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“A tad tired to put it mildly”

Whakarewarewa - The Living Maori Village
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$25.99*
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Whakarewarewa, The Living Maori Village Guided Tour with Optional Hangi Meal
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$100.26*
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Tribal Footprints Tour
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$140.36*
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Tauranga Shore Excursion: Rotorua Highlights Tour Including Cultural...
Ranked #8 of 112 things to do in Rotorua
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: In August 2015 Whakarewarewa received recognition as one of the Lonely Planets’ Top 500 Ultimate Travel Destinations, being ranked at #276 in the world. he Living Maori Village is set among the geothermal landscape of the Te Whakarewarewa Valley, a ten minute walk from town. See the Geysers, Bubbling Pools, Mud Pools, and Steam Vents 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. The entry fee includes a fully guided tour and Maori Cultural Performance, including the world famous HAKA. Our guides are direct descendants of the guides who guided at the Pink and White Terraces over 170 years ago, this legacy is as important today as it was then.
Useful Information: Wheelchair access, Bathroom facilities, Food available for purchase
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“A tad tired to put it mildly”
Reviewed July 12, 2014

This attraction has failed to live up to what it promises. It is looking old and tired. Mainly consisting of 2nd rate souvenir shops and some handcraft outlets, there isn't really a lot to see. Even the geysers are not on the agenda! Sorry Whakarewarewa you have failed badly!

It even started when we were told rudely not to park in a spot that clearly has parking spots. It ended when we followed a wrong path in the rain to try and get out of the complex. NO signs were around and quite frankly the whole experience was abysmal.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Peter C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Dunedin, New Zealand
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Shameful”
Reviewed July 11, 2014

Rude guide and it was derelict and run down with litter. I felt humiliated by the guide there and there were NO thick mud pools (as promised) and NO cultural performances. It was not at all as I imagined and I will never go back. I sent an email of complaint two days ago and have not heard back.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Lynda415
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Very disappointed”
Reviewed July 11, 2014

Me and my husband visited here and was very disappointed as I remember this place when I visited as a child, I really wanted to see the geyser but when walking around was disappointed to find a gate blocking walking further as the geyser is now part of another adjoining thermal park so it seems this place only had half to offer to see. There wasnt a lot of geothermal pools to see, There seemed to me more shops there and houses that people lived in there.... not what I paid my 35.00 to see.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
Thank S A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WTVT, Guest Relations Manager at Whakarewarewa - The Living Maori Village, responded to this review, July 24, 2014
Kia Ora
I am sorry to hear that you were not happy with your experience within the Village. The gate that t partitions the valley has been in place for over 15 years.
The cost for admission includes a fully guided walk through the village by Guides whose legacy is back to Lake Tarawera and the Pink and White Terraces.
There is also a cultural performance show at 11.15 am and 2.00pm included in the admission. We hope you took the opportunity to experience this, as feedback tells us this is a must see.
As a Geothermal location we have viewing platforms for the Pohutu Geyser and Prince of Wales Feathers Geyser, while also having numerous mudpools, bubbling pools and steam vents. We also have walks around Lake Roto-a-Tamaheke with great photo opportunities.
We appreciate your comments and will continue to strive to make our visitors experience a pleasurable and enjoyable one.
ma te wa,
Whakarewarewa Whanau
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Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Performance was AMAZING!!!!”
Reviewed July 9, 2014 via mobile

The performance of welcome, songs, poi's and Hakka, were absolutely brilliant!!!! Performance was the highlight!!!

Helpful?
Thank Jacinta M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WTVT, Guest Relations Manager at Whakarewarewa - The Living Maori Village, responded to this review, July 24, 2014
Tena koe Jacinta M
Kapai, thank you for your kind comments on your experience to The Living Maori Village, the cultural performance group are certainly exceptional.
I will pass on your feedback.
Ma te wa
Whakarewarewa Whanau
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
52 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“A dip into modern Maori life”
Reviewed July 8, 2014

I have read a lot of the negative reviews about Whakarewarewa, and I have to say that it seems that all of these people expected 'authentic maori' to mean wooden villages, open fires, animals, tattooed people wearing skins etc - basically a very colonial kind of circus. I am very happy to say that it is not like that at all (which is what seems to disappoint these negative reviewers). 'Authentic' in this case simply means living the way they live without having to put on a show or an act. The people who perform and guide the tours all live in or around the village, and are one big family all the time - it's not something that they do during the day and then take off their moko to go home to their plasma tv at the end of the day. Yes it is not in the best of conditions, but that is just how they live it. It is the real deal, and the local Maori have already had to deal with pink-stickered tourists taking photos through their windows every day, let's not take them for granted even more. The Whakarewaewa villiage is a great place to go to witness Maori life as it is today in the geothermic region. The tour guides are a little to the point, but once you crack them they are very friendly and hospitable! The people of the village are also very polite and kind people, as is their culture. It has a really interesting history as a location, both geologically, culturally and historically, and it's well worth a visit to open up your mind to the world of Aotearoa's original people. Everything aimed at tourists is part of a historical legacy of tourism, which you can read about before you enter, and is all locally run. Yes, of course some parts of the 'cultural performance' are painfully touristy, but the performers seem to take great pride and enjoyment in doing it, which is impressive as they do it twice a day every day! For such a small village it is full of indigenous history. And the hangi pie is delicious!

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Catherine O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WTVT, Guest Relations Manager at Whakarewarewa - The Living Maori Village, responded to this review, July 24, 2014
Kia Ora Catherine O
We appreciate you taking the time to give us such great feedback and to show your support for the families who live in the village.
All our staff are passionate about the valley as it is home.
The families in the village live, cook and bathe in the geothermal natural resources and have done so for generations. It is everyday life.
The Guides tell the story and journey through their korero, while the Cultural Performance party do it through song and dance.
The Geothermal Hangi meals are cooked in the village in the steam boxes and bubbling waters each day, and I agree with you that the Hangi Pie is delicious.
Thank you for your generous comments and support in helping us to clarify modern Maori life within the Living Maori Village and the aspects of authenticity.
ma te wa,
Whakarewarewa Whanau
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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