• Whakarewarewa Overnight Marae Stay

Experience Māori culture

Overnight Marae Stay

The ultimate immersive cultural experience for groups, spending the night in a Marae offers a deep and meaningful insight into Māori traditions, customs and ways of life. Our overnight Marae Stay package requires a minimum of 10 people and is tailored to your group’s requirements and interests.

Our Marae Stay is an all-inclusive overnight experience. This includes a private welcome, tailored program, evening performing arts experience, all meals and linen, a host from our whanau for the duration of your stay and full entry into Whakarewarewa – The Living Māori Village.

What is a Marae?

Physically, a Marae is made up of three sacred structures: the Marae, which is the sacred courtyard in front of the meetinghouse; the Meeting House itself, adorned with carvings that represent the tribe and their heritage, and the Whare Kai, which is the eating house or area. Marae are places of refuge for Māori, and is the place where cultural values, philosophy and traditional ways of life are re-affirmed.

The Marae Stay Experience

Our group overnight Marae stay itineraries usually include a private guided tour of the village, insights around marae protocols and customs. Accommodation is provided within the sacred ancestral meeting house, the focal point of the Māori community. In the evening there is a performing arts experience after dinner and the evening is completed with stories, legends and reflection time.

In the morning, guests are introduced to Māori arts and crafts and have the opportunity to create their own woven treasure. For this experience, you are hosted by one of our whānau (family).


Sample Whakarewarewa Marae Stay Itinerary

Your group’s Marae stay is tailored to you – we closely collaborate with you to craft an experience that’s perfect for your needs, timings and requirements. Here is an example of a sample Marae stay itinerary to get a feel for what your experience might look like.

Arrival on the Marae – Day 1

4:00pm – Welcoming
Arrive at Whakarewarewa and meet your Guide. Participate in the whakatau (welcome). Opportunity to perform our traditional Māori greeting (Hongi), and learn more about the whakatau process.

4.15pm – Protecting our land (guided tour)
Discover why this area is so important to our culture, and see how the local people use the hot pools and steam for daily living – as they have done for centuries. Learn about the native plants that grow within the village, and how Rotorua city utilized our natural resources. Watch corn and eggs being cooked in the natural hot spring and enjoy your egg while sitting on our thermally heated floor.

5.15 – Perpetuating our customs (Marae protocols)
Understand the importance of the Marae, the customs and protocols we follow and the roles of men, women and children.

5.45 – Free time
Freshen up and relax before dinner.

6.00pm – Dinner
Your dinner will be cooked within our natural hot steam and pools – see menu below.

8.00pm – Storytelling & reflection
Hear local myths and legends, and ask your host any questions.

9.00 – Prepare for bed
Free time to relax or shower, then head to bed.

Arrival on the Marae – Day 2

6.45am – Wake up
Tidy up Marae; use this as an opportunity to apply what you learnt the afternoon before. Shower, pack up your bags.

7.30am – Breakfast
Assist with clearing away tables and dishes.

8.30am – Perpetuating our crafts (weaving)
Discover the importance of weaving, and enjoy the opportunity to create your own treasure out of flax and ask our local expert questions.

9.00am – Farewell
Be farewelled by your host, and depart Whakarewarewa.

Whakarewarewa Marae Stay menu

You’ll enjoy hearty Māori kai (food), cooked using traditional geothermal techniques.


  • Hangi Main: Chicken, beef, bread stuffing, carrots, cabbage, corn potato and sweet potato (kumara) with gravy sauce.
  • Dessert: Famous Whakarewarewa steam pudding with fruit salad, custard and cream.
  • Refreshments: Tea, coffee, milo (hot chocolate), water & juice


  • Continental: Porridge, corn flakes, fruit, toast and spreads
  • Cooked: Scrambled eggs, bacon, baked beans, sausages and toast
  • Refreshments: Tea, coffee, milo (hot chocolate) and juice


  • Minimum of 15 people, maximum of 40.
  • This is an all-inclusive overnight experience. You will receive a private welcome, your own host from our whānau for the duration of your stay, a tailored program, evening performing arts experience, a weaving lesson, linen and all meals (dinner and breakfast).
  • This also includes a tour of Whakarewarewa – The Living Māori Village.


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Experience more at Whakarewarewa
The Living Māori Village

Private: The Whakarewarewa Guided Tour

Explore the Living Māori Village of Whakarewarewa with the Guided Tour. Your local guide, a descendent of generations of guides from the region, will educate and delight you with stories of the Village and valley. See how we use the natural geothermal energy for everyday use, and experience traditional dances and songs (including the legendary “Haka”) from our resident kapa haka group - Te Pakira.
Find out more >

Māori Cultural Performance

Our popular daily Cultural Performances pay tribute to the legacy of performing arts of our ancestors. Let us introduce you to kapa haka, our traditional performing arts. Each performance includes Waiata (songs) of our history, Patere (rhythmic chants), stick games, poi dancing, and the world-famous haka war challenge – all performed by one of Rotorua’s leading cultural performance groups.
Find out more >
  • "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