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I could have stayed at Hahei and on the Coromandel Peninsula beaches for at least another week, but there was a lot more exploring to be done on the North Island. We headed south through the changing landscapes and the luscious forests towards Rotorua for the hot springs and Tamaki village for our Maori cultural experience.

November 19, 2017

 

View of the lake at Rotorua from the Polynesian Spa, that was a tough afternoon. 

Meeting our Maori guide at the Tamaki village. We spent the afternoon and evening at the village. You can't quite see in this picture but later on I asked our guide, Mike, about his tattoos. It was fascinating to hear the stories and significance of each. 

Learning a Maori song, which our group of 17, performed to lots more people in the evening. Great way to practice Maori pronunciation. 

The Maori Chief at the welcoming ceremony. 

Keisha and Katya playing a traditional Maori stick game. I think I may try this as a warm up at the next LY session. 

Talking about the significance of tattoos in Maori culture. We found out that people have to ask for permission off their grandparents and parents as the tattoos have to link to heritage and family. 

Our protecting statue at the Wharepuni or Maori long house. 

One of the 'arms' of the Wharepuni to welcome you in. Can you spot the kiwi? 

Stig, Phil, Martin (out chief) and Nigel learning the famous Maori Hakka. 

Dancing, singing and the Hakka performed by the Maori people in Tamaki. A beautiful thing to watch. 

Our dinner being cooked in the traditional way. Hangi is a traditional method of cooking food using heated rocks and geothermal power in a pit oven. The food was delicious! 

Enjoying the camp fire after the Hangi and entertainment with Jenny and Katya. 

Everyone at the camp fire after a wonderful evening finding out more about Maori culture. 

 

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