Yes, there are many excitements in New Zealand, but this is the one that is truly native / Kiwi / Maori.
This is a working village where residents actually live, not just another stage show. Cars going in and out of village, children running around during school holidays. Private residences have blinds drawn.
You will not gain much by walking around on your own. There are a few things to look at, but you may not know what they are, and you definitely would not understand the workings of items or culture, as there are not much signage. Guided tour is a must.
Our tour guide was one of the elders in the village, and provided full explanation on the landscape, items, artefacts, and culture / daily life. E.g How to say the name of this village!
Primary purpose of tourism should be cultural exchange, and this is a truly Maori experience, not just another jump off some place activity (which New Zealand is famous for). This is what this destination is about.
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