• ABOUT WHAKAREWAREWA Our People, Our Culture & Our Village

Our People, Our Culture & Our Village

About Our Living Māori Village

Whakarewarewa Village is the legacy and home of the Tūhourangi Ngāti Wāhiao people, who have been sharing their unique way of life with visitors from all around the world for over two hundred years.

Able to trace their ancestry back to the Te Arawa people who first occupied the valley in 1325, generations of guides have been pioneering leaders of tourism in New Zealand. Since the early 1800’s they have been hosting and welcoming guests into their homes and backyards, sharing insights into Māori culture, as well as demonstrating the utilization of the natural geothermal wonders for cooking, bathing and heating. The continuing use of the natural geothermal landscape of the valley continues to delight and fascinate tourists visiting Whakarewarewa today.

The people of Tūhourangi Ngāti Wāhiao have been the trail blazers of the tourism industry in Rotorua and New Zealand. It is our goal to continue the legacy and to follow in the footsteps of our ancestors.

Our Purpose

“Rangatira for Tūhourangi Ngāti Wāhiao”

We wish to be leaders for the Tūhourangi Ngāti Wāhiao people by preserving our culture and honouring the legacy of the generations that have come before. The people of Tūhourangi Ngāti Wāhiao have developed and lead the tourism industry in Rotorua and New Zealand for generations. It is our goal to continue the legacy and to follow in the footsteps of our ancestors. We hope to uphold this legacy through honouring the traditions of our people, which include the following principles:

  • Kaitiakitanga – Protector & Guardian of resources
  • Manaakitanga – Hospitality Excellence
  • Mâtauranga Māori – Preservation and sharing of our history and knowledge
  • Taonga Tuku Iho – Custodians of our treasured heritage


Guides on the bridge into town

About Our People

Get to know the fascinating characters who shaped Whakarewarewa. Find out about the guides who shaped tourism in Rotorua, through to the guides you will meet on your own visit.
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Traditional Kapa haka group

About Our Culture

Learn about the culture and history of the Māori people and how our legacy continues to define and shape modern life in New Zealand today.
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About Our Village

Discover the rich, long-standing history of the Whakarewarewa geothermal area and the Village that we still call home today.
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Planting vegetables in the village gardens

Kaitiakitanga – Guardianship

We believe that there is a deep relationship between people and the natural world. Find out how we value Kaitiakitanga, or guardianship of the land.
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Guided tour of Whakarewarewa Village

Manaakitanga – Hospitality

When you visit us, you are visiting both a home and an organisation that is owned by the tangata whenua – the people of the place.
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Accreditation & Affiliations

Whakarewarewa, The Living Māori Village, is a proud to hold the highest levels of Tourism accreditations in New Zealand, as well as being an active member of associations across the industry.
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  • "So informative full of history. Very authentic... Delicious hangi one must try when there. Having been to other Villages this one is one of a kind! "
    Karolina – Palmerston North, New Zealand – via TripAdvisor
  • "It is once impressive for the landscape itself and twice impressive for the fact that it is a populated village where people get on with their lives by utilising the earth’s powers ."
    PhillipP- 03/2020 – via TripAdvisor
  • "The welcome at Whakarewarewa brought me to tears... Our guide was friendly, funny and informative."
    Susie – Rotorua, New Zealand – via TripAdvisor
  • "The Guide’s passion for their home was so beautiful and genuine. The waiata to finish the tour brought a tear to my eyes."
    Monique Enoka-Davidson – New Zealand – 01/2021- via Google Map
  • "Amazing heritage in this area, very friendly and inviting." 
    Estee Blom- New Zealand – 01/2021- via Google Map