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Urban Maori Experience
Maximum group size = 8
10am to 6pm
Urban Landscapes, Local Culture, Native Rainforest & Black Sand Beaches

The 'Urban Maori Experience' is the unique Mõhio version of an 'Auckland Orientation Trip'. We've combined the best parts of this harbour-side city; our ancient Maori culture, history and protocols; Auckland's love of café culture; one of the city's 48 volcanoes; urban Polynesian influences; lush native rainforest and some spectacular black sand coastline. We mixed this eclectic concoction together, took care to discard the 'touristy bits', distilled the mixture over the last six years of touring, then added a smart, flexible, knowledgeable Maori guide to serve it up to you with their own personal style.

Karekare Beach

The result is the Urban Maori Experience and we guarantee that if you are looking for a tour with a difference that has substance, beauty and a true insiders' perspective - then this it.

Firstly we visit an extinct volcano, named Maungakiekie - also known as One Tree Hill. It was originally the site of the paramount Auckland Maori fortified village. See stunning views of the Hauraki Gulf, Auckland City and Rangitoto Island. You can see the harbours coming in from the East Coast (Pacific Ocean) and the West Coast (Tasman Sea) from this spot, which is one of the highest points in the city.

As we sit with you on Maungakiekie we will explain to you about the traditional history of this sacred mountain and point out evidence of the 5,000 member Maori community who lived in this area, tell stories about the reason why this hill is so significant to local Maori and explain about the controversial history of more recent times.

Next we drive out to a boutique village in a gentrifying trendy little local neighbourhood. There you can buy your lunch at an excellent cafe, and we can enjoy mixing with the locals over a tasty lunch and some great espresso coffee (your guide will point out the unique NZ options on the menu). We will also take time to view some authentic Maori and NZ made arts and crafts in a contemporary Maori design store and art gallery.

After lunch we set off for the West Coast, driving through a few suburbs to illustrate the different architectural styles of the city. However most of the drive is on 'Scenic Drive', through the beautiful native rainforest. We will stop for a photo opportunity overlooking the rainforest. As we drive we will tell you the origin of our company name and related stories about the exploits of Maui Potiki. Plus we share a few of our own personal experiences of growing up Maori, our unique sense of place in Aotearoa (New Zealand), the Maori education system etc.

Our next stop will be a bush walk in the rainforest. Here you will be able to walk amongst the plants and trees and learn some of our ancestral knowledge of the traditional Maori medicinal and practical uses for them. Hopefully we will spot some of the variety of birdlife that live in the valley - for example the enormous native Kereru (wood pigeon), Tui, Fantails etc. Learn about the Maori Creation stories and Tane Mahuta - the God of the Forest. We choose different walks to suit the group we have on the day, to ensure a great experience for everyone.

We finish the day in the realm of Tangaroa God of the Sea with a walk along the velvety sands of one of Auckland's famous black sand surf beaches. There will be time to take plenty of photographs of the beautiful scenery, and your guide will be with you to take photos of you and explain what you are seeing.

Throughout the day we will use personal anecdotes to help explain contemporary Maori culture and it's unique place as a valued part of New Zealand culture.

This is a brilliant tour to start your Aotearoa (New Zealand) exploration as it will give a context for many things you will see and hear, and help you to see things you may otherwise miss. If however you only manage to fit us in at the end, then hopefully it will help you to make sense of many of the things you have seen and experienced during your travels around our country!

[Saturday only]
We start our tour by driving to South Auckland and visiting the renowned Otara Market. This is the South Pacific's largest Maori and Polynesian market.. Be personally guided through the market and see great locally made arts and crafts, buy tasty fresh fruit, find unique souvenirs and feel the rhythm of the Pacific as you weave your way through this vibrant community. (NB: We still do the rest of the usual tour, but slightly reduce the time spent in each location.)

Auckland to Rotorua 5 Day North Island HighlightsCONTACT US ABOUT THIS TOUR

5 Day North Island Highlights

This tour give visitors a special experience of New Zealand’s natural beauty and nature. Each day offers variety, including semi tropical rain forest, spectacular coastline, volcanoes, history and local culture. You have the wonderful opportunity to sit back and enjoy the luxury of our air-conditioned mini coach without having to worry about a thing. New Zealand roads can be a challenge in our "off the beaten track' places! You will be amazed at the variety of spectacular scenery changing every hour.

