Embrace this Māori Language Week, and celebrate all that the tangata whenua (people of the land) have to offer in the way of captivating, educational and enriching cultural experiences. Whether your interests lie in culinary delights, action and adventure, arts and crafts or simply learning something new, there are a whole raft of ways to engage with Te Reo Māori and immerse yourself in culture this week.
Āmiki is the Māori word for deep storytelling, it’s also the name of the hosts that will take you on a cultural and culinary tour of all that Canterbury has to offer. Let locals lead the way as they take you to share kai (food) and get a taste of the region’s finest wines and local craft beers.
Indulge at much-loved modern restaurants that celebrate and honour seasonal and local produce, and are whanau (family) owned and operated. Between courses, learn about the heritage and culture of the local area and brush up on your Te Reo Māori.
Waka Abel Tasman
Waka are the living expression of the tūpuna (ancestors) who sailed the Pacific Ocean for thousands of years, they are also historically vital to the tangata whenua’s travel and trade. Connect with New Zealand’s heritage and experience what it’s like to paddle in a waka tuarua (double hulled) or waka ama (single-hulled) outrigger canoe. Take up the opportunity to learn the tikanga (etiquette) associated with waka before becoming familiar with the boat and embarking on a haerenga (journey) to Split Apple Rock, one of the Abel Tasman coastline’s most iconic spots.
As the highest non-volcanic peak on the North Island, Maunga Hikurangi is the first place in the world to see the sunrise, and is a site of cultural significance for the local Ngati Porou people. It is believed to be the first part of the Aotearoa that emerged from the sea when Maui fished up the North Island and the resting place of Nukutaimemeha. Open to the public only a few years ago, Ngati Porou invite all New Zealanders to connect and learn about their scared maunga (mountain) with an unforgettable sunrise experience.
Enjoy your tipple with a whole lot of culture on a cycle and wine tour in the beautiful Central Otago hosted by WanaHaka Tours. With a deep understanding and respect for the tangata whenua and love for Wānaka and its surrounding areas, WanaHaka offer a journey through New Zealand’s history combined with the wonderful award-winning wines of the Wānaka and Cromwell region.
The WanaHaka Mihi Whakataū or ‘Wanaka Welcome’ is delivered as an immersive experience breaking down Tikanga (protocol) from Te Reo Māori to English and includes a wero (challenge), hōngi (greeting) and haka (dance) as well as a brief history of Wānaka.
Te Puia spans 70 hectares within the historic Te Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley, on the edge of Rotorua – home to the world famous Pōhutu geyser, mud pools, hot springs, native Kiwi bird, as well as the national schools of wood carving, weaving, stone and bone carving. A truly rich and diverse cultural experience, these taonga (treasures) have been shared with manuhiri (visitors) for over 170 years.
Walk through native bush and clouds of geothermic steam and discover why this land has inspired myths and legends. Once used by Māori warriors to heal their battle-scarred bodies, you can now use the nutrient-rich waters and mud of Hell’s Gate to ease inflammation, as well as rejuvenate the skin. This unique blend of awe-inspiring power and natural healing properties is a thing of cultural legend – having been used for over 800 years.
Get ready for an intimate encounter with nature and learn how the trees are intertwined with the lives of New Zealanders and the important role they play in the eco-system of the Waipoua Forest.
Take a memorable journey through nature’s stages of evolution, whilst experiencing a mythological and interactive interpretation of life in the forest with some of the largest remaining Kauri trees in the world. Local guides will share the stories of their ancestors taught them as children. Capturing the legends of the Atua (forest gods), the waiata (songs), the rongoa (medicine) and their magic.
Experience the iconic glowworm cave tour like never before – in Te Reo Māori, offered for the first time in the caves’ 132-year history, and catered for manuhiri (visitors) of varying fluency. Opt for the full immersion tour and take the entire experience in Te Reo Māori, led by direct descendants of the cave’s original explorers, or if you prefer, take the bilingual tour dedicated to those with some knowledge of the language, or those who want to further their understanding and learn more kupu (words).
The tours include a guided walk through the caves, followed by quintessential boat ride underneath the glowworm canopy.
Pou Herenga Tai Twin Coast Cycle Trail
Take a journey into New Zealand culture by bike on the Pou Herenga Tai Twin Coast Cycle Trail and learn about the tangata whenua, whakapapa (genealogy) and mātauranga (Māori knowledge) that give this place its special identity. You’ll make new connections and deepen your understanding of the region, while enjoying a Great Ride full of local hospitality, lovely scenery and significant historic sites, including the Te Rito Marae, Waitangi Treaty Grounds, Ngawha Springs, Monument Hill’s memorial of Hone Heke Ngāpua, as well as spectacular views across rural Northland.