Connect with Manaakitanga

Apr 18, 2022 | Destinations, New Zealand, Sustainable Tourism

Connect with Manaakitanga

Apr 18, 2022 | Destinations, New Zealand, Sustainable Tourism

From everyday encounters with locals to guided tours of significant cultural sites and waka paddles – there are so many exciting and enriching ways to get to know Māori culture and connect with Manaakitanga (hospitality).
New Plymouth Taranaki by James Heremaia

New Plymouth Taranaki, North Island, New Zealand

Photo by: James Heremaia

Māori are the tangata whenua, the indigenous people, of Aotearoa New Zealand, and Māori culture is the cornerstone of the country’s cultural make-up.

As a visitor, it’s not always easy to get to the heart of a country’s culture. In New Zealand, however, you will have ample opportunities to gain a respectful understanding of te Ao Māori (the Māori world), both past and present.

From everyday encounters with locals to guided tours of significant cultural sites and waka paddles – there are so many exciting and enriching ways to get to know Māori culture and connect with Manaakitanga.

Meet the descendants of Kupe, Northland

On the shores of spectacular Hokianga Harbour, where Kupe — the fabled Polynesian navigator — stepped ashore on Aotearoa, Manea Footprints of Kupe recount the first chapter of New Zealand’s human history. This immersive cultural encounter celebrates Kupe’s voyage and journeys in Aotearoa, guided by his descendants. Manea explores prehistoric tribal narratives and traditions, Māori spiritual beliefs, and the arrival and impact of Pākehā (Europeans).

New Plymouth Taranaki by James Heremaia

New Plymouth Taranaki, North Island, New Zealand

Photo by: James Heremaia

Visit the “birthplace” of today’s New Zealand, Northland

The Treaty of Waitangi marks a chequered but important moment in New Zealand history. Take a guided tour through the treaty grounds, explore the heritage buildings and get up close to the ceremonial war canoe. You could spend all day strolling the beautiful grounds alone so take advantage of the Waitangi Experience Pass which gives you entry to all areas for two consecutive days.

See master carvers at work, Rotorua

In Rotorua, you will find Te Puia and the Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley. Te Puia is not only a place to see the largest active geyser in the Southern Hemisphere and bubbling mud pools, but also where Māori arts are kept alive and taught at the New Zealand Māori Art and Crafts Institute, the home of the national schools of carving (including pounamu and bone) and weaving.

Te Puia Rotorua by Eric Lindberg

Te Puia, Rotorua, North Island, New Zealand

Photo by: Eric Lindberg
Karitane Maori Tours by Camilla-Rutherford

Karitane Maori Tours, South Island, New Zealand

Photo by: Camilla Rutherford

Canoe along the Whanganui River with an Awa (river) navigator, Ruapehu

Pilgrim down the first river in the world to gain legal personhood status. This deeply spiritual experience is expertly guided by descendants of a local iwi (tribe) who tells legends and explains features of the river. Book a multi-day tour for an opportunity to stay overnight in a marae or Māori meeting house.

Take a waka to water, Nelson Tasman

Paddling the stunning coastline of the Abel Tasman National Park onboard a waka (Māori canoe) is a unique cultural experience. The trip begins and ends with a blessing (karakia) for protection, and Waka Abel Tasman’s experienced guides will share stories of the ancestors who sailed the Pacific Ocean for thousands of years. All while gliding through the clear water of the Abel Tasman National Park onboard a double or single-hulled outrigger canoe.

Karitane Maori Tours by Camilla-Rutherford

Karitane Maori Tours, South Island, New Zealand

Photo by: Camilla Rutherford

Stand in the shade of an ancient forest giant, Northland

Standing tall and proud in the Waipoua Forest you can find Tane Mahuta, New Zealand’s tallest native kauri tree. Take a tour with Footprints Waipoua and be guided into the ancient kauri forest at twilight by a local storyteller. You will witness the stillness of the forest as it transforms from day into night. Listen carefully for the sounds of kiwi birds.

Gaze into the southern skies, Dunedin

Discover the beauties of the dark skies of the Otago Peninsula and connect with and enjoy Māori manaakitanga on Horizon Tours’ Southern Skies Stargazing Tour.

Local guides tell tales of the celestial bodies on these small group tours while guests are tucked up warmly, under cosy blankets on reclining chairs enjoying an expansive perspective of the heavens above.

Dunedin Tomahawk Beach Road by Miles Holden

Tomahawk Beach Road, Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand

Photo by: Miles Holden

Source: NewZealand.com  All images used with permission from Tourism NZ.

Next week: Learn how Local Guides bring Manaakitanga to life.

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