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  • Living geothermal village
  • Experience the traditional Maori way of life
  • Bubbling mud pools
  • Maori cultural show
  • Traditional Maori Hangi for lunch
  • Steaming lakes

Whakarewarewa Thermal Village

Rotorua Hangi Lunch and Maori Concert

Help code: D2B-174D

(4.8)

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Location

Whakarewarewa is a living geothermal village in Rotorua, a visit here is like stepping back in time to experience the traditional Maori way of life. With this package guests will enjoy a guided tour through Rotorua’s favourite thermal park to see the fascinating geothermal activity learn and how the indigenous Maori people utilize these natural hot pools for cooking and craft for hundreds of years.

A guided tour will take you on a journey through the Maori village to see its ancestral meeting houses, historic landmarks and buildings, see traditional Maori craft and of course explore the wondrous steaming lakes and bubbling mud pools around this incredible geothermal landscape. After a guided tour guests will enjoy an entertaining Maori cultural show, with traditional performances telling local Maori stories and legends through song and dance including the almighty Haka! To further enhance your traditional New Zealand cultural experience guests can savour the flavours of a traditional Maori ‘Hangi’ feast for lunch! A Hangi is a delicious meal cooked using geothermal steam in an earthen oven. The meal includes meats such as chicken and beef with kumara (sweet potato) vegetables and gravy with the famous steamed pudding with custard for dessert! You can do these three activities in any order - as stipulated in the description on your voucher. Experience the living treasure of Whakarewarewa Thermal Park in Rotorua for yourself with an all inclusive geothermal village tour, a Hangi lunch and Maori cultural show!

Inclusions

  • Hourly tour
  • Daily Cultural Show
  • Traditional Hangi Lunch meal
  • Corn on the cob- Parekohuru is the main cooking pool where you are able sample corn on the cob cooked in the pristine mineral pool

Highlights

  • Depart or explore our village and walking tracks with steaming lakes at your own leisure.
  • Add a taste of Whakarewarewa with piece of Corn Cob cooked in the geothermal Hot pools to enhance your experience.
  • Arrive at Whakarewarewa and be greeted by our admissions staff. Here you will collect your entry stickers, be provided with a map and shown where to begin your experience.
  • Join a guided tour through Whakarewarewa and learn how the local residents continue to utilise the natural hot pools & steam for daily living. Learn of our traditions, rich history and life within a Living Maori Thermal Village. (approximately 60 mins)
  • Enjoy Te Pakira cultural group who will entertain you with local songs and dance pertaining to our village and Rotorua. (approximately 30 mins)
  • Geothermal Hangi Meal. Traditionally cooked from our natural steam vents and hot pools, your hangi meal includes chicken, beef, potato, kumara (sweet potato), bread stuffing, carrots, cabbage, and sweet corn cob topped with gravy. Dessert is our famous steam pudding with fruit, custard & cream. Table water, tea & coffee also included. The only place in Rotorua you can experience a geothermal Hangi cooked meal for lunch. (approximately 60 mins)

Time

  • Depart or explore our village and walking tracks with steaming lakes at your own leisure
  • 10am tour, 11.15am show, 12pm hangi meal
  • 11.15am show, 12pm tour, 1pm hangi meal
  • 12pm hangi meal, 1pm tour, 2pm show
  • 12pm tour, 1pm hangi meal, 2pm show
  • 1pm hangi meal, 2pm show, 3pm tour
  • Hangi meals are available daily between 12.00pm – 2.00pm

Operating Hours

  • 7 days per week: 8.30am – 5.00pm
  • Closed Christmas Day

Sample Menu

Main

  • Chicken, Corned Silverside (Beef), Potato, Kumara (sweet potato), Pumpkin or Carrots (upon availability), Bread stuffing, Cabbage, Corn on the Cob and Gravy

Dessert

  • Steamed Pudding, Fruit salad, Cream and Custard

Refreshments

  • Self-serve Tea, Coffee and Water - Can drinks are also available for purchase

What To Bring

  • Camera and good walking shoes. If wet or cold bring an umbrella, warm jacket and or raincoat. (We have rain ponchos available for purchase, and umbrellas to hire).

