The Maori tradition of guiding at Te Puia is something the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute prides itself on. Many of the guides you meet can link themselves to Rotorua’s earliest guides with stories handed down for generations.
Te Heketanga a Rangi (heavenly origins) – Your guided tour begins at the main entrance, where twelve monumental carvings reach skywards, representing twelve celestial guardians. Discover stories of their ancestors’ arrival and settlement in Rotorua at Te Puia’s world class exhibition gallery, Nga Waru Pamanawa, and explore Maori customs and traditions at the Te Whare Tapere interactive gallery.
Kiwi House – Walk inside the nocturnal kiwi house where you can see the New Zealand kiwi with specialist guides at hand.
Te Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley – Explore Te Puia’s unique geothermal reserve with thermal activity ranging from boiling mud pools to the World famous Pohutu geyser, which erupts up to 20 times a day, 30 metres high into the air.
Carving and Weaving Schools – Te Puia is home to the New Zealand National Carving and Weaving Schools. Te Wananga Whakairo Rakau is where the prestigious art of wood carving is taught by Master Carvers. Te Rito, the weaving school, trains students in the art and skills of weaving. Watch the carvers and weavers as they carry out the traditions of their Maori ancestors.
Taonga Gallery and Gift Shop – The guided tour ends at the Taonga (treasure) gallery and gift shop. Take home something unique and special from Te Puia. See a wide range of wood carvings, greenstone (New Zealand jade) carvings and jewellery, woven items and other authentic Maori treasures and souvenirs.
- Te Puia is open from 8am until 5pm in the Winter and 8am until 6pm in the Summer.
- Te Puia guided tours run on the hour every hour from 9am-5pm (last tour in winter commences at 4pm).
- After making your booking online, you will receive a confirmation booking voucher which can be handed to the reception desk at the attraction or activity.