10 Best Maori Tours in New Zealand© Mitai Maori Village - Destination Rotorua
10 Best Maori Tours in New Zealand

10 Best Maori Tours in New Zealand [2024]

© Mitai Maori Village – Destination Rotorua
Article Single Pages© NZPocketGuide.com
Article Single Pages© NZPocketGuide.com
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Unmissable New Zealand Maori Tours

When you see performances of the haka performed by New Zealand sports teams, you can’t help but want to dig a little deeper into the culture that this captivating chant represents. The Polynesian culture of the Maori has resided in New Zealand for centuries, enriching their culture and traditions that can still be experienced today. Maori tours in New Zealand allow you to immerse yourself in the customs, history and even the flavours of the Maori culture. All in all, Maori tours are an exceptional way to experience the real New Zealand!

You’ll find that most Maori tours are on the North Island of New Zealand, where their ancestors arrived in the 1300s. You’ll learn all about that and more on any Maori tour, but if you want to learn a bit more before meeting your Maori guides, check out the 10 Things You Did Not Know About the Maori Culture.

1. Whakarewarewa Maori Living Village

Once you’ve learned how to pronounce “Whakarewarewa” and experience the living village for yourself, you’ll realise it’s an incredible place to learn about Maori traditions in a geothermal environment. Tuck into meals cooked in geothermal waters, learn how to do traditional Maori weaving or more about ta moko or Maori tattoos. If you’re travelling in a large group, it’s also worth checking out their marae overnight stay, where you can learn more about the experience in our guide, What to Do When Visiting a Marae. Book your Whakarewarewa Maori Living Village tour on Viator or Klook.

Location: Rotorua, Bay of Plenty, North Island.

© Whakarewarewa Living Maori Village - Destination Rotorua

2. Waimarama Maori Tours

For a unique and more laid-back style of Maori tour in New Zealand be sure to check out the Waimarama Maori Tours in the Hawke’s Bay region. A local will tell you the history and traditions of the local iwi (tribe), taking you to an ancient site (fortified village) as well as other stunning and culturally significant locations. Find out more about Waimarama Maori Tours on Viator.

Location: Waimarama, Hawke’s Bay, North Island.

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3. Te Puia

See the major highlights of Rotorua all in one place at Te Puia. Not only is it home to a geothermal park with the impressively huge Pohutu Geyser and a place to see a real kiwi bird in their kiwi sanctuary, but it’s also home to incredible Maori architecture and a captivating cultural show. Watch Maori performers tell stories of their ancestors through traditional song and dance. Of course, you’ll also see a live haka performance! Find out more about Te Puia on Klook.

Location: Rotorua, Bay of Plenty, North Island.

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4. Waitangi Treaty Grounds

On one of the most significant sites in New Zealand’s history, learn about the Maori culture in the location where New Zealand became a nation. The Waitangi Treaty Grounds carved whare (meeting house) is the backdrop to Maori storytelling, traditional song, dance and more during the Waitangi Treaty Grounds’ daily cultural performances. Check out Viator and Klook for more information on the Waitangi Treaty Grounds. Plus, learn more about what there is to see and do in Waitangi in The Waitangi Treaty Grounds: Visitor Tips & 5 Reasons to Visit.

Location: Bay of Islands, Northland, North Island.

10 Best Maori Tours in New Zealand© NZPocketGuide.com

5. Footprints Waipoua

Hokianga is the place where the very first Maori explorer, Kupe, arrived in New Zealand. Learn the local Maori legends with Footprints Waipoua who will show you the Hokianga Harbour before taking you on an evening tour into the ancient Waipoua Forest. There, you will meet Tane Mahuta, the Lord of the Forest and the largest kauri tree in existence. It’s an experience that will give you a greater understanding of both New Zealand’s nature and culture. Book your Footprints Waipoua tour on Viator.

Location: Hokianga, Northland, North Island.

