Tour 1: Eco-Cultural Experience
• Length: 2-day
• Marae accommodation overnight
• Traditional welcome and haka entertainment
• Cultural participation and traditional history
• Forest tour with interpretation
• Apiary and beehive tour with explanation
• Range of activities
Journey to Ruatahuna at the heart of Te Ika-a-Maui - the
Heart of Maui’s Fish - the North Island of New Zealand.
We are Tuhoe, the original Maori people if this land, known
as ‘Children of the Mist’ for we are born of our mountains
cloaked in mist. We are a mountain forest dwelling people,
guardians of Te Urewera, a vast rainforest region, one of
the most remote and pristine parts of New Zealand.
Nau mai! Haere mai! Welcome to our world! We will share
with you our traditions and our authentic way of life in a
special mix of experiences of our people, our history, our
marae, our forests, our rivers, our sites of significance and
our beekeeping and forest restoration initiatives.
You will arrive in Ruatahuna and will be welcomed onto
one of our many marae in our region. You will be joined by
a guide to explain procedure and to assist you in engaging
in the formal marae welcome. You will have the opportunity
to participate in proceedings (with guidance of course), and
to not just be an onlooker. After the pohiri (welcome), you
will enjoy lunch in a marae setting.
You will be introduced to the history of the Ruatahuna
region - Te Manawa-o-te-Ika - and why it is so significant
for the Tuhoe people. You will learn about our history and
our current situation in this modern world. We will share
with you the history of the marae and the people of this
You will then be taken into our untouched forest of Te
Urewera to discover ancient trees and an understory thick
with plants that are special to us. You will learn about how
we used these in the past and now for food, medicine and
other purposes. You will also learn about our forest
ecosystems, how our ancient forest has developed over
centuries, and how it is undergoing change over time. Our
forest restoration initiatives will be explained and you will
be given the opportunity to take part in elements of these
Next for you for are optional activities back at the marae. If
you would like a little adventure, take a short ride on our
strong sure-footed horses. Bring your own rod and you can
go fishing. Or you can simply go beside the river for a walk
and to cool off. If you prefer stay at the marae and join in
the preparation of the traditional hangi meal for dinner, or
learn how to make and cook our special treat - fried bread!
You will all get back in time for the lifting of the hangi and
you will then enjoy our hospitality in traditional style. You
will be entertained by our local haka group and get to
participate with your own cultural offerings!
You will be looked after in a traditional manner in the
meeting house for the evening and will have your guide to
explain proceedings. You will get the opportunity for
learning more from your Tuhoe hosts about this mystical
region, its history and people, and also for you to share
more about your background and culture.
You will sleep traditional style in this meeting house and rise
to a hearty breakfast at the marae.
You will be taken to visit on a tour that takes in our local
farm, sites of significance and the beehives of our honey
production operation. You will learn about sheep and cattle
farming in our valley, and generally in New Zealand. Then
you will visit an apiary (bee-yard) where your apiarist guide
will take you right into the wonder world of the honey bee.
You will learn about how a beehive works, how the glorious
honeys of our unique region are made and the importance
of the honey for pollination in our forest and local
ecosystems. And yes! You will get to taste fresh comb
honey straight from the hive!!
You will enjoy refreshments on the move for morning tea,
but return to the marae for a hearty lunch and a warm
farewell, with gifts for you to take with you as a momento
to last about Ruatahuna.
Dates: by arrangement November to March each year
Prices: For your quote:
P: +64 7 3663 166