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“A cultural experience”

Mataatua: The House That Came Home
Ranked #10 of 31 things to do in Whakatane
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: 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.
Eastern Bay of Plenty
Level Contributor
22 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“A cultural experience”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 2, 2013

I went on Anzac Day last year & was the only visitor so received a personal welcome and commentary. A wonderful story & beautifully presented in the meeting house which is gorgeous. I don't know how long this will last as a visitor centre as it's quite pricey but look out for special deals for locals.

Helpful?
Thank Julie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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84 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    69
    12
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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Extraordinary Maori Culture and Legend Presentation”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 28, 2013

Traditional welcome with the assistance of charming Hinepara. Moving and spectacular light show presents the legend and stories of the Maori in the Whakatane area. Truely mesmerising. This is a very special place where you will be made very welcome.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
Thank FirebugD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Westport, Ireland
Level Contributor
724 reviews
259 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 229 helpful votes
“a must see fantastic story”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 18, 2013

my wife and i found the story about the house very moving, the video is great, the house is spectacular, our only disappointment was that we could not book a Hangi meal as we were only in the area for a day. the staff were very helpful

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
Thank mandr268
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Whakatane, New Zealand
Level Contributor
14 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Mataatua: The house that came home”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 17, 2013

This is a very great show. I brought 2 overseas visitors to your show, they were very impressed with all you had to offer. The lightshow was fantastic, so was the welcoming ceremony. We were offered tea or juice with biscuits and chippies after. I recommend this show to everyone.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
Thank Karaka5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Zealand
Level Contributor
105 reviews
41 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Fantastic”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 14, 2013

This meeting house has been on the move for some 130 years and has only recently been returned to its proper place and its proper people. The tour starts with a video outlining the travels of the house. You then are taken through some history of the people before a traditional welcome and an amazing sound and light show. House itself is beautifully restored and carvings amazing. Highly recommended tour. Thanks Les.

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
Thank SGGNZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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