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“Interesting juxtaposition of the people living in a modern world, but in a traditional setting”

Whakarewarewa - The Living Maori Village
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US$24.53*
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Whakarewarewa, The Living Maori Village Guided Tour with Optional Hangi Meal
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US$126.17*
and up
Tauranga Shore Excursion: Rotorua Geothermal Geyser Tour and Polynesian Spa...
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US$94.63*
and up
Tribal Footprints Tour
Ranked #7 of 113 things to do in Rotorua
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: In August 2015 Whakarewarewa received recognition as one of the Lonely Planets’ Top 500 Ultimate Travel Destinations, being ranked at #276 in the world. he Living Maori Village is set among the geothermal landscape of the Te Whakarewarewa Valley, a ten minute walk from town. See the Geysers, Bubbling Pools, Mud Pools, and Steam Vents and walk our back tracks with amazing photo opportunities. The Living Maori Village is an authentic and unique attraction where the villagers live, cook and bath in the geothermal waters on a daily basis. The entry fee includes a fully guided tour and Maori Cultural Performance, including the world famous HAKA. Our guides are direct descendants of the guides who guided at the Pink and White Terraces over 170 years ago, this legacy is as important today as it was then.
Useful Information: Food available for purchase, Bathroom facilities, Wheelchair access
Reviewed 20 September 2017

This was the last part of a day-long cruise ship excursion for us through Hinterland Tours, having visited a kiwi farm and the Agrodome earlier, so we saw the native fruit in one area, native animals in another, and here we saw the native people living in an area that allows them (and allowed their forefathers) to take advantage of the properties of their native land.

We arrived just before the cultural show was to start, so we had little introduction to the village prior to that, and we got poor seats for the show itself (the seating is pretty much all one level, so if you're in the back or off to the side, you're going to get a view (and photos!) of the heads of the people in front of you). The Maori haka is famous, and it was great to see it in person here, as a part of the show, along with some less aggressive song and dance numbers (the haka being the favorite). What was interesting was seeing the performers "out of character" - driving cars, etc. before and after the show. Because this is where they live, and they live in the present day, you can't help but see their contemporary selves off-stage in contrast to the traditional roles they played onstage.

While the show is the big draw here, there is a lot to see in the village - cemetery, buildings, and common cooking areas from years past that are still in use. Our timing was off, so there wasn't any ready when we were there, but they use the geothermal features to steam corn and sell it to visitors. It's easy to see why people might have settled here, having warm (hot!) water so readily available. On the other hand, there are houses now uninhabitable where the ground underneath became unstable as a result of those same geothermal features.

I know I did extensive research into which place to visit while we were in the area, and opinions on the geothermal features, the way the properties are run, and the shows at each varied, at the end of the day we were a part of a group tour, so we didn't get to decide which site to visit. We saw only this one, and while others might have offered different things, perhaps better (perhaps not), we came away from here feeling that we'd gotten the sense of the area and its people that we'd hoped to.

Thank travelmakesUrich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WhakaVillage, General Manager at Whakarewarewa - The Living Maori Village, responded to this reviewResponded 26 September 2017

Kia ora,
Firstly, thank you for your comment, we really appreciate that! It sounds like you did a lot of research into what to experience here and we are really grateful that you picked us. Yes, you are absolutely on point: This is a real living Maori village and many of our staff live in the village and you'll see them going about their everyday life in between working (including cooking their dinner in our steam pots!)
Thank you for choosing to visit us and safe travels on the rest of your journey.
Nga mihi,
Lou

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39 - 43 of 1,786 reviews

Reviewed 20 September 2017

This was a very interesting tour around a Maori village. we were told about the 'legends' of the village and enjoyed a show performance. My wife also tried some of the food cooked in the natural heat of the ground and said it was very good.

Overall a very informative tour

Thank Pete U
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WhakaVillage, General Manager at Whakarewarewa - The Living Maori Village, responded to this reviewResponded 26 September 2017

Tena Koe Pete,

Thank you for your review, we appreciate that. Yes our guides here, including Rob, are very informative. We take a lot of pride here in their passion and knowledge, it is a real privilege to be able to share that with our manuhiri like yourself. All our guides have their own unique story, we always suggest to people who love history to experience several different tours (time allowing, of course)

All the best!

Nga mihi,
Lou

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Reviewed 20 September 2017 via mobile

Amazing and very touching experience as we had a guided tour through the village. Not only can the Geysir very well been seen from here but we learned so much about the past and current life and history of the Maoris. While walking between the hot pools and steam, it was not a show put on for visitors but a real experience in this village in which the Maoris still live

Thank Lisa H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WhakaVillage, General Manager at Whakarewarewa - The Living Maori Village, responded to this reviewResponded 26 September 2017

Kia Ora Lisa,

Thank you for your comment, we are so glad you had an interesting experience, it's a real privilege to be able to share our beautiful environment and history with manuhiri like yourself. You are absolutely right - it's not a show, it's a real living Maori village. Many of our staff live here (it's a quick stroll to work - how perfect is that?!).

Thanks for choosing to visit us and all the best for your trip around NZ.

Nga mihi,
Lou

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Reviewed 18 September 2017 via mobile

How lovely to be able to be guided through a living village. I loved learning about various traditional ways of living that are still in use.
Stunning geology and nature. Be prepared for the smell of the sulphur. I still wish I had tried the corn!!!

Thank Kimberlee84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WhakaVillage, General Manager at Whakarewarewa - The Living Maori Village, responded to this reviewResponded 26 September 2017

Kia Ora Kimberlee,

If the corn would post well, we'd send you some! Come back and have it next time! Thanks for your comments, yes, we are super proud of our living, real life, Maori Village. The scenery here takes my breath away every day - and sometimes the sulphur more days than others ;)

Thanks for choosing to visit us and we hope we see you again soon - we've always got lots of corn!

Nga mihi,
Lou

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Reviewed 18 September 2017

This place was highly recommended to us at the information centre, by a Maori descendant staff member. Probably not as heavily promoted as some of the other areas we had read up upon, but, to be honest, gave us exactly what we had hoped to see.
Naturally gushing geysers, bubbling mud pools, steam, heat and, to top it off, a great cultural show. The whole thing was extremely entertaining, and if you are short on time, a perfect solution to be sure you have witnessed Rotorua and what it is reknown for.
SueM

Thank Susan M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WhakaVillage, General Manager at Whakarewarewa - The Living Maori Village, responded to this reviewResponded 26 September 2017

Kia Ora Sue,

Thank you for your lovely review, we are so glad you had an authentic experience here at our living Maori village and experienced what you were hoping. That is exactly what we hope to achieve! Thank you for choosing to visit us.

Nga mihi,
Lou

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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