The award winning Tamaki Maori Village operates every evening, except Christmas Day, and offers two departures from the city in the winter months, and three most evenings in the summer months.
Your experience is inclusive of pick up and drop off from Rotorua accommodation centres, a Maori guide to instruct and assist you, the experience described below and of course, the Hangi meal.
The Waka (Coach Trip):
Enroute to Tamaki Maori Village, your guide will instruct you on the rules and protocol for visiting Marae (meeting grounds). It is customary for the welcoming tribe to send out a challenge. Together you will select a chief to represent those on your coach in the Powhiri (welcome ceremony) to come.
Te Wero (The Challenge):
On arrival at the venue, nobody must enter the fortified village until the Powhiri (formal welcome) has been performed. The host tribe will send out a toa (warrior) who will challenge the guests, via their elected chief to ascertain if they come in peace. A Teka (peace offering) is placed and received by one of the visiting chiefs. All visitors must remain behind our chiefs throughout the ceremony.
The Karanga (The Call Of Welcome):
And The Village The Karanga or welcome call will echo across the courtyard, followed by the Powhiri (welcome dance). You will then be able to enter onto the village grounds where the Tangata Whenua (people of the land) will demonstrate different activities such as poi twirling, hand games, weaponry displays, reciting chants and displaying activities of an era gone by.
Wharenui (The Meeting House):
From the village you will enter our meetinghouse. This building represents an ancestor of our past. Customs in our houses are: The men make all the welcome speeches. A speech of welcome is offered (whaikorero). A waiata (song) is offered in support of the speech.
Te Whanau AaTamaki Cultural group will share a variety of Waiata, Haka, and Song and Dance in celebration of new friendships forged.
Hangi (Earth Oven):
The traditional hangi meal has been under the earth on hot rocks for three to four hours. This is the age-old traditional cooking method of the Maori. The rocks are heated to a white-hot state with some of our native timber. They are then put into a pit dug in the earth. The baskets of meat are put directly on the hot stones, then the vegetable baskets and then the pudding basket on top of that. A wet cloth is placed over the food followed by wet hessian. Earth is then piled quickly over everything to keep the heat inside the earth oven. The kai (food) cooks slowly over several hours – a combination of smoking and steaming, and the end result is a distinctly flavoured, succulent and mouth watering meal. Vegetarians are also catered for upon request.
Wharekai (The Food House):
Inside the dining room, tables have been numbered to ensure that everyone gets seated with family and friends. Ticket numbers should coincide with table numbers. One of the guides will explain restroom facilities. It is customary for Maori to bless the food with a Karakia (prayer). The meal is a buffet style dinner whatever you desire. To ensure a smooth flow in the buffet, your guide will bring you up one table at a time. It works very efficiently and it will not be long before everyone is enjoying the succulent Hangi feast.
Poroporoaki (Closing Ceremony):
Tthe evening ends with the Poroporoaki, the official closing ceremony. There will be waiata (song) and whaikorero (speeches) before you are safely transferred back to your accommodation.
Please advise the name of your accommodation at time of booking and Tamaki Maori Village will advise the exact pickup time
Camera And Video Usage: The use of these is permitted throughout the entire evening.
Experience the warmth of our people during an evening of ceremonial rituals, powerful cultural performance, storytelling and hangi feasting!
Your evening begins with pick up from your Rotorua accommodation. En route to Tamaki Maori Village, nestled in the thick of an ancient Tawa forest, your guide will instruct you on the rules of entering the Village and the protocol you must observe. Select a Chief to represent those on your coach. Representation of your group is considered an honourable task in Maoridom.
Traditional: Share in the powhiri, our ancient ceremony of welcome, before you are invited into our Pre-European Maori Village nestled within the 200 year old native Tawa Forest.
Educational: Enter our living village, as it comes alive with the sights, sounds and activity of days gone by, including facial tattooing, weaving, carving and demonstrations on how our food was cooked and preserved many years ago. See, touch, take time and talk to our people as you wander through our village – you may even be invited to take part in stick games and warrior training!
Interactive: Witness the earth being carefully scraped away from the hangi pit by your selected Chiefs to reveal baskets laden with your sumptuous, mouth watering feast, which has been cooked beneath the ground on hot stones.
Entertaining: At the heart of the village, enter our ancestral meeting house, and relax as our family entertain you with a powerful cultural performance, including action songs, poi, stick games and the world famous ‘haka' – Maori War Dance.
Feasting: The sharing of food is an important part of Maori Custom – so we now invite you to join us for the traditional hangi buffet feast, followed by our New Zealand dessert. The evening draws to an end with the poroporoaki – the official closing ceremony. There will be songs (waiata) and speeches (whaikorero), before you enjoy a safe and fun transfer back to your accommodation with your Tamaki Drivers and Guides.
If a cancellation is made within 7 days of arrival day, loss of 50% of the total booking price.