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.
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.
THE DETAILED ITINERARY:
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!
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.
DAY 1: The Seabird coast-giant kauri-gold town-volcanic rainforest covered mountains
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
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.
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.
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
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).
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.
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