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Whakarewarewa, Rotorua Overview

Located in the geothermal region of Rotorua, New Zealand Whakarewarewa takes pride in being known as the only Living Māori Village of the country. This village is home to the Tūhourangi Ngāti Wāhiao people who have continued to host visitors on their land for over two centuries, with fun filled activities like the cultural experience which includes performances of Poi and Haka dancing, the geothermal hangi experience and the hangi pie experience. It is also a popular destination point here in Rotorua because of the hot springs and geyser vents located in the valley, where the most active ones are present in the Geyser Flat area.

Holding out the legacy of the Tūhourangi Ngāti Wāhiao tribe, Whakarewarewa has been hosting visitors for over two hundred years. It is often referred to as Whaka by the locals and was chosen by the Māori tribesmen for its active geothermal activity. This geothermal hotspot has around 500 hot springs and 65 geyser vents, especially around the Te Puia area which make the experience at the village unique. The Pōhutu geyser is another area worth checking out because of the high splash that it gives out, along with the beautiful view around the geyser. At present around 21 families of the original tribe reside here in Whakarewarewa and carry on with their ancestral legacy of welcoming visitors into their land.

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Legend

It is believed that the hot springs, vents, mud pools as well as volcanoes in New Zealand were created when the Māori Goddess of Fire, Te Hoata and Te Pupu made their way to this land to ease their brother from the chills.

Timings

The village remains open every day from 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., except Good Fridays and Christmas Day.

One hour long Guided tours: 9:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 1:00 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 3:00 p.m. and 4.00 p.m.

The Cultural performances take place at 11:15 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. and are 30 minutes long. There will be a third cultural performance at 12:30 p.m. from 5th November till 22nd April.

Price

Web pricings: Cultural Experience: Adults $ 45, Children $ 20. This excludes the family pass. The Cultural Experience along with Corn includes an extra $ 2 for both.

Geothermal Hangi Experience: Adults $ 70, Children $40 and Hangi Pie experience: Adults $60, Children $30

The Experience

In the midst of this geothermal landscape, the village also boasts of their rich tradition and culture showcasing the various ways how they have made use of the geothermal spaces for their day to day activities. There are guided tours available while on a visit here to let people know about the history and cultural values of the Māori and to help check out the significant places on the land. While here the visitors get the opportunity to learn about the ways in which food is produced here, about the traditional weaving occupation where the weavers make a type of dancing skirt known as the piupiu and about the traditional carvings and tattooing, tā moko. This tour also includes a visit to the Pōhutu and Prince of Wales geyser along with the Whare Tepuna, which is an important Marae for the tribe here. It is an ancestral house here playing a significant role in the lives of the tribesmen and is a place of spiritual and historical significance to the Māori people.

The cultural performances reflect traditional dances like the Poi and Haka along with singing performances and the audience is later invited to join in these activities by the performers. Here you can also experience the traditional manner of cooking on geothermal vents which have been in use here since ages. The mouth-watering dishes include chicken, beef, potatoes, bread and the famous butter sweet corn which is an authentic hāngi meal.

How To Reach Whakarewarewa

Whakarewarewa is about a 20 minute walk from Rotorua Central or if you wish to drive here, take the south of Rotorua to reach the village. The drive here takes only about 5 minutes.

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