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6. Te Pa Tu (Formerly Tamaki Maori Village)

Te Pa Tu is one of New Zealand’s longest-running and most-loved Maori tours taking you on a journey through the customs and history of the Maori culture. After experiencing a captivating powhiri (welcoming ceremony), you will be able to enter the village giving a taste of what life was like in New Zealand centuries ago. Engage in different workshops around the village, watch performances of the haka right before your eyes, and sit down to a hangi banquet; a traditional-style meal. Find out more about this Maori tour on Viator and Klook.

Location: Rotorua, Bay of Plenty, North Island.

NZPocketGuide.com© NZPocketGuide.com

7. Mitai Maori Village

As the Maori tourism hub of New Zealand, it’s no surprise that another one of Rotorua‘s amazing cultural experiences makes the list of best Maori tours in New Zealand. Mitai Maori Village is set among stunning native New Zealand bush incorporating traditional Maori customs and history all into a 3-hour evening tour or a 1h30min daytime tour. Taste the hangi, a traditional meal where food is cooked in an earth oven. Watch awesome performances including a waka (war canoe) and take an evening bush walk to see glowworms. Check out Viator for more information on Mitai Maori Village.

Location: Rotorua, Bay of Plenty, North Island.

Rotorua NZ Tourism© Mitai Maori Village - Destination Rotorua

8. WanaHaka Maori Tours

By now, you’re probably wondering where are all the Maori tours on the South Island. You’ll find an abundance of Maori tours on the North Island because the North Island has been the homeland of the majority of the Maori population for centuries. Nevertheless, a few Maori South Island iwi (tribes) offer insights into their culture, such as the WanaHaka Maori Tours in Wanaka. Watch a cultural performance by “That Wanaka Tree” or even join them for a wine-tasting tour around the Otago region. Find out more about WanaHaka Maori Tours on Viator. For more South Island Maori tours, see our 10 Places to Experience Maori Culture in New Zealand.

Location: Wanaka, Otago, South Island.

10 Best Maori Tours in New Zealand© Viator

9. Mataatua: The House That Came Home

Based in one of the finest and most significant wharenui (meeting houses) in New Zealand, Mataatua: The House That Came Home will give you a hands-on Maori cultural experience in Whakatane. See the carvings of the Mataatua Wharenui before you are invited inside the house that has literally travelled all over the world as a symbol to display the Maori culture for over 130 years. In the “House That Came Home,” you can take part in Maori performances before trying some local cuisine. Couple your visit with some of the 15 Best Things to Do in Whakatane.

Location: Whakatane, Bay of Plenty, North Island.

10 Best Maori Tours in New Zealand© Julie Patu - Tourism Bay of Plenty

10. Te Hana Te Ao Marama Marea Maori Cultural Centre

The closest Maori village experience to the bustling centre of Auckland is the Te Hana Te Ao Marama Marea Maori Cultural Centre, 1h15min drive north of Auckland Central. Watch epic performances of the haka, learn the history, experience a welcoming ceremony and even enjoy the unique opportunity to stay overnight in Te Hana Marae and their carved meeting house. While you’re in the region, check out the 8 Best Cultural Experiences in Auckland.

Location: Te Hana, Auckland, North Island.

10 Best Maori Tours in New Zealand© James Heremaia - Tourism New Zealand

More About Maori Tours in New Zealand

That’s it for our list of the best Maori tours in New Zealand, but if you can’t get enough, check out the following guides:

Finally, if there’s anything we’ve missed, you’re likely to find it in our complete guide to The Maori Culture in New Zealand.


The information in this guide has been compiled from our extensive research, travel and experiences across New Zealand and the South Pacific, accumulated over more than a decade of numerous visits to each destination. Additional sources for this guide include the following:

Our editorial standards: At NZ Pocket Guide, we uphold strict editorial standards to ensure accurate and quality content.

About The Author

Laura S.

This article has been reviewed and published by Laura, the editor-in-chief and co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. Laura is a first-class honours journalism graduate and a travel journalist with expertise in New Zealand and South Pacific tourism for over 10 years. She also runs travel guides for five of the top destinations in the South Pacific and is the co-host of over 250 episodes of the NZ Travel Show on YouTube.

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