Te Puia’s 60 hectare site is home to the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute, a live kiwi enclosure, the world-famous Pohutu Geyser, and more than 500 geothermal wonders. With land steeped in ancestral history, and a guiding legacy that stretches back to the 1800s, Te Puia offers unique hospitality and rich cultural heritage.
Next we visit the World Famous Agrodome for an authentic farm experience. The Sheep show will take you through a fascinating insight into the world of New Zealand agriculture. During this multi award winning show you will be entertained and informed as a real kiwi shearer (black singlet and all) presents 19 breeds of champion sheep, shears a sheep using the world record Bowen technique, works noisy Huntaway and silent Strong-Eyed dogs and completes the NZ dog trial. Have the opportunity to milk a cow and feed a lamb. After some free time for lunch we visit Rainbow Springs.
Set on 22 acres of beautiful native trees and streams, Rainbow Springs is home to a huge variety of New Zealand’s most precious inhabitants. Enjoy walking through the many free flight aviaries, feed the biggest wild trout you will ever see, come face to face with prehistory in the eyes of a Tuatara – a living dinosaur, watch New Zealand’s own kiwi in their natural environment as they forage for food and admire the native New Zealand bush surroundings with over 90 different native plants, trees and ferns throughout the park. Enjoy a 30 minutes guided tour Behind the Scenes of Kiwi Encounter. See the Operation Nest Egg kiwi conservation project in action as you tour through the incubation, hatch and nursery rooms. Tour ends back at the hotel early afternoon.
Enjoy free time before our dinner and cultural experience.
This evening you will engage in a wonderful experience at the Tamaki Maori Village. Enroute your guide will instruct you on the rules and protocol for visiting Marae (meeting grounds). On arrival at the venue, nobody must enter the fortified village until the Powhiri (formal welcome) has been performed. The host tribe will send out a toa (warrior) who will challenge the guests, via their elected chief to ascertain if they come in peace. A Teka (peace offering) is placed and received by one of the visiting chiefs. At the Village, the Karanga, or “welcome call” will echo across the courtyard, followed by the Powhiri (welcome dance). You will then be able to enter onto the village grounds where the Tangata Whenua (people of the land) will demonstrate different activities such as poi twirling, hand games, weaponry displays, reciting chants and displaying activities of an era gone by.
The buffet style dinner will be held in the meetinghouse dining hall and will have everyone enjoying a succulent Hangi feast. The evening ends with the Poroporoaki, the official closing ceremony and you will be safely transferred back to your accommodation.
Accommodations: Novotel Rotorua Lakeside