Photo from www.stuff.co.nz
Experience Maori culture in Waitangi
When you are planning a cruise in New Zealand's Bay of Islands, you should not miss the opportunity to visit Waitangi. Considered as a part of Paihia, it is just an hour's walk from the port of Paihia to Waitangi. Waitangi's name means "weeping waters" in Maori. The locality is best known for its historical heritage. It is best known for being the location where the Treaty of Waitangi was first signed in 1840.
The Treaty Grounds in Waitangi allows you to learn and immerse yourself in Maori culture as well as significant historical events correlating to the signing of the treaty. Waitangi offers you an authentic, interactive and eye-opening cultural experience you will never forget. The treaty grounds let you experience Maori cultural performances, lush native forests and a lot more. Here are some of the must-experience things you shouldn't miss out on while in Waitangi:
Maori Cultural Performances
Waitangi's cultural performances are world-class. Given to you by the resident performing arts group, Te Pitowhenua, they will let you experience a very authentic, high-energy show. The group performs inside the beautifully constructed Maori Meeting House.
The Treaty House
Get to visit the former home of James Busby, the first British resident in New Zealand. This house is where James conducted official business as the representative of the British government from 1833 up to 1840.
Te Kōngahu museum holds an amazing collection of stories and taonga (treasured objects) that brings to life one of New Zealand's important historic sites. Also housed in the museum is the Treaty of Waitangi, New Zealand's founding document.
Carved Meeting House
Te Whare Rūnanga or the House of Assembly features the Maori's beautifully intricate traditional design, carved into the structure. In Maori culture, meeting houses are considered as symbols of a tribe's prestige. They are also often named after and considered as the embodiment of a tribal ancestor. The carved meeting house does not symbolize any ancestor though. Rather, the building was designed to represent the Maori's unity throughout New Zealand.
Maori Carving Studio
Carving has been embedded into Maori culture. It is a mixture of both storytelling and art. Learn more about the Maori art of whakairo or wood carving from local kaiwhakairo or carvers first hand.
Ceremonial War Canoe
Get to see a ceremonial waka taua or war canoe named Ngātokimatawhaorua. This war canoe is launched every February as a part of Waitangi Day. The canoe is so big that it needs at least 80 men to paddle it.
Realm of Tāne
Experience and immerse yourself in the local flora and fauna that inhabit the Treaty Grounds. There are many information panels situated along the path to help you identify the plants and birds along the way.
Hāngi and Concert
End your day with Waitangi's Hāngi and Concert experience. Enjoy the evening with authentic Maori performance and a traditional Hāngi dinner that's cooked in an earth oven. Maori cuisine and culture at its finest!
You'll never fully experience Maori culture unless you visit Waitangi, a short walk from Paihia. Have our crew at The Rock Bay of Islands Adventure Cruise arrange you a tour to this historic place and get to soak up Maori culture. View our Cruise Calendar to check cruise availability.
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