Tamaki Tours Rotorua - NZ Travel

Tamaki Tours Rotorua

Tamaki Tours Rotorua

The Chronicles of Uitara, Journey of Ages - Hangi and Evening Concert 

New Zealand’s most awarded cultural experience! Experience an evening of ceremonial ritual, amazing re-enactment, powerful cultural performance, storytelling and hangi feasting as we relive significant events within our pre-European history!

Location: Our village is located on State Highway 5, Tumunui; 15 minutes south of Rotorua heading towards Taupo.


Tour times: 6:30pm - 10:00pm daily. Closed Christmas Day.


Transfers: Transfers are available from Rotorua accommodation. These start from 5:30pm.


Child Policy: Discounts apply for all children between 5 and 15 years of age. Children under 5 years are free of charge. 

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The Waka - Coach Journey to the Village

En route to Tamaki Maori Village, nestled in the thick of an ancient Tawa forest, your guide will instruct you on the rules of entering a Marae and the protocol you must observe. The visiting tribe must appoint a Chief to accept the peace offering and to represent those on your coach. Representation of your group is considered an honourable task in Maoridom. As you make your way to the village, you will learn about the great Maori migration - when Maori journeyed across the vast ocean in massive Waka (canoes) to New Zealand. You'll also enjoy some fascinating Maori legends and stories from our history.

Te Wero - The Challenge

You arrive at the outskirts of the fortified village, but nobody may enter the tribal grounds until the Powhiri, a formal welcome ceremony, has been performed.

Powerful haka challenges are performed by a series of warriors from the village, every one more intimidating than the last.

Eventually, a peace offering (teka) is laid at the feet of your appointed Chief. Your group signals their peaceful intent in the village by accepting this token.

The spine-tingling Karanga or welcome call echoes across the forest, as the women sing to announce your arrival to the villages. The Powhiri (welcome dance) follows, and you are welcomed into the fold.

At that time you cease to be a 'guest', but are considered to be Tangata Whenua - one of our people.

Te Marae - Exploring the Village

Step through the fortification and be transported from one world into another...

You will be spirited back in time, to an era before the arrival of the European to capture the essence of a very proud people.

The entire village comes to life, and as you walk around each small dwelling, you'll see and learn about various art forms, traditions and ways of life for Maori.

Hear fires crackling, songs being sung, and talk openly to the village people.

See warriors training for war with traditional weapons, watch women weaving and making Maori crafts, hear villagers tell stories of their ancestors and history, experience traditional Maori tattoo, ancient horticultural practices and so much more.

Te Hangi - Lifting your Meal from the Earth Oven

After some time exploring the village, your Maori hosts now invite you into the fully-covered hangi pit area - where you will view the lifting of your authentic hangi meal.

Your appointed Chiefs are invited to step forward. They are each given a spade, and together with assistance from your guides they dig away the dirt, pull back the hessian sacks and reveal the sumptuous hangi meal that has been cooking for more than 3 hours already on the hot stones beneath the ground.

The hangi baskets, laden with hot chicken and lamb, kumara, potatoes, carrots and delicious stuffing, are pulled from the pit. Your hosts deliver an interactive commentary on how the meal was prepared and cooked, the origin of the hangi and provide a brief history of how Maori hangis were cooked in ancient times.

Wharenui - The Sacred Meeting House

After some time exploring, the sound of a conch (shell-like horn) cuts across the village grounds and you are called into our sacred meeting house.

This building represents an ancestor, and the massive carvings on its wall tell stories of our direct history.

After speeches of welcome, let us take you on a journey into our world and share our culture through song and dance.

The roof of the meeting house feels as though it may lift off through the power of our voices.

Hangi and Wharekai - Dining together on traditional Hangi food

Celebration of life and togetherness, and the enjoyment and sharing of food is an important part of Maori Life - so we now invite you to join us for a relaxed 3 course dinner.

The traditional hangi has been steaming under the earthen hot rocks for a number of hours, ready for your arrival.

Enjoy succulent New Zealand meats with a lovely, slightly-smoked flavour and fresh vegetables. As well as hangi, you will enjoy Maori bread, fresh salads and seafood, mouth-watering desserts and a range of other yummy dishes.

After your meal, as bonfires roar and the stars provide a canopy, relax and share stories and laughter with your hosts, or wander around the tribal marketplace and find something special to take home with you.

Poroporoaki - The Closing Ceremony

The evening ends with the Poroporoaki, the official closing ceremony.

There will be waiata (song) and whaikorero (speeches), before you are safely transferred back to your accommodation.


What do we need to wear? Comfortable, casual clothing is fine. In winter months, bring a nice warm coat.

Can we drive ourselves to the village? Yes. However, we do recommend the coach journey out to the village entrance. We are well known for this part of the experience - you will learn about our history, stories and village protocol on the way.

Do you cater for vegetarians or other dietary requirements? Yes, we have vegetarian options. With notice, we can happily cater for any dietary requirements.

Is our Hangi cooked under the ground? Absolutely - this is the age-old, authentic Maori Hangi. You will witness your meal being lifted from the ground, steamed to perfection and mouth-wateringly good.

Can I bring and use my camera or video? Absolutely - you are welcome to do so.

Is Tamaki Maori Village wheelchair accessible? Yes

Is Tamaki Maori village suitable for children? Yes, children find the entire experience fascinating and entertaining. Infants may visit for free, and we also have high chairs available.



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