Experience Maori Culture
The Whakarewarewa Guided Tour
Experience the warmth of Māori Culture and get to know our living geothermal village with a fully guided village tour.
Our friendly, local guides are direct descendants of the early Māori guides who shaped tourism in New Zealand for generations. Their insights, knowledge and legendary hospitality (manaakitanga) adds depth and richness to the experience you’ll have at Whakarewarewa – The Living Māori Village.
On the Whakarewarewa Guided Tour, you will:
- Explore an authentic living Māori village where people live on a daily basis, using natural geothermal resources to cook, bathe and heat their homes as they have for centuries.
- Discover the vibrancy of Māori culture and the fascinating traditions of the Tūhourangi Ngāti Wāhiao people, who shaped tourism in New Zealand.
- View the geothermal wonders of Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley up close, including the world-famous Pōhutu geyser, boiling mud-pools, steam vents and bubbling pools.
- Enjoy a traditional cooking demonstration – watch our residents prepare Hāngi meals in our in-ground steam boxes, and cook corn in the bubbling water of our geothermal hot pools – as they have for generations.
- Learn what it’s like to live in the challenging environment of the Whakarewarewa Valley, where daily life includes cooking in the bubbling pools and steam vents, and bathing in the refreshing therapeutic waters.
- Take in our various historical landmarks and buildings, including an active Marae, our WWII Memorial Archway, two historic churches, and tapu (sacred) burial grounds.
Our guided tours are at: 9.00am, 10.00am, 12.00pm, 1.00pm, 2.30pm, 3.00pm, 4.00pm. These are all approximately 1 hour long.
Our Living Māori Village is just that – it’s alive; a real, functioning Māori village, steeped in fascinating history. Whakarewarewa – The Living Māori Village offers an immersive snapshot of our culture, people and their unique way of life.
Maori Cultural Performance
The Tūhourangi Ngāti Wāhiao people – the residents of our village – have a proud history of song and dance spanning over a century. Our Māori cultural performances take place daily at 11.15am and 2.00pm, with a third one in summer at 12:30. We offer the opportunity to hear traditional song and dance, and experience the fearsome Haka up-close. This is included in the guided tour price.
Geothermal nature trails
Our geothermal nature trails offer self-guided walks ranging between 10 and 50 minutes. Winding their way around the back of the village, these trails combine views of manuka scrub, different types of fern and edible plants, native bush and eerie glimpses of our unique geothermal landscape, including colourful steaming lakes and thermal pools that you can only view at Whakarewarewa. Our nature trails offer a beautiful glimpse into the challenges and beauty of the landscapes our people have lived with for centuries – leave time in your itinerary to explore on foot.
All of our walks only require a low level of fitness.