Saturday, March 14, 2009

A Te Tai Tokerau Experience

Photograph by John Panoho of Navigator Tours, Supplied by Taiamai Tours, Northland.
Every time I update Frommers New Zealand (travel guide) I come upon more and more interesting Maori tourism ventures. One that's been running successfully for some years is the Te Tai Tokerau (Northland - the Tail of the Fish) operation Waka Tai-a-mai Heritage Journeys, which is based in Paihia in the Bay of Islands. You have a number of choices - being taken across the bay in a 50-foot traditional waka (canoe); soaking in geothermal mineral pools alongside Ngapuhi elders; visiting their marae and enjoying a traditional hangi meal and Maori storytelling; and/or a walk through the Waitangi Maori Village with a Ngapuhi guide. It's another fascinating glimpse into the intricately-woven tapestry that is New Zealand Maori culture.

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