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Mataatua: The House That Came Home

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Address: Mataatua, Te Manuka Tutahi, 105 Muriwai Drive, Whakatane 3120, New Zealand
Phone Number: +64 7-308 4271
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Description:

After more than 130 years away, Mataatua Wharenui - New Zealand's only...

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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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 66 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 58
    Excellent
  • 7
    Very good
  • 1
    Average
  • 0
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    Terrible
Fantastic!

I cannot recommend this highly enough! Our guide was friendly, welcoming, and knowledgeable. We were taken through a moving Maori greeting ceremony before being shown around this... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed 1 week ago
Lynn0712
via mobile
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66 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
17 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

I cannot recommend this highly enough! Our guide was friendly, welcoming, and knowledgeable. We were taken through a moving Maori greeting ceremony before being shown around this wonderful house, we were actually encouraged to touch the carvings and really get to know them. The light show is slick, informative, and entertaining. This place lives and breathes. The food at the... More 

Helpful?
Thank Lynn0712
Level Contributor
81 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

Mataatua is amazing. If you wish to immerse yourself in a local Maori experience, this is the place to do it. This is a genuine Maori experience and an amazing story. Even the Maori guest (from a different tribe) in our group was impressed. It takes over an hour and it is well worth it, both in money and time... More 

Helpful?
Thank Ieme d
Hamilton & Waikato Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 weeks ago

The guides (2) provided a total experience of this amazing meeting house. Their approach is to involve the visitors in the experience in a very respectful way. Some understanding of Maori culture may be drawn from the guide's way of introducing the visitors to the interior of the meeting house. An extraordinary building which it is a privilege to enter.... More 

Helpful?
Thank kiwikitty2015
Pembroke, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2016

A much more personal experience than the Rotarua shows. Shown around by a guide on the tour and felt very welcomed into the community. Lovely light show which gave a good balance between the guide talking and digital wizardry. Excellent refreshments - if the yellow pickle had been for sale in jars we would had bought some - lovely!

Helpful?
Thank kiwitaf
Level Contributor
13 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2015

Well presented by elders, and an accompanying light show. Really felt welcome and learned a lot even though I thought I knew the story.

Helpful?
Thank Jocej
Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand
Level Contributor
30 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2015

Visited Maatatua as part of NZSG Regional Meeting. An absolutely wonderful experience hearing the story of how Maatatua Meeting house had journeyed over the world for 130 years before finally returning home to Whakatane, the history of how Whakatane came to be settled by Ngati Awa. Seeing the beautiful carvings and then an absolutely wonderful light show which told more... More 

Helpful?
Thank 763anne
Level Contributor
27 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2015

Visited this facility and really liked the light show and how it depicted how the local iwi got to Whakatane. Good cultural experience for Tourists and certainly worth visiting.

Helpful?
Thank Jackie D
Hereford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2015 via mobile

We had hoped to go to White Island but the wind blew for two days and made it impossible. Beside the motel was Mataatua. We wanted to touch on Maori culture but were a bit anxious about plastic Maori in Rotorua. We were told of this cultural centre and the knowledge forest and welcome ceremony. The staff were warm and... More 

Helpful?
2 Thank Dave Q
Whakatane, New Zealand
Level Contributor
17 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2015

Wonderful examples of Maori Carving in a beautifully restored building with a fascinating history. Learn all about it by means of the high tech light show that is part of the tour. However it is a little expensive

Helpful?
1 Thank Damskep
Salisbury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
51 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2015

A complete cultural experience guided by true subject matter experts. In spite of frankly uninformed mutilation by its Victorian movers this House has informed a great many during its travels, and will continue to do so at its present site. Strongly recommended to visit.

Helpful?
2 Thank nickcooper186414

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