Indigenous Insight – Maori Heritage Tours

New Zealand is full of Maori legend, and on our tours you’ll gain important insights into their culture and protocol. This includes visits to marae (meeting houses) where you will be welcomed with a traditional powhiri welcome ceremony as well as cultural performances and experiences.

Discover a true Maori heritage site – from Ruakuri Caves to an active Maori village – to learn about New Zealand history and mythology.

Waitangi Treaty Grounds

The Waitangi Treaty Grounds hold great national significance, as this is where New Zealand’s founding document was signed on 6 February 1840. You can join a guided tour and witness where Maori chiefs came together with representatives of the British Crown to select a national flag and declare independence as an independent nation.

At the Museum of Waitangi, visitors will gain more information on Te Tiriti o Waitangi and its four articles; He Whakaputanga in particular confirms chiefs’ authority over their land and establishes them as sovereign people.

He Mana Tuakana affirmed the sovereignty of New Zealand as being held by its people under Mori law, with He Tauti setting out that an annual treaty congress be held each autumn and He Te Ao Mue ensuring the Declaration of Independence would be sent off to King Edward VI of England.

Are you curious to experience Maori culture first-hand? Join Waka Tours Abel Tasman for an immersive cultural experience by paddling a waka, the ceremonial war canoe used by Maori ancestors as they crossed the Pacific Ocean to Aotearoa. Additionally, participate in pounamu carving workshops or learn to weave flax by participating in pounamu carving or flax weaving classes; alternatively visit Ko Tane in Christchurch to participate in traditional Maori village experiences guided by an indigenous guide.


Maori culture is a vibrant meld of traditions and beliefs, from the epic voyages of their ancestors to the celestial discs of Hakikino Conservation Reserve – you can explore every facet of its richness through cultural experiences like our special tours aimed at Maori elders.

Maori culture is an integral part of New Zealand, making them a must-see when visiting. At Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand visitors will gain an impressive insight into Maori history and culture; their collection contains over 30,000 treasures. Come explore its halls filled with artwork, garments, archaeological artifacts and ancestral carvings!

There are also tours that take visitors to Maori sacred sites, such as Whirinaki Rainforest – home to rare species of flora and fauna and explored by Maori guides who share stories about tribal history – while Rotorua’s Te Puia offers cultural experiences such as Whakarewarewa with Pohutu Geyser as well as visits to traditional marae (meeting houses).

Maori stories offer insight and meaning for anyone seeking to connect with one another, nature and the cosmos. Maori storytelling has endured for millennia thanks to its power to both educate and inspire its listeners.


Hokitika, New Zealand offers visitors a glimpse into Maori culture that’s otherwise hidden. Best known for its picturesque gorge, this river-port town also hosts numerous Maori sites, buildings, and statues – we can arrange tours led by professional guides so that visitors can discover these spots with us – including Mine Bay Maori Rock Carvings that rise 14 metres above Lake Taupo; each carving represents something different; plus nearby Kohanga Gorge which holds deep significance within Maori legend.

Maori Village Tours offer an exciting way to gain deeper insights into this vibrant culture. Enjoy songs and the world-famous Haka war dance while dining on an authentic hangi dinner – this experience allows you to experience maanakitanga – hospitality and respect for others – first-hand!

Take a day trip to Cape Reinga for an incredible view of two ocean currents meeting at New Zealand’s southern tip, Cape Reinga. Here you can witness this sacred site surrounded by magnificent Pohutukawa trees believed to be 800 years old where Maori spirits leap into the sea to return home – Hawaiki-A-Nui in Hawaiki-A-Nui.

Visit Te Puia and Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley for an in-depth cultural exploration! You will see stunning Maori architecture, national schools of weaving and carving as well as Rotorua’s famed geothermal wonderland full of bubbling mud pools and bursting geysers – the epitome of Maori culture at its best!


Kaikoura holds a special place for Maori people. Here lies the source of many of our traditions and an experience of nature at work in both land and sea environments. Here, our ancestors taught us to balance living within nature with journeying across vast oceans for travel – learning lessons of their struggles as well as triumphs that we now benefit from today.

Maori activities now abound within the community, from carvings and taonga to weaving, kapa haka and oral histories from guides at Whale Watch Kaikoura Limited – local tourism company. All work conducted was guided by tikanga Maori principles; conducted in the field by Maori team with members representing cross section of Iwi, age, gender and hapu affiliations being surveyed as a sample group.

This study’s results demonstrate the complexity and variety of community perceptions regarding Maori involvement in modern tourism industry are numerous and complex. While most respondents believed very little Maori culture is presented as tourist attractions in Kaikoura, more than half felt kapa haka and Takahanga marae were cultural sites worth seeing, and most participants considered Whale Watch’s guides telling visitors oral histories at Wairau Bar as effective means of promoting Maori culture as tourist attraction.

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