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Maori Experience & Thermal Reserve
hrs Estimate Duration
Explore a thriving center of breathtaking thermal activity and traditional Maori culture during this scenic, full-day visit to the historic spa town of Rotorua.
Head to Te Puke, the world's largest kiwifruit growing region. Stop at the Agrodome to watch the country's best-trained champion rams parade on stage, and a sheep-shearing demonstration. The highly-trained sheep dogs will finish the show with a display of sheep mustering.
Drive past the Rotorua lakefront where you may see a variety of waterfowl as well as several local landmarks before arriving at the Skyline Gondola terminal. Here, you’ll embark one of the aerial gondolas for a breathtaking ride up the side of Mount Ngongotaha, enjoying panoramic vistas of Lake Rotorua, the city and surrounding areas. Arriving at the top of the mountain, the Skyline Restaurant with its unparalleled views is where you’ll be treated to a buffet lunch while a local Maori “Kapa Haka” group entertains you.
Visit Te Puia, the home to the internationally renowned spouting Pohutu geyser and boasts silica terraces, pools of boiling mud and dramatic steams vents. Your guide being a Maori is keen to share the fascinating local lore and legends of this wonderful country. A strong sulfur smell, a product of the intense thermal activity, will fill the air. Remember to bring your cameras on this exciting geothermal experience.
View the reserve's fascinating re-creation of an early Maori village, and also have time to purchase souvenirs in the gift shop, including traditional Maori carvings. At Te Puia's Maori Arts & Crafts Institute, where for the past 45 years visitors have enjoyed this unique journey into the Maori's rich heritage, their mission is all about preserving the ancient skills and rich culture of the Maori. To that end, young people from across New Zealand are selected as apprentices. Here, the students learn skills ranging from carving to weaving, along with creating flax skirts and patterned bodices, and you will see all this at close hand.
Need to Know:
Note: This tour is conducted by a driver/guide.
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Tours with this activity level involve a considerable amount of physical activity such as substantial walking over cobblestone streets, uneven or steep terrain, climbing stairs, or extended periods of standing. Not recommended for guests with physical limitations. Comfortable, sturdy shoes are recommended.
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