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Maori cultural experience

Maori cultural experience

Maori are the indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand. You can now enjoy a Maori cultural experience in Whangarei. On the basis of oral records, archaeological finds and genetic analyses, historians place the arrival of Maori in New Zealand around the 13th century. Their story is both long and intriguing.

Whangarei maori experience

Tu Tika Tours Whangarei

The origin of Maori has been reliably traced to the islands of Eastern Polynesia. Their journey to New Zealand occurred in a number of epic waka (canoe) voyages over a significant period of time.

Contemporary Maori culture has been shaped by the traditions of its rich cultural heritage.  Within any Māori community, the marae provides a focus for social, cultural and spiritual life.

Māori is an oral culture rich with stories and legends. There are several specific areas of Northland where you can experience this intriguing culture first hand.


Whangarei Town BasinMap of Whangarei Town Basin with icons on where to find art and heritage info

The Hatea Loop Walkway – Huarahi o te Whai is a fully accessible 4.2 km walkway. It begins at the Town Basin Whangarei. The walkway incorporates the Whangarei Town Basin Marina precinct, Sculpture and Heritage Trails. Sculptures are created by local artists, including the dramatic Waka and Wave stone sculpture at Hihiaua Point.

A Maori waka (canoe) breaking through a towering wave, marks the entrance to the Whangarei Town Basin. Walk across the elegant footbridge, ‘Kotuitui Whitinga’.  The international award-winning ‘Te Matau a Pohe’ bascule opening bridge is a spectacular piece of engineering. You will walk across this bridge if you walk the entire Whangarei Town Basin Loop walkway.

Read the fascinating history of the area on the many stunning Heritage Panels. Most noteworthy are the legends of how Whangarei got its name. Take in the information about the tribes of Whangarei. How Te Tangata Whenua – the people of the land, descended from their ancestors who migrated from the Pacific.

Download the Whangarei-Sculpture-and-Art brochure for information about the Sculpture Trail and other public works of art.


Tu Tika Tours in Whangarei – a Maori cultural experience

Tu Tika Tours offer a choice between a 5 hour and 2-hour Maori cultural experience.

Tu Tika tours is a Whangarei Maori cultural experience

The family welcome you into their home with a traditional Maori powhiri/welcoming ceremony.  Connect with the Maori culture and learn about the protocols that they still hold strong today.

Amazing storytelling and Maori mythology will be shared. Participate in the art of traditional weaving. Furthermore, you will learn a fun Maori song that you can take home.

For the 5 hour experience, you will prepare your own hangi lunch, with a modern-day twist.  Lunch is traditionally cooked on red hot rocks. While lunch is cooking you are taken on a journey visiting some of their favourite places around their home Whangarei. Here the family share the beauty and stories of Aotearoa through their eyes.  You will return to their home to the smell and enticement that you can only get from a Hangi, ready for your enjoyment.

Tu Tika Tours

Waitangi Treaty Grounds in Paihia

The Waitangi Treaty Grounds are an absolute must-do if you decide to visit the Bay of Islands. Rich in history and stories of the momentous events which shaped our nation. This is an award-winning national attraction. As a result, you will discover the story of New Zealand’s history. This is the story of two peoples coming together as one under the Treaty of Waitangi, Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

Grab a Day Pass. Explore the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, the Museum of Waitangi and Guided Tours. Experience Cultural Performances. You have full access to the expansive grounds of New Zealand’s most important historic site.

Free entry for children up to 18.

Your Waitangi Treaty Grounds Day Pass entitles you to:

  • Admission to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds
  • Entry to the state-of-the-art Museum of Waitangi
  • Waitangi: Birthplace of a Nation introductory film (22 minutes)
  • An informative Guided Tour with one of their local guides (50 minutes)
  • A high-energy, entertaining Māori Cultural Performance (30 minutes)
  • Full access to New Zealand’s most important historic site featuring iconic buildings.  Enjoy breathtaking examples of Māori architecture. The world’s largest ceremonial war canoe and bush walks with spectacular views over the Bay of Islands.

Contact us to help with advice on how to plan your day in the Bay of Islands here.

Waitangi Treaty Grounds 


A Maori Marae or meeting house at the Waitangi Treaty grounds


Footprints of Waipoua

Join a guided tour of the ancient giant Kauri trees in the Waipoua forest.

The Footprints of Waipous guides will take you on a memorable journey through nature’s stages of evolution. They provide a mythological and interactive interpretation of life in the forest today.  You will walk amongst some of the largest remaining Kauri trees in the world.

Local Maori guides share the stories taught them as children by their ancestors. Capturing the legends of the Atua (forest gods), the waiata (songs) and the rongoa (medicine) and the magic they possess.

You can choose a variety of tour options. Contact us for more information.

Tane Mahuta the largest Kauri tree in the Waipoua Forest