New Zealand’s Maori culture is fascinating, and is best experienced in Rotorua and Waitangi. Find out what you can do to make the most of these destinations.
Culture holidays in New Zealand are bound to be a hit with all travellers, as there's simply so much history here. Blending European and Maori cultures into one unique identity, there are plenty of places you can go to uncover more about the country's indigenous identity.
Maori culture is well and truly alive in Rotorua, and that's why the town is such a popular tourist destination year-round. The heritage of local Maori is intertwined with the region, with natural geothermal activity in the form of geysers and mudpools adding to the mystique.
The local tribe is named Ngati Whakaue, and they are known for their warm and welcoming attitude. This makes it a fantastic place for travellers who want to learn more about Maori culture and customs, whether it's witnessing a traditional haka or taking part in poi dancing.
Travel to a traditional Maori village, eat hangi and make sure to soak up as much of the natural beauty of the Redwood Forest as possible to ensure you make the most of your time in Rotorua.
Waitangi is another cultural hub of New Zealand, located at the top of the North Island. This is where the treaty was signed between Maori and British settlers in 1840, making it one of New Zealand's most significant historic sites.
The treaty, signed between more than 500 Maori chiefs and the British Crown, set out the terms by which New Zealand became a British colony. You can visit the Treaty House to see a replica of the original document, where you can also see one of New Zealand's largest Maori war canoes.
Aside from its cultural significance, Waitangi is simply a stunning place to explore, with a semi-formal garden surrounding the Treaty House and a winding forest walk leading to the Haruru Falls.