A few days ago we visited Whakawerawera which rests at the entance to Rotorua if you are travelling up from Taupo. Whakawerawera is a living Maori Villiage, full of cultural history which they are happy to share. It is a amazing place. Natural hot water, hot earth, fresh steamed or boiled food.
We had a wonderful time with our guide who had us all speaking a few words of Maori in no time at all.
Below are the photos of our journey through the village, it’s history, it’s culture and seeing how they lived and in many ways still live today. Yes they all have modern kitchens and bathrooms, however, hot natural water is a must to try out. There are a few places in Rotorua where you can visit to try a spa, but more on that later.
These photos show the entrance to Whakawerawera village, the Maori memorial to those lost during war and out lovely Guide.
Her historical knowledge was amazing and in depth throughout the tour. As you can see on the sign, there are several Maori words. As the guide stated -“We didnt have a written language until the British arrived.”
This shows the original Whare (home) where Maori lived prior to the arrival of the British. Each whare was situated near heat and hot water. In the first photo you can see the steam rising from the ground.
The area is fenced off due to the hot water. It is aroudn 200 c and can boil food within minutes. They don’t put meat in the pool due to the fat in the meat. It makes the water erupt and nobody wants 3rd degree burns. Instead, just outside the fenced area is one of six steam vents where they parcel food up in the morning and take it home at night. Beautiful and tasty. Most meals consist of potatoes, kumara, and meat.
These are the bathing pools, where families meet at night from aroudn the village and take a plunge. The water flow is usually sealed off prior to bathing so that it can cool down.
The first photo gives you information about the Ancestrial Meeting House (Marae) This is all hand carved and its origins go back 300 years. At the Marea they will have celebrations as well as funerals.
Two of the locals from the village who put on a show for tourists. They tell and show you some of their cultrue, dance, song and a Haka. The guy called people to see the show on the conch shell. Both are dressing in tradition clothing.
The Maori performer is dancing with Poi’s. It is amazing to watch. The next photo is Anna from B&B Abundance with two of the performers – after the show.
These photos were taken at the performance area. Just to show you how small the whare is, Anna sat on one of the benches. As you can see there are figures at the entrance and the small looking hut on the pool is where food was kept.
The High Street today. Some of the homes have shop areas, there is a Kohangareo (Kindy) and a Catholic Church – showing the arrival of Christianity. Right at the top there is a cemetery. Due to the heat in the ground people are buried in tombs. Also if you wanted a garden for flowers or fruit and veg then you would need a raised garden bed.
We hope you enjoyed your journey through Whakawerawera with us.