Friday, February 27, 2009

A Living Thermal Village

Image courtesy of Whakarewarewa Thermal Village, Rotorua
Rotorua’s Whakarewarewa Village is located right in the middle of thermal activity. Geysers hiss, scalding mud bubbles in oozing pools and thermal springs send clouds of steam around the houses. It sounds inhospitable but the Ngati Wahiao people have lived in and around Whakarewarewa for more than 200 years. More correctly known as Te Whakarewarewatanga O Te Ope Taua A Wahiao (you can see why they’ve abbreviated it), the village opened its doors to tourism with small tours in 1998. Since then the operation has grown and visitors can now enjoy a traditional hangi meal, kapa haka performances, tours and the chance to learn about tradition Maori arts and crafts. As shown in the image above, they can make their own taonga (treasure) from harakeke (flax), or prepare their own hangi taster meal.

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