Maori Culture Highlights
Duration: 4 hours
Tour Code: TAU-006
Experience traditional Maori life in the nearby village of Paparoa Marae, where you will listen to storytellers, watch crafts being made by hand, and enjoy a cultural performance.
After departing from the pier with a local Maori guide, you will drive toward the tribal village of Paparoa Marae. Following a traditional welcome, you will be graciously shown around the village, which steadfastly embraces its heritage. Many of the buildings are adorned with intricate totem-like figures, while others are constructed with traditional materials. The village’s authentic meetinghouse or “marae” is one of the more sacred buildings, and Maori storytellers often gather here to regale visitors with ancient legends.
You will also have the opportunity to watch the villagers create handmade crafts, including items carved from indigenous totara trees. Carving is especially significant to the Maori as they knew nothing of writing until the 19th century and have always expressed themselves and honored their culture through carved works of art.
Before leaving, you’ll enjoy a tea break, after which you will drive to nearby Minden Lookout, if the weather permits. From this vantage point here, you will enjoy a stunning view of the Bay of Plenty and perhaps even see steam rising off the active volcanic on White Island in the distance. Afterwards, you will return to the pier.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 2-hours of easy walking/standing over mostly flat surfaces. The tour is available to wheelchair guests who have a collapsible wheelchair, are able to make their own way on and off the coach and have an able-bodied companion to assist them. Those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Weather appropriate clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; a bottle of water from the ship; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended.