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.

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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  • 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
  • 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.

  • Boat Cruises

    Chris Jolly Outdoors Taurikura Maori Cultural Scenic Cruise Experience

    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
  • Boat Cruises

    Chris Jolly Outdoors Knight Rider Scenic Cruise - Lake Taupo

    Cruise on Lake Taupo under the moonlight to the Maori Rock Carvings on Chris Jolly Outdoors Knight Rider Scenic Cruise, a "first of a kind" experience that is only available on board Cruise Cat.

    $46
  • Sailing

    Sail Fearless Maori Rock Carvings Tours

    "Be Fearless" and take an amazing sailing trip on Great Lake Taupo, sailing to the Maori Rock carvings. It's a great affordable and family friendly cruise.

    $29 - $59
  • Scenic Flights

    Taupo's Floatplane

    Spectacular flying experiences. Floatplane flights over the snow capped volcanoes of Tongariro National Park, Mt Tarawera, Huka Falls and Lake Taupo. An unforgettable experience.

    $109 - $830
  • Cultural Attractions

    Maori Rock Carvings with Taupo Kayaking Adventures

    Let us take you on a 1/2 day adventure kayaking to the impressive 14m high Maori Rock Carvings at Mine Bay, Lake Taupo. Only accessible by water, a visit to the carvings is one of the must do activity in Taupo.

    $100
  • Sailing

    Sail Barbary - Lake Taupo

    The beautiful panoramic views of Great Lake Taupo. There’s no better way to experience this natural wonder than on the water itself. For a truly unique sailing experience – Sail Barbary to the Maori Rock Carvings or enjoy a Private Charter.

    $49 - $54
  • Cultural Attractions

    Ernest Kemp Scenic Cruise Lake Taupo

    Daily Scenic Cruises to the Maori Rock Carvings. Ernest Kemp replica Steamboat. 4 cruises daily during summer months. 2 cruises daily during winter months. Get close to view the carvings. Departs daily 10.30am, 12.30pm, 2pm, & 5pm Cocktail Cruise.

    $35 - $44
  • 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.

  • Walking & hiking

    Tokaanu Thermal Walk

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

  • Kayaking

    Canoe and Kayak Taupo: Twilight on the Lake Tour

    End your day on the crystal clear waters of Great Lake Taupo on our fully guided Twilight on the Lake tour. Glide across New Zealand’s largest lake while taking in the spectacular views of the sun setting beyond the mountains.

    $79
  • Kayaking

    Kayak to the Maori Rock Carvings

    Glide your kayak across stunning Lake Taupo while taking in all the beautiful views of the surrounding coastline and neighboring mountains before getting up close and personal to the iconic Maori Rock Carvings on our fully guided kayaking tour.

    $99
  • Cultural Attractions

    Chris Jolly Outdoors Lake Taupo Scenic Cruises

    Cruise to the famous Mine Bay Maori Rock Carvings and around the picturesque bays of Lake Taupo. A full commentary is given on the volcanic history and Maori mythology surrounding Lake Taupo. Great for families and those who want comfort on the water

    $40 - $46

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