Day 265 on the Road
Maori Horse Trekking Tour
Today we are having a unique Maori experience in Hawke’s Bay. If you like this video and want more awesome inspiration for your NZ trip, take a look at our 365 Days: 365 Activities over on YouTube & Subscribe!
Today we’re going to be doing a coastal horse trek across some sacred Maori lands.
We just arrived in Iwitea where there’s the amazing Out on a Lim horse riding company. Laura and I can’t wait.
Our tour starts in the small settlement of Iwitea which is about 15km away from Wairoa in the Hawke’s Bay region. And once we get there we’re getting geared up for our horse trek and getting used to the horses that we’re going to be riding today taking them around the paddock and getting to know them.
Lucky Luke had Jolly Jumper, Link had Epona, Frank Hopkins had Hildago, Galdalf had Shadowfax, Zoro had tornado, Woody had bullseye, King Arthur had Hengroen and today Laura is riding Gallon and Robin is riding Rocky and by the way if you did understand every single one of my references stick it in the comments.
Oh boy, I just love horse trekking. It always gets me excited. We are going through amazing landscape almost as soon as we leave the paddock we are arriving in massive plains which are used to graze cows but are often getting flooded and this is why they are so green. It’s really awesome to have our guides being actually local farmers they are the ones running this farm so they can tell us so much about everything we’re seeing today.
We are horse trekking with a bunch of people today that’s Ricky, Tim and Dason who are of the local Maori tribe who are farming and protecting this sacred Maori land.
What’s really cool about this tour is it feels more like a family outing rather than a rehearsed tour with rehearsed speeches. There’s no awkwardness. It just feels like we’re joining these guys doing what they would normally do on a Sunday afternoon.
Not only are getting an authentic slice of life into the Maori lifestyle but we’re also getting to see a variety of beautiful landscapes. First we’re horse trekking through wetlands and then we are coming onto this beautiful black sand beach which is covered in driftwood which has been stripped bare of its dark leaving its white full tree trunks on the black sand. It looks absolutely amazing. And our horses love it too.
This long stretch of black beach over a dark blue sky and turquoise water is absolutely amazing. It just looks so gorgeous it’s some of the best picture opportunity in New Zealand. If you guys are not able to make it to the east coast of the North Island when visiting New Zealand you are still able to see a tonne of black beaches around the Auckland area. There is Piha, Karekare and Te Henga. Make sure that you check that out on NZPocketGuide.com so you get yourself those amazing pictures.
As we are getting off the black beach we are now climbing the massive mount which is peaking right in the middle of all this wetland. It offers us amazing surrounding views of the area and we take the time to embrace the views before making our way back down.
This hills also has a massive Maori significance tells us our guide, in short, the story says that this massive hill is representing a whale because Iwitea is known as the land of the Seven Whales.
After a short stroll around the wetland our guides are stopping to check out their eel net. Eels or tuna in Maori is one of the main food staples in their culture. And as we are stopped they also take the time to tell us more about this Maori legend.
I’ll tell the story cos Robin is really rubbish at telling stories. But in short this hill that we just trekked over was lazy whale called Hukunui who was turned into a hill because he slept in and he got stranded. But you’ll find that a lot of the Maori legends do have morals to the story like that and also Maori are really amazing storytellers. They tell their stories in such captivating ways and you’ll find that on a lot of tours that you go on around New Zealand.
After trekking across a wetland, across a beach, over a hill, we are now trekking in a brand new area joining some other four legged friends in a cattle paddock.
Our guides tell us that this whole area used to be covered in a plant called flax and even a flax mill was set up here to make rope out of this really strong plant. Even traditionally the Maori used to use it to make clothes and baskets and all sorts of things. But this area also marks the end of tour as we’re coming back to the stables for our horse to get a wash ans dirty themselves back up again.
We are now leaving Iwitea and making our way toward Lake Waikaremoana which is gonna be the next place where we’re gonna be spending a little bit of time exploring. And the hostel we are staying at is the Byre backpackers and they have their own waterfall and an absolutely gorgeous sunset. Plus on top of that our hosts are super welcoming and we are all having dinner today with pizza, corn on the cob and all the fixings. But you guys can join us tomorrow as we’re gonna be exploring Lake Waikaremoana by boat.
So now we are driving to Lake Waikar… We are driving to Lake Waikareee…. Lake Wai-kare-moana, so now we are driving to Lake Waikaremoana.