorua is the best place to go for Maori culture.  Imagine geothermal super heated geysers, spine tingling molten boiling mud and the locals (Maori) escorting visitors around their neck of the woods (including magnificent redwoods) Rotorua is justifiably awesome.




Visiting from overseas and not getting much time to enjoy Maori hospitality? Then Rotorua will deliver in spades.


Do you want to thoroughly enjoy and discover contemporary authentic Maori voices?

New Zealand offers overseas visitors unique cultural experiences with Maoris throughout the country from Whakatane’s (North Island east coast) ‘house that came home’ to pounamu (NZ greenstone or jade) trails in the South Island.

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Bay of Islands, Waitangi where the story of European and Maori is unveiled. Explore the two contemporary museums, Te Rau Aroha Museum of the Price of Citizenship and Te Kōngahu Museum of Waitangi, Treaty House, Te Whare Rūnanga and traditional Māori waka taua. Visitors can also enjoy a full program of tours and cultural performances.

Stroll through Kororipo Heritage Park – Kerikeri Attractions in Kerikeri.

While snapping a selfie at Cape Reinga (top of the North Island, NZ) listen to Maori voices explaining after death, Maori spirits travel to the tip of New Zealand to the pohutukawa tree on the headland of Te Rerenga Wairua. Spirits descend to the underworld as they slide down the roots of the tree.

Auckland, the largest city in New Zealand, has the magnificent Auckland War Memorial Museum. At the heart of the Museum is Te Marae Ātea Māori Court, where visitors are presented with the story of the past, present, and future of Māori in Aotearoa. Te Marae Ātea presents taonga spanning 150 years of Museum collecting, as well as works by contemporary Māori artists and makers.


Arrived in Auckland a bit jet lagged yet want to jump into your New Zealand holiday experience? A great place to start your New Zealand holiday is Auckland War Memorial Museum.


In the North Island and exploring the Bay of Plenty (Tauranga, Mount Managanui) take a day trip …

Check Whakatane Travel Guide

Waitomo Caves and Hobbiton are top New Zealand attractions (both are located in the North Island, Waikato region) take time to check out Hamilton’s awesome rich repository of Maori artefacts from elaborately carved waka (canoe) to meeting houses (Marae) and weaponry.

You do want to take time and explore Maori architecture and take a road trip around the East Coast of the North Island (part of the Pacific Coast highway). Vibrant communities, beautiful Maori churches and places where people landed 1000 years ago.

Wellington, capital of New Zealand is home to the National Museum, Te Papa. In the lower North island is a hidden cultural highlight with scenery as a bonus is the Whanganui River. A river that is legally a ‘person’ the soul of the local Maori people reflected in a river from the mountains to the sea.


Exploring the wild Surf Highway 45: Taranaki Things to Do on West Coast Road Trip check out Patea where the song Poi E rocked New Zealand in the early 1960’s. The beat goes on.



The South Island, home to the adventure capital Queenstown and the international hub city, Christchurch offers overseas visitors a variety of Maori attractions from stunning rock art tours to beach fossicking tours with local Maori finding a piece of green glory, pounamu (jade). Join a workshop and carve your own New Zealand souvenir under the watchful eye of a local Maori carver in Hokitika.

Talk to real people, locals whose hearts are tied to the breathtaking scenery from mountain ranges to the adorable kea parrot, inhabitant of the high country.

Listen to real stories in Hokitika at Arahura Pa, a Māori Reserve, where the guardians of natural resources (kaitiaki (guardians) of pounamu (jade). The local Maori treasure the pounamu as part of their family history. Pounamu (NZ greenstone is woven into the name of the South Island, Te Waipounamu, the South Island of New Zealand.

Te Ana Māori Rock Art, Timaru

Join local Ngāi Tahu guides as you tour Te Ana, an immersive cultural centre showcasing the major sites of ancient Māori rock art! The walls and ceilings of Canterbury’s limestone caves provided the perfect medium for rock art.

Kaikoura Art Trail is a story told with carved pillars, steel art and information panels outlining the connection between the Maori, the whales and the bounty of the ocean.

Our editors independently visit tour operators, purchase tickets, pay for accommodation, and rate products and places. We are not paid to go on a tour or visit a place. We only make money if you decide to purchase a product through our website links. We promise to never accept free products from manufacturers in return for boosting their products. Read more about our affiliate programme in the terms and conditions HERE.



Best Bits travel guide is published by Owned and managed by PacificJane Ltd.

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