Te Puia - The cultural heart of Rotorua

25 August 20

Situated 3 hours south of Auckland, lies the geothermal heart of New Zealand’s North Island – Rotorua.

There are few other places in the world where geothermal phenomena are so prevalent in everyday life. Nature and culture strike a perfect balance, creating a unique wonderland that must be experienced at least once in your life.

Feel enriched by a visit to Te Puia, Rotorua’s centre for Māori culture and geothermal wonders. The unforgettable smell of sulphur, clouds of steam and volcanic activity are a natural part of life in Rotorua.

From safe distances, you’ll observe crater lakes, bubbling mud pools and active geysers that send columns of steam bursting into the atmosphere regularly. Pōhutu is the largest active geyser in the southern hemisphere, erupting once or twice every hour and reaching heights of 30 metres (100 feet).

See how the boiling water is still used for cooking with fresh ingredients wrapped in woven baskets and lowered into the ground, cooking the food with geothermal heat and infusing delicious earthy flavors.

Te Puia is home to the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute which was established in the 1920’s to preserve the Māori culture. Talented students from around New Zealand learn the art of carving, weaving and other traditional arts under the guidance of master craftsperson’s. Wander through the schools and learn how the Māori people use native plants for food, medicine and handcrafts.

The architecture tells stories and displays the stunning artistry of the Māori people and culture. Marvel at the intricate details of the Marae – a traditional gathering place for Māori tribes. Te Puia’s Rotowhio Marae is purpose-built and contains beautiful carved buildings where guests are welcomed and entertained.

The region boasts breathtaking scenery including 18 beautiful lakes, lush flora and redwood forests - all shaped by the volcanic activity.

These wonders are cared for by the Te Arawa people who have been welcoming visitors to the region for well over 150 years.

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