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“A Real Maori Experience” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Whakarewarewa: The Living Maori Village

Whakarewarewa: The Living Maori Village
17 Tryon Street | Whakarewarewa Village, Rotorua 3010, New Zealand (Formerly Whakarewarewa: The Living Thermal Village)
+64 7-349 3463
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Visit Whakarewarewa: The Living Maori Village like an insider
$27*
and up
Ranked #15 of 66 things to do in Rotorua
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Attraction details
Owner description: The Living Maori Village is set among the geothermal landscape of the Te Whakarewarewa Valley, a ten minute walk from town. See the Bubbling Pools, Mud Pools, Steam Vents and Geysers and walk our back tracks with amazing photo opportunities. The Living Maori Village is an authentic and unique attraction where the villagers live, cook and bath in the geothermal waters on a daily basis. Our guides are direct descendants of the guides who guided at the Pink and White Terraces over 150 years ago, this legacy is as important today as it was then.
Albufeira, Portugal
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“A Real Maori Experience”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2013

We weren't really sure what to expect when we visited, but probably something sanitised and dressed prettily for tourists. Instead we found a real Maori experience. A local showed us the secrets of the hangi, we ate a hangi pie for lunch and needed nothing else for the rest of the day!
I bought some thermal mud moisturiser which is very effective. We also threw coins into the river for the children to dive for, and they were excellent at retrieving them.

Visited November 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WMVT, Local Marketing Liaison at Whakarewarewa: The Living Maori Village, responded to this review, January 14, 2014
Thank you for your comments while visiting Whakarewarewa the Living Maori Village

Like many visitors who unsure what to expect when visiting our village, the reality that we are a tribal people who have resided on top of this landmass of geothermal activity for over a century.

Who better to show our guests how the families utilize the geothermal in their daily lives for cooking and bathing.

The hangi pies have received great reviews from all the visitors who have tried the pies.

The children that dive for the coins tossed to them in the river are something that many returning visitors remember when they first came to the village.

It is great that you had enjoyed your cultural experience
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Clearwater, Florida
Top Contributor
155 reviews 155 reviews
68 attraction reviews
Reviews in 99 cities Reviews in 99 cities
487 helpful votes 487 helpful votes
“The thermal sights and Maori people made this so worth it.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2013

I took a taxi from my motel near the town center as the Village is a little too far to walk. I arrived at opening time and purchased the entrance ticket and tour. The early bird gets a more personalized tour because larger groups don't come until later. There were only 4 on the tour I was on. The guide was very friendly and knowledgeable. If you walk on your own, you don't understand what you're seeing.
The performance was great. I've never seen a happier bunch of people doing their jobs. And the performers pose for pictures with audience members afterwards. This is amusing, too.
Take a little hike up the path for a view of the surrounding area and the blue and green lakes.
Day started out cool, but as you can imagine when you're walking on top of thermal activity, the clothing layers do come off. Extremely interesting and educational. Would highly recommend. See my photos for more village details.
If you found my review helpful, please click on "yes." Thanks.

Visited November 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WMVT, Local Marketing Liaison at Whakarewarewa: The Living Maori Village, responded to this review, January 14, 2014
Thank you for your comments while visiting Te Whakarewarewa the Living Maori Village.

It is with great pleasure that you had thoroughly enjoyed your cultural experience and that is correct the early bird reaps the rewards as most of the time our 9am tour and the last tour of the day 4pm do have less people on these tours. From looking at your photos your guide was Michael who is very loyal and dedicated to the tours as this is not his permanent work, he guides only the weekends.

We do encourage our visitors to join onto a guided tour, if they would like to hear the history and heritage of the village and the families that live on top of a geothermal reserve. We do cater for most non- English speaking visitors as they are handed a map of the village that is self explanatory in their language.

Our cultural performance are well suited to entertain our visitor who have not seen our culture displayed through performing arts, also the visitors are allowed the opportunity to have their photos with the performers upon completion of the performance.

As well as the guided tour and cultural performance our visitors are given the opportunity to see other geothermal features offered here in the village.
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Gosnells
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“not worth the $35.00 each”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2013

A really disappointing waste of money. Thankfully we visited other thermals, if we had just seen this one we would have wondered what the attraction was. Interesting that it is a living village. The cafe was closed around 2.00pm so could not get a bite to eat, Souvenirs over priced.

Visited November 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WMVT, Local Marketing Liaison at Whakarewarewa: The Living Maori Village, responded to this review, December 10, 2013
Thank you for your comments while visiting Whakarewarewa the Living Maori Village.

It is with regret that you feel that you got no value from your visit to Whakarewarewa.

What we offer to our visitors is the lifestyle of the families living in the village and how the community cook and bath in the natural resource daily.

There are few thermal places that are able to show the visitor how the resources are utilized on a daily basis, as well as the cultural side of the village.

Our cafeteria should have not been closed before 2.00pm and I will follow up on this, I sincerely apologise for any inconvenience that this may have caused you.

The pricing of our souvenirs is not my decision that is decided by the shopkeepers.
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Hope Island, Australia
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Unique and interesting.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2013

An interesting tour and unique opportunity made enjoyable by the young male guide. Go prepared with coins to throw of the bridge on the way out as the young villagers dive into the clear water to retrieve them. A nice day out.

Visited November 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WMVT, Local Marketing Liaison at Whakarewarewa: The Living Maori Village, responded to this review, December 10, 2013
Thank you for your comments while visiting Whakarewarewa the Living Maori village.

Glad that you had your experience was enjoyed and was informative by our young male guide.

Our children are from the village and allowed in the river, we still acknowledge how the name penny divers came about, but today as the currency has exchanged from pennies now to the gold coin. The visitors are not obligated to toss the children a coin that choice is theirs.

It is pleasing to know that you got value from your visit to Whakarewarewa the Living Maori Village.
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Columbia, Missouri
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Pretty typical”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2013

Kind of a tourist spot. A typical type of cultural show and meal. Seems a bit commercialized. Did see thermal pool area but if you've been to Yellowstone, skip.

Visited November 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WMVT, Local Marketing Liaison at Whakarewarewa: The Living Maori Village, responded to this review, December 10, 2013
Thank you for your comments while visiting Whakarewarewa the Living Maori Village

Whakarewarewa has been a tourist destination since the mid 1800’s.

The cultural show is entertaining and our performers are excellent in their presentation of our culture and history portrait through song and dance.

Your meal was prepared in the same way as the families cook their meals in the thermal so not sure what a typical meal is.

You can be assured that the families living in the village retain onto their traditions, culture and heritage as well allowing visitors to wander through their backyard to see why they still live on top of a volatile environment.

Both places do have thermal activity but to compare Whakarewarewa the Living Maori village with the world’s biggest sulphur reserve no comparison, one is a living village with families utilizing the natural resources and the other is a wilderness.
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