WHAT TO SEE AND DO
WHAKAREWAREWA: NEW ZEALAND’S ICONIC LIVING MAORI VILLAGE IN ROTORUA
- Authentic experience curated by locals it does not get any better than this
- Stunning displays of geothermal energy
- Natural ‘wild’ geothermal walks where nature is in ascendency
- Great value for families, think of the holiday experience as a fabulous visit to your favourite aunt
- The most popular question is, ‘What happens when a mud pool appears in your kitchen?’ Visit and find out.
Bedazzled, one of New Zealand’s most unforgettable experiences, Whakarewarewa is where you meet the locals. Whakarewarewa village is New Zealand’s oldest continuous Māori tourism experience, predating the world famous Pink & White Terraces. Visitors feel as though they have just popped in for a cuppa with authentic guides instinctively personalising tours to fit the tour party of the moment.
You are in someone’s personal space, their home and property. And it is freely shared with tourists making it a unique experience. Please avoid peering through the curtain windows especially if you have a kiwi accent. The same etiquette applies to your visit to Ohinemutu, Rotorua Village & St Faiths Church, trip guide: Best Bits.
The guides have inherited the legacy of Whakarewarewa Māori Legacy Guides who shaped the beginnings of the New Zealand tourism industry for generations. Their insights, knowledge and legendary hospitality (manaakitanga) will add depth and richness to your cultural journey. You will enjoy amazing geothermal landscapes and see how the residents of the village utilise the earth’s naturally sustainable resources for warmth, cooking, bathing and health & wellbeing.
A cultural performance takes place twice a day and visitors can participate in a weaving session or cooking food in hot pools or stone ovens. For more ideas about Rotorua attractions check out Things to do in Rotorua. Activities, Attractions & Places to Visit for inspiration.
No hot pools for bathing.
QUESTIONS ABOUT THE BOLTED GATE
Whakarewarewa Thermal Village and Te Puia share the same geothermal area. But now they are separated by a bolted gate. The rift came about when the government wanted to go in a different direction from the Tuhourangi tribe. Negotiations are continuing to open the gate.
How about an overnight stay in the marae. That’s moving up the living village experience to another level.
TRAVEL PACK INFORMATION
ICONIC MEMORIAL GATEWAY ENTRANCE
Commemorates Tūhourangi soldiers who lost their lives in the two world wars. ‘Te Hokowhitu-a-Tū’ (the 140 warriors of the war god) was the motto of Māori who served in the wars – the Maori Contingent which fought at Gallipoli in the First World War, its successor the Maori (Pioneer) Battalion, and the 28th (Maori) Battalion of the Second World War. The memorial was unveiled on 22 April 1950 by Lieutenant-Colonel W.H. Fortune. It was dedicated by Chaplain Wi Huata MC, assisted by Reverends H. Northcroft, Kepā Pāenga and Haami Rangiihu. On the back are the words ‘Kia Mau Mahara’ which translates as ‘Lest We Forget’. Sources: ‘Maori Sacrifices Commended: Whakarewarewa Arch Unveiled’, NZ Herald, 24/4/1950, p. 8; Te Whakarewarewatanga o-te-Ope-Taua-a-Wahiao: the people and the place, Rotorua, 1983 [pp. 2-3]; D.M. Stafford, The new century in Rotorua, Rotorua, 1988, pp. 295-6.
WHAT’S IN A NAME
The full name is Te Whakarewarewatanga-o-te-ope-a-Wahiao: the uprising of the army of Wahiao. The war party had gathered here and, hidden by the steam from the boiling pools, performed a war dance before going into battle.
Trip Advisor has recently awarded Whakarewarewa with both the 2018 Certificate of Excellence and 2018 Traveller’s Choice Award.
BEST BITS TRAVEL GUIDE