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“Interesting combination of experiences” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Mitai Maori Village

Mitai Maori Village
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Mitai Maori Village Experience in Rotorua
Ranked #11 of 56 Tours in Rotorua
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Level Contributor
24 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Interesting combination of experiences”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 21, 2011

We did the 'beauty by night' tour including the traditional hangi dinner. This included the meal, a cultural performance, a glow-worm grotto tour, and a nighttime visit to see kiwis (being raised there, not in the wild). The beginning of the program was very cheesy/hokey and we thought we were in for a bad night, but things really perked up and the night was interesting, educational, and fun. Couple of bad things. They had our reservation incorrect and were not going to give us the glowworm and kiwi part of the tour, until we showed them our voucher that specifically said so on it. Also, the food, while plentiful, was not very tasty and definitely not great for vegetarians. However, these were small problems and did not affect our overall enjoyment of the experience.

Visited January 2011
1 Thank roamingsouls
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Czech first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Sydney Australia
Level Contributor
13 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“A Maori cultural experience for the family - a bit pricey though”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 3, 2011

We enjoyed the night. The performances were good, the meal was good. Surprisingly the sides were better than the mains. We liked the way the rice was cooked, the creamed potatoes and the cauliflower salad. The kids went back for seconds. Didnt think that the price of NZ$122 per adult was worth it - we regretted having paid for the glowworms and the kiwi viewing.

Visited February 2011
Thank VivG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
112 reviews
41 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 31, 2011

15 years after our first Maori experience in Rotorua, this was an interesting night out. It was more touristy than the old days, but very friendly, humorous and informative. We all gathered in a marquee at the start, were welcomed, a chief was chosen from the guests and we went to unveil the hangi (hot stone BBQ). At this point we noticed how commercial this was as we had to re-cover the hangi for the next group... slightly disappointing. Down at the streamside we were entertained by the host of the second group who welcomed everyone in numerous languages including Greek, Japanese and Danish, as we awaited the paddle-by in the waka (war canoe) . Then it was up to the arena for the show which was entertaining and informative in equal measures - Maori history and traditions were explored and revealed. The team were all members of the Mitai whanau and everyone played a role in the dancing, poi spinning, singing and martial practices. The host was stunning in his traditional costume and incredible tattoos - get your cameras ready for the "butt shot" at the end! - and kept us riveted for about an hour.
The hangi feast back at the marquee was delicious and plentiful, and after that there was a glowworm walk through the dark and a visit to the beautiful fairy springs - source of the clean clear drinking water at dinner.
We all enjoyed the evening but I was slightly disappointed with the commercial aspects - the purpose-built amphi-theatre and the conveyor-belt hangi - but I gather from others that this is one of the best presentations around. In the "old days" we were welcomed at the Marai and came up on stage for a hongi (nose press greeting) at the end of the show, the hangi was properly buried and the meal and seating were refrectory-style which felt more authentic. But these are quibbles - it was a fun, informative and entertaining night out and introduction to Maori culture - I would definitely recommend it.

Visited January 2011
1 Thank MrsHotrox
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Like an entertainment show - Maoris are there for the money”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 20, 2011

I was extremely hesitant about going for the Mitai village. But I heard from a few people first hand that it was a worthy experience and not just a tourist trap. One of them was a Maori himself. So I decided to give it a shot. I really regretted it and would have much rather just spent my evening enjoying my time in the polynesia spas.

The start of the evening was in the shed that we would later have our dinner. There were probably 60 or 80 people in the place. It was like an entertainment show - a "chief" of the village was picked out, a survey of the people from the different countries was done.. Jokes were made to entertain.

The waka is just topless men with painted tattoos rowing.

The hangi food was definitely an interesting taste. It has a unique flavour that you don't find elsewhere.

The performance was quite interesting and I learnt the most from it.

Later on I was talking to one of the guys who had performed, he was also serving at the bar. He said that it does get tiring and you do have to put in quite a bit for the performance, but he does get paid in the end.

So all in all I didn't enjoy myself at all. I guess if the initial introduction was not so gimmicky and entertainment show like, I would have enjoyed it more.

Visited January 2011
1 Thank Deniseyap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Queensland, Australia
Level Contributor
76 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
“Enjoyable cultural experience”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 16, 2011

Loved the location, heart, authenticity & humor which went into this show. The maori warriors arriving on the lake in their woka (canoe) is a wonderful start to the performance. The hungi meal was beautiful but unfortunately they ran out of certain food before everyone was fed due to people at the start of the line acting like pigs (still they should allow for this & ensure there is enough). The additional night walk through Rainbow Springs isn't worth the extra money you pay to do it ... the only highlight was sighting a Kiwi bird for the very first time (which we couldn't photograph anyway). Like everything in NZ, it is a bit expensive but definitely worth it for an enjoyable night & great look into Maori culture.

Visited January 2011
Thank SunRae1969
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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