Ohinemutu, Rotorua Overview

Bundled amidst beautiful lakeside scenery and boiling water vents is the village of Ohinemutu in Rotorua, New Zealand. Once the central area for the region of Rotorua, this Maori village is home to the Ngati Whakaue tribe with a population of less than three hundred. An attraction site with historically magnificent highlights, the places to check out in Ohinemutu are the Tamatekapua meeting house and the St. Faith’s Church.

On the shores of Lake Rotorua in Rotorua, New Zealand, is the beautiful Maori village of Ohinemutu, with a small population of fewer than three hundred people. This village is home to the Ngati Whakaue tribe and was chosen as a settlement by the tribesmen for its lovely setting and geothermal wonders. Here, the sacred Maori space of Tama-te-Kapua or Te Papaiouru Meeting House and the St. Faith’s Church, a symbol of unity between the Maori and British Culture, can be found.

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Towards the edge of Lake Rotorua and right across the Tama-te-Kapua meeting house is the St. Faith’s Anglican Church which completed in 1914 and further renovated in 1965. It is a beautiful blend of the Maori-British culture with the interiors reflecting out stunning carvings and windows, one of which depicts Christ wearing a Korowai (Maori cloak), while the exterior of the church is structured in the Elizabethan Tudor style. Also, through the guided walkways in the village, the visitors are informed about the historical and cultural importance of this place.

History of Ohinemutu

Initial Installation
The Tama-te-Kapua Meeting House first opened in 1873 but was demolished in 1939. It was later refurbished and opened again in 1943 and remains till date a sacred place for the natives there. Often referred to as the ‘Tama’ by the locals, this house is out of bounds for the visitors, but they are welcomed to enjoy the outdoors. The carvings inside of the home are intricately laid by shiny paua shells, and it is said that each of the sculptures has a story to it.
Tribal Settlements
The tribesmen from the Pacific homeland of Hawaiiki took a journey to the island of New Zealand around 1350 and soon settled down in the place which is present-day Rotorua. It was in the early 1870s that Ohinemutu became the centre for Rotorua and saw a large number of visitors on its land, including the British royalty.
The Meeting House
The Tama-te-Kapua Meeting House has been named after the paramount chief and captain of the Te Arawa canoe which transported this land’s ancestors from Polynesia.  

Visitor Tips

  • Ohinemutu is a small village with a low population, and the villagers here prefer their share of privacy.
  • Therefore it is an advice to the visitors to keep to the pathways while on tour and not to be loud while here.

How To Reach Ohinemutu

This village is about 10 minutes away from downtown Rotorua in New Zealand.

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