Gain great insight into the Maori culture as your expert guide takes you through Te Papa Tongarewa, the national museum of New Zealand, where many of the most significant Maori treasures are displayed. From historic, artistic, and contemporary perspectives, this tour will enrich your understanding of what makes New Zealand’s Maori culture unique.
Depart from the pier and enjoy a short drive to the Te Papa Tongarewa Museum, a landmark national museum constructed in an architectural style that reflects New Zealand's history and evolving identity. Symbolism is abundant throughout and includes entrance boulders that reflect Mother Earth and the indigenous people, and elaborate waharoa gateways that serve as thresholds to the country's natural and cultural heritage.
The museum holds more than 30,000 cultural treasures known as taongas in its Taonga Maori Collection, the focus of your visit. While browsing the exhibits, you'll learn the history of the most highly prized tribal artifacts, which include ancestral carvings, garments, shells and weapons. There are also fine examples of Maori weaving that beautifully express the different techniques used for baskets, cordage and house panels.
You'll also explore Te Papa's verdant Bush City, an outdoor exhibition of approximately 1,400 plants that naturally thrive in the rainforests, wetlands and mountains surrounding Wellington. Pepper trees, giant pig ferns and towering edible ferns are but a few of the usual plants.
Following your exploration of Te Papa, you'll be treated to Kapu Ti, a hot drink and traditionally inspired food. This hospitality is an important part of Maori culture and is a great opportunity for you to have a more relaxed talk with your Host.
From here your tour takes you along Marine Parade, one of Wellington’s holiday hotspots. Then, head up Mt Victoria for impressive views of the city and photo opportunities. Enjoy more of the city highlights on your way back to the port.