Booking Information

  • Confirmation in the form of a tour voucher will be received at time of booking.
  • Upon completion of purchase, please print the voucher and present on day of the tour.
  • For your information, complete Tour Operator Information including contact details is included on your tour voucher.
4.8 out of 5 stars
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Lisa Turner 2 months ago
Awesome! One of the few Maori villages from ancient times still alive and running. The tour guide was great explaining everything from the time they bath, cooking the hangi (food) from music and dancing it was great, friendly staff members. It was Ka Pai.
Awesome
Lisa Turner 2 months ago

Awesome! One of the few Maori villages from ancient times still alive and running. The tour guide was great explaining everything from the time they bath, cooking the hangi (food) from music and dancing it was great, friendly staff members. It was Ka Pai.

We had a wonderful couple of hours walking around the Whakearewarewa Living Maori Village with the guided tour from a Maori that actually lives in the village
Nicole Wain 3 years ago

We had a wonderful couple of hours walking around the Whakearewarewa Living Maori Village with the guided tour from a Maori that actually lives in the village, seeing how they use the thermal pools in their everyday lives, and then eating a hangi steamed in those pools.

I had such a lovely time walking around the living village
Brittney 3 years ago

I had such a lovely time walking around the living village, learning about the geothermal pools and what it is like to live here. Our guide was great and made the experience memorable. The sweet corn was so delicious we had to go back for seconds! The cultural show was also great and highly enjoyable and entertaining. Overall this was a great experience that combined all of Rotorua's iconic attractions.

The experience was quite enjoyable
Dana McKinnon-Bateman 3 years ago

The experience was quite enjoyable. The guided tour through the village was very interesting and different. We didn't realize that people still lived in the village which made it all the more real and exciting. Highly recommend getting the Hangi lunch as well, it was delicious !! The concert was also awesome and entertaining. Overall amazing time and would recomend to anyone who is interested in the Maori culture and history.

This was a great way to see this village
Colleen Murray 3 years ago

This was a great way to see this village. We booked a tour then hangi meal then show. We were looked after from when we entered the booking office to get our tickets right to the end of the show. People were friendly, we learned a lot from the tour guide Moana and the show was awesome. The Hangi food was cooked in a steam box and was delicious

Absorb as much Maori culture as you can on this tour. The cultural performance is real, raw and earthy. It is a fascinating performance full of emotion and power.

Whakarewarewa Thermal Village Review

Mackenzie Burr

Experience Oz Travel Writer

Rotorua’s Whakarewarewa Maori Village (don’t worry, you’ll be taught how to pronounce it during the tour) is a living geothermal village located in Rotorua, bordering New Zealand’s beautiful Bay of Plenty region.

The village has a charmingly genuine feel with a small population of native residents who are both warm and welcoming towards the area’s regular visitors. Whakarewarewa is a traditional Maori village uniquely intertwined with modern day New Zealand and is a must-see attraction for anyone looking to get a taste of traditional Maori culture.

Surroundings

The village features steaming lakes, bubbling mud pools, traditional Maori Hangi (which is delicious!), heated outdoor bathing pools, and a variety of other ingenious methods by which the locals have incorporated the area’s geothermal activity into their everyday lives.

How to get there

  • By car: The village is only 8-minutes drive south of the city centre. From the Rotorua i-SITE, head south on Fenton Street, turning left down Sala Street. Take the first right, following Tryon Street to the village. There is free on-site parking, just be sure to lock up your valuables.
  • By bus: From the Rotorua i-SITE, head north to Arawa Street and catch the Te Puia bus to the end of Fenton Street, just past Sala Street. Walk for about three minutes down Froude Street, turning right at Tyron Street. Follow Tyron Street to the village.

Highlights

  • Guided tour
  • Steaming hot pools
  • Beautiful lookouts to neighbouring geothermal geysers
  • Traditional Hangi meal
  • Corn on the cob cooked in mineral water (+$2)
  • Maori cultural show

What you’ll do

The village has a large parking lot next to the visitor’s centre where you can park your car free of charge while you explore. However, before you can start wandering through the village, you’ll need to head over to the visitor’s centre, show your booking reference and collect a sticker from one of their friendly staff to identify you as a paying customer. You’ll also be provided with a map and shown where to go to start your tour.

Guided tours operate every hour, beginning at the village sign next to the car park. If you arrive after a tour has begun, you’re welcome to take a stroll through the area while you wait for the next tour to begin and take in the sites and sounds of this living geothermal village.

Meet your tour guide!

Tour Guide Image

One of the most enjoyable aspects of Whakarewarewa Village is the genuine and authentic nature of the guided tour. The tour is included in the price of admission, along with an entertaining cultural performance to conclude the experience.

