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Māori culture

Aroha ki tēnei wāhi. Arohaina Taupō. Love this place. Love Taupō. Experience Taupō’s sacred and deeply-rooted Māori culture by immersing yourself in the tikanga (Māori values) of local Māori tribe Ngāti Tuwharetoa.

Whether it’s foraging for flora and fauna in the wild whilst discovering the natural world of the Māori and their spiritual values, connecting with your mauri (life force) and wairua (spirit) through traditional Māori massage, taking part in an interactive experience of traditional Māori songs and kapa haka (performance), or discovering the giant and evocative Mine Bay Māori rock carving that tells the story of the great Māori high priest Ngātoroirangi, you will leave Taupō having connected with local people and local stories.

Discover more about the heritage of Ngāti Tūwharetoa at the Taupō Museum, as well as viewing a mighty 15m waka crafted from a single totara log.

You can also visit some of New Zealand’s most significant Maori pā sites (fortified villages) where you can learn about the history of the famous Ka Mate Haka at Opotaka Historic Reserve or discover the site where the last major engagement of the New Zealand Wars was fought in 1869 at Te Porere Redoubt.

Embark on your own special journey into the culture, local history, manaakitanga (hospitality), kaitiakitanga (guardianship) and kai (food) of this region.

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  • Geothermal

    Tokaanu Thermal Walk

    See steaming hot mineral pools and spluttering mud pools on this short, easy walk.

  • Maori culture

    Opotaka Historic Reserve

    Opotaka is a historical Māori pa site (fortified village) where you can learn about the history of the famous Ka Mate Haka, see the remains of the Māori settlement, and enjoy spectacular views across Lake Rotoaira to Mt Tongariro.

  • Maori culture

    Kai Waho

    Kai Waho is an experience that is shared in the true essence of ‘manaakitanga’ with all visitors interacting with all activities.

  • Boat Cruises

    Chris Jolly Outdoors Taurikura Māori Cultural Scenic Cruise

    Hear the songs and stories of ancient Tuwharetoa, participate in interactive Maori performances and traditional games, learn to work the poi and even get your own moko tattoo on this special Lake Taupo Maori culture scenic cruise.

    $45 - $55 Book now
  • Performing Arts

    The Haka Shop Ltd

    Maori Hangi dinner & Cultural show- Meet the real locals to hear the real stories of our tribal area. The Haka Shop welcomes you! Or take a walk with guide "Snow" or weave a mini kete with our expert weavers.

    $49 - $89 Book now
  • Boat Cruises

    Chris Jolly Outdoors Sunday Kiwiana Brunch Cruise

    Enjoy the tastes of traditional Kiwi cuisine and get to know what it really means to be Kiwi on our Sunday Kiwiana Brunch Cruise.

    $40 - $64 Book now

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Taupō Moana - the great inland sea 

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Māori legend - Tongariro River 

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  1. Home
  2. See & do
  3. Art & culture
  4. Māori culture