Waitangi (Bay of Islands), New Zealand
Maori Culture & Paihia Highlights
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Approximately 5 Hours
Get acquainted with the rich traditions and culture of the Maori people, who have lived in this area for more than 800 years.
After tendering to Waitangi’s wharf, you will be welcomed by your Maori guide and transfer to nearby Kerikeri.
Stop for photos of the historic Kerikeri Basin, where two of New Zealand’s oldest buildings are located--Kemp House and the Stone Store.
Continue through the pretty town of Kerikeri, well known for its citrus orchards, to the beautiful Puketi Forest.
Enjoy a short walk in the forest, which has many towering kauri trees--the largest of New Zealand’s native trees. Once covering the whole of Northland, the kauri was grossly exploited for construction purposes in the late 19th century; so there are now very few fine specimens remaining of this gigantic tree.
A special highlight will be a visit to a traditional Maori marae or meeting place. A drive through the lush green Northland countryside leads to the Mangamuka Marae. Here you will experience a traditional Maori welcome before entering the richly carved meetinghouse of the Maori people. The elders of the tribe will explain the carvings and the traditions of the Maori people. They trace their ancestry back to the Maori voyages to New Zealand from Polynesia, approximately 800 years ago.
A refreshment will be served at the marae.
Return to the Bay of Islands via Waimate North where, for a short time in the late 1830s and early 1840s, the influential Anglican Church established its New Zealand headquarters.
Finally, visit the many locations around Paihia and the Waitangi Reserve where Maori ancestors fiercely debated the Treaty of Waitangi--New Zealand’s founding document. A viewpoint overlooks the treaty house grounds.