The village doesn’t overwhelm you with any flashy information boards or professional tour guides. Instead, the locals turn to members of their own community to conduct each tour, adding real insight into the history and intrigue of the village.

The tour begins with a lesson in the pronunciation of the village name (this is actually the shortened version to help out white settlers, if you can believe it!), along with some more generic Maori pronunciation tips and tricks, such as the combination of the letters ‘W’ and ‘H’ making an ‘F’ sound in the Maori language, as well as the correct way to roll your R’s.

Once you’ve mastered the name your tour guide will lead you beneath the impressive archways marking the village’s entrance and across the wooden bridge, informing you of historic events and meanings along the way.

Treat yourself to a traditional Hangi meal

Hangi Meal

Early on in the tour, you’ll have the opportunity to learn about a traditional Maori cooking method known as Hangi, which utilises the heat emitted from some of the sites geothermal vents to cook a wide variety of meals.

For those visitors who splashed out with an extra two dollars for corn on the cob (you can purchase this at the visitors centre beforehand or pay three dollars up front on site), you’ll be able to grab your corn between 12pm and 2pm from this area.

Parekohuru, the village’s main cooking pool, features 140-degree mineral water used to boil the corn. This boiling method infuses the earthy mineral flavour of the water with the sweetness of the corn to produce an incredible flavour worth every penny.

Hangi Meal 2

If you decided against buying the Hangi meal ticket originally and find yourself regretting that decision, don’t worry, there are a variety of hangi-cooked meals available for purchase during your tour. There are also a variety of options at the village café, including some of your more standard café goodies.

Learn about some hot pools and warm baths

Village Image

Your tour guide will lead you to the village’s bathing district, where boiling hot mineral water is cleverly cooled using shallow manmade canals. These canals allow the water to cool as it trickles down to a number of in-ground bathing holes, settling at a much more manageable temperature.

The result is a handful of perfectly heated baths, where locals can wash off twice a day, usually completely naked (during non-visiting hours). The baths aren’t available for use by the general public.

The entire village is littered with geothermal landmarks, such as steaming pools of boiling water, vents of gas that vary in intensity and bubbling mud pools that are volatile due to the volcanic activity present beneath. Each hot pool has a name and unique story to tell and your tour guide will happily point out some of the more temperamental pools and vents that are most likely to make a fuss.

Over the years, with the movement of the earth, some of the pools have become too hot to swim in and are now a ‘look, don’t touch’ attraction for visitors and locals alike.

Catch an exciting show at the nearby Geyser’s

One of the village’s main attractions is the impressive collection of neighbouring geysers. Whakarewarewa Village has a number of lookouts providing terrific views of the Pohutu Geyser, erupting once or twice every hour and reaching heights of up to 30 metres straight up in the air.

Geyser Image

The Pohutu Geyser is the largest active geyser in the southern hemisphere and translates to ‘constant splashing’ in English. Your tour guide is well versed in the geyser’s cycle and will utilise the two separate viewing points to give you the best chance of seeing at least one eruption.

If you don’t manage to see an eruption during your tour, be sure to find your way back to one of the lookouts before you leave to see the impressive display of geothermal pressure in action!

Enjoy an interactive cultural performance

Cultural Performance

Included in the price of admission is the village’s very own cultural performance, featuring a traditional Maori dance performed by one of Rotorua’s leading Kapa Haka Groups made up of the village’s very own residents.

The performance also includes traditional song and dance, incorporating some traditional Maori instruments, such as the Poi – a kinetic percussion instrument typically made of flax rope and balls – used as an extension of the performer to convey poetic meanings through the interaction of movement, gesture and emotion.

At the conclusion of the performance, you will get the chance to hop on stage and snap a photo with some of the performers, which makes a great postcard for the grandparents.

Postcard

What’s included

  • Admission
  • Guided tour
  • Cultural Performance

What to bring

  • Camera
  • Comfy Shoes
  • Money (for food and drinks)
  • Bottle of water

Summary & Recommendations

If you’re after a genuine cultural experience to complete your northern New Zealand adventure, Whakarewarewa Village is the perfect place to tick off all the boxes.

Suitable for all ages (though, more enjoyable for mature travellers and parents), this village is a wonderful combination of traditional Maori culture and present day New Zealand in the form of a truly incredible living Maori village.

Need help? Contact our friendly customer support service. 1300 935 532 enquiry@experienceoz.com.au Help Code: 174D
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