To be quite honest, I didn’t think I would love this as much as I did. My Aunt recommended, and I thought it would be a nice chill evening that my Dad would enjoy. Turned out it was hella interesting!
Tamaki Maori Village is a re-creation of an authentic pre-European Maori village. During the experience you learn about the culture, history and stories of the Maori people.
The night begins with a bus ride to the village. You’re picked up from your accommodation and during the 30 min or so bus ride you nominate the leader of your bus group, which needs to be a male chief. I tried to nominate myself, but I wasn’t allowed due to my woman-ness. We were taught some Maori words and talked through the welcoming ceremony.
Once we arrived, the tribe performed the welcoming ceremony, which included arriving on boat, presenting gifts to our “chiefs” and displaying the fierceness of their warriors. It was pretty impressive. We weren’t allowed to smile though, and I found that difficult… I was enjoying myself!
Afterwards, we split into groups and did round robins of huts, each hut teaching us something new about the Maori people, from where the people originated from (Hawaii), the Haka (a war dance, also a male only activity) and agility tasks, plus much more.
We were then shown the hangi – our meal for the night. Hangi is the Maori method of cooking food underground with heated stones. There were veggies and various meats.
While the meats were being carved, the Maori villagers performed more songs and dance. It was really quite intriguing. I loved how some really put on a performance for my camera!
The night ended with dinner and a final song. The dinner was beyond delicious, sort of a smokey roast dinner. Dad and I were pretty excited for the Tui beers – our new favourite, haha.
The bus ride home was PAINFUL. I don’t know if any of you watch my Instagram stories, but if you do, you would’ve seen and HEARD the bus driver randomly putting on accents and singing all the way home, EXTREMELY LOUDLY. Sure it was amusing… but only if I put both fingers in my ears to dull the sound so my eardrums didn’t burst.
All in all a great experience, and worth every pretty penny ($130NZD).
Todays pop quiz! Answer in the comment box below!
- Have you ever done a Maori Village experience, or something similar for a different culture?
- Would you have gagged the bus driver? (10 out of 10 next time would be more prepared).