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Mataatua: The House That Came Home

Address: Mataatua, Te Manuka Tutahi, 105 Muriwai Drive, Whakatane 3120, New Zealand
Phone Number: +64 7-308 4271
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Ranked #2 of 19 things to do in Whakatane
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Specialty museums, Museums
Owner description: After more than 130 years away, Mataatua Wharenui - New Zealand's only repatriated and most...
More attraction details
Attraction details
Type: Specialty museums, Museums
Owner description: After more than 130 years away, Mataatua Wharenui - New Zealand's only repatriated and most travelled Maori meeting house - stands once again as the unifying soul of the Ngati Awa (one of the Maori tribes of the Bay of Plenty) New Zealand. Built in 1875, it travelled to Sydney, Melbourne, Victoria & Albert Museum and South Kensington Museum (London), Dunedin and Otago (South Island) before being rebuilt back in its place of origin, Whakatane, in 2011. Your journey at Mataatua (The Face of God) will Ignite the Soul within, as you discover the extraordinary story of the house that has travelled through time. Mataatua is a living and breathing being and our experience provides an opportunity for intimate engagement with the people of Ngati Awa. Be enthralled as the carvings and legends of Ngati Awa are brought to life through world-class digital technology. A spine tingling experience, HIKO; Legends Carved in Light, is the 2011 GOLD Nga Aho award winner from the New Zealand Designers Institute.

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44 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2015 NEW

I've visited Whakatane several times yet never fully understood the areas history. This was the complete experience! As well as learning about the local history, this was a great introduction to Maori culture for my Australian girlfriend, which to date is the highlight of her trip here to NZ. Very friendly, knowledgeable and authentic presenters and the state of the... More 

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Godalming, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
10 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2015

It is worth doing the 1-2 hour presentation. This includes a talk about he early history of Maoris and we were given a traditional Maori welcome before entering the house which has travelled on show in Australia and UK before coming back and being reinstated in Whakatane. It has also been fitted with a modern facility to project a lights... More 

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Whakatane, New Zealand
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2014

What a great experience for Kiwis and tourists alike! Our guides were well-informed, passionate about their culture and above all else, very welcoming. I would recommend this excursion to everyone who is interested in learning more about Maori culture as it specifically pertains to the rituals and customs of the marae (meeting house), as well as a tantalising look at... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2014

I have been three times now and think it is a wonderful experience. It's a wonderful way to showcase the history of Whakatane. The whole Maori experience is great for us all especially for tourists.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Whakatane, New Zealand
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2014

This wonderful house with its amazing history is a must see place in Whakatane. The staff are amazing and are there to make this cultural experience something that you will always remember. I have been many times and always get excited when I show visitors around. The detail of workmanship in the wharenui is superb and the Sound and Light... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Whakatane, New Zealand
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2014

Hospitality, guidance and introduction to the history of the house (wharenui) excellent. The superb craving both old and new, the ambience of the house, its journey are both instructive and a fascinating insight into New Zealand attitudes of the 19th century and the emerging role of Maori today.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Whakatane, New Zealand
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
9 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2014

This is an amazing place to visit. A local person tells of the history of the house before you then go inside to view an informative DVD. The graphics are wonderful as are the carved panels

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2014

Really enjoyable experience, great guide and received welcome. Fascinating story of a well travelled house. Defiantly worth a visit, thank you to our guide : )

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Alexandra, New Zealand
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
7 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2014

A very moving experience about a Maori meeting house that has finally made it home. Experience a welcome on to the Marae and a fascinating light show. Enjoy the hospitality afterwards. A very genuine cultural experience for NZers and overseas visitors.

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Kellyville, Australia
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
10 attraction reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2014

A must do for anyone visiting this part of the Bay of Plenty. We were there with 19 boys as part of a rugby tour. Our time spent at Mataatua was fantastic. The welcome & explanation of the culture and significance of the house and its travels around the world from the local maori elders and guides was very well... More 

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