  • This tour wil be ‘personalized’ to suit you!
  • We cater for all levels of fitness – from non-walkers to those who enjoy a real challenge!!
Plenty of film required for this magic tour!

DAY 1: The Seabird coast-giant kauri-gold town-volcanic rainforest covered mountains
Escape the city to the spectacular Coromandel Peninsula in the air-conditioned luxury of Kiwi Dundee Adventure’s mini coach with your friendly kiwi guide. Tour through picturesque farmland stopping for photos and short walks during the day. Travel along the beautiful seabird coast, home to thousands of migratory and shore birds. Enjoy a visit to the fascinating old gold mine town of Thames with its buildings and churches dating from the 1800's. After a delightful lunch, travel over steep volcanic mountains clad in dense rainforest to visit a giant Kauri standing majestically amongst the world’s largest ferns and semi tropical rainforest then on for a walk beside the Pacific Ocean on the eastern coast of the Peninsula with its many offshore islands.

Giant KauriGreen Bird

A short journey to a quiet coastal town takes you to your accommodation for the next two nights. Accommodation: Deluxe Homestay, Hotel, or Motor Lodge

DAY 2: Coromandel Peninsula Coastal Tour
Today is a delightful sample of this region’s natural heritage and scenic beauty Enjoy an easy walk through nature on the forgotten paths of an old town to visit an old historic gold cave now home to sparkling glowworms. Enjoy the fascinating history of this area and learn about the flora and fauna within this magnificent forest of the region. Be prepared for fun and entertainment at this time of the day! Visit stunning coastal scenery with its white sand beaches, magnificent cliffs, old Maori Pa sites and offshore islands. A visit to famous Hot Water beach [Tide permitting]

Hot Water beach

See your guide’s "treasures" from nature, including gold, crystals, petrified wood, Kauri gum and other minerals found on the Peninsula.

DAY 3: Coromandel - Bay of Plenty - Tongariro National Park.
This day is an ever-changing panorama of forests, mountains, beaches and islands until we leave the Coromandel behind and enter the Bay of Plenty, one of New Zealand’s most progressive regions. Stop at New Zealand’s "Mural town", Katikati, with its Open Air Art. Continue south to visit a private orchard growing kiwi fruit, avocados, flowers for export.

Travel over the Kaimai ranges to the Waikato region famous for its dairy and horse breeding farms, then along the western side of Lake Taupo before entering the Tongariro National Park with its magnificent volcanoes standing proud and impressive.

Ruapehu Mountain

Your accommodation for the next two nights is the ‘Chateau’, situated at the base of Ruapehu Mountain. This amazing region is such a contrast from anything else in New Zealand. Alpine flowers and tussock, waterfalls and beech forest in summer, and ski fields in winter.

DAY 4: Volcanoes-Forest-Lakes-Waterfall Magic
A morning of options.

Your guide will be available for a drive up the mountain and an alpine walk through alpine plants and [weather permitting] wonderful views of the volcanoes rising above us to over 9000ft, waterfalls and beech forests.

We can arrange a scenic flight over the Crater Lake and volcanoes. (at additional cost).

Crater Lakethe Chateau
After a delightful lunch at the Chateau, we go on one of New Zealand’s most beautiful short bush walks through giant trees to a stunning lake surrounded by native forest with almost a goblin like feel.

On our way back to our accommodation we have other stops and short walks if you are not too tired before relaxing in the 1930’s grandeur of the Chateau.

DAY 5: Geysers - Steaming Lakes - Mud Pools.
We depart this fascinating region for the thermal wonderland of Rotorua we travel beside Lake Taupo before stopping to view the famous Huka Falls and see bubbling mud pools before a walk in the Waimungu Thermal Valley with the largest thermal lake in the world, bubbling colored steam pools, hot waterfalls and warm misty creeks.

Waimungu Thermal Valley

A fascinating area to visit. We then travel through Rotorua to the Blue and Green Lakes, and Lake Tarawera, which last erupted in 1886. Rotorua is the also the home of our Maori culture and history. We can visit the Maori arts and crafts centre as part of the day.

Accommodation: Deluxe Hotel or Homestay