Central North Island Road Trip Day 3
Monday, 4 Jan 2016
We woke up early and made our way to Te Puia, a park where you can see geothermal formations and follow tours that give you insights into the Maori culture.
The tourguide was a cool Maori dude and he told us that the each of the wood carvings that they produce have their own stories. He brought us into the Marae, a building where meetings of the Iwi or tribe are held. Then he brought us to a wood-carving and weaving school and explained that the money they get from the visitors are used to fund the operation of the wood-carving and weaving school. Maori kids all over New Zealand don’t have to pay to attend the school and this ensures that the important knowledge and skills are passed on to the next generation.
He explained that there will usually be huge grass spaces in front of the Maraes. The Iwis will hold most of their activities or feasts there. The younger Maoris will make use of the space to play rugby, what else.
We then watched a cultural performance where a group of Maoris sang their folk songs, danced, showed off their finesse with some weapons and performed the Haka.
Afterwards, we walked around the park and saw a glimpse of the shy Kiwi birds, and watched the Pohutu geyser erupt.
We then went to Redwoods Forest and did a hike there. We were too tired to take the canopy walk so we decided to just go to Lake Whakarewarewa nearby before heading back to our hostel.