Learning about the Maori Culture in Rotorua

February 7, 2018

I woke up this morning super excited about the educational day ahead of me. Today I would learn more about the Maori culture – the original inhabitants of New Zealand. Since Tama is part Maori and knowledgable about his history, he was going to be a solid tour guide.

If you’re wondering about the Maori culture, you’re probably most familiar with the Haka. New Zealand’s All Blacks performed it back in 2011 for the Rugby World Cup and gained global attention.

Traditionally, the Haka was performed before war to intimidate their enemies. Can you imagine walking up to war, and your opponents started doing the Haka? I’d be all —


The Haka is also performed to acknowledge great achievements, such as at weddings. The video below went viral a couple of years back.

Tama took me to Te Puia, a place that incorporates the geothermal valley, geysers, and Maori culture into one educational attraction. I learned about their language, customs, history, and most importantly, their food.


The Maori were known for laying a “hangi” which was a method of cooking that involved laying their food in baskets and burying it in the ground over hot stones. After a few hours, baddabing baddaboom, they had their meal! They would also use the hot springs to boil their food as well.

Tama and I ordered their hangi which was very similar, in my opinion, to a Thanksgiving meal. I loved it. Ate the whole thing.

We then continued on our path of geothermal springs and geysers. The weather was absolutely awful though, so we didn’t spend a great amount of time checking it out. But if you’re in the area, I would definitely recommended seeing the geysers.

We also visited their art exhibits and classroom observation deck to see what they were currently working on. Their art is so very interesting and passionate.

Overall, it was an amazing experience to learn about this fascinating culture that’s still a proud and thriving community in New Zealand today.

After we came back from Te Puia, I potato chipped it on the bed for the rest of the night. I continued my quest of watching the top Oscar nominated movies. Tonight I watched The Darkest Hour. It was very good and Gary Oldman did a phenomenal job. It was, however, a bit boring at times.

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