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.

Forage for flora and fauna in the wild whilst discovering the natural world of the Māori and their spiritual values with Kai Waho.

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.

The giant Mine Bay Māori rock carving of Ngātoroirangi can only be accessed by scenic cruise, kayak or sailing trip.

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.

Connect with local people and local stories

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 Book now
  • 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.

  • Geothermal

    Tokaanu Thermal Walk

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

  • Cultural Attractions

    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 Book now
  • 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 Book now
  • Scenic Flights

    Taupō's Floatplane

    Flightseeing at its best! Discover NZ’s most scenic & spectacular vistas. Enjoy a unique flightseeing experience over Tongariro National Park, the Bay of Plenty and, of course, Great Lake Taupo! Scenic flights by seaplane are a magical way of gaining

    $109 - $870
  • Boat Cruises

    Chris Jolly Outdoors Knight Rider Scenic Cruise - Lake Taupō

    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 Book now
  • 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.

  • 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 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
  • Cultural Attractions

    Chris Jolly Outdoors Lake Taupō 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 Book now
  • 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.

    $110 Book now
  • Cultural Attractions

    Ernest Kemp Scenic Cruise Lake Taupo

    Daily Scenic Cruises to the Maori Rock Carvings onboard the Ernest Kemp- Replica Steamboat. 4 cruises daily during summer months. 2 cruises daily during winter months. Get close to view the carvings, 2 hour duration.

    $35 - $45 Book now