New Zealand’s Tamaki Maori Village experience in Rotorua started with the proceeds of the sale of a Harley Davidson motorcycle and has since grown into a multi-award-winning tourism attraction.
Now, after an evening watching Maori cultural performances and eating a hangi (a meal cooked below ground), visitors don’t have to leave! Instead, the cultural experience loved by international visitors for many years can be extended to an overnight stay in a purpose-built wharemoe (sleeping house). This communal sleeping arrangement is traditional in marae (meeting places) around the country, but has so far not been widely available to visitors.
Although the experience is an authentic taste of New Zealand culture, the facilities will not be as primitive as original wharemoe, with heating and single-sex bathrooms providing modern creature comforts. Guests will have the option of staying on after breakfast to learn more about Maori arts and crafts, or perhaps joining a haka lesson for a more in-depth cultural fix.
“When our visitors step into the full life-sized fortified pa site, we want them to feel spirited back in time,” says Doug Tamaki, Director. “We want to take our visitors on a journey through time, from the great migration right through to the present – so they understand how certain events in our history impacted on our culture, and created the New Zealand we all live in today,” he adds.
Overnight stays will no doubt become popular as many travellers seek to immerse themselves in the unique Maori culture found only in Aotearoa, New Zealand. So go authentic and include an overnight stay in the Tamaki Maori Village when you visit Rotorua!