Make your way to Te Puia and meet your Maori guide at the entrance to the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute. Hear stories and legends passed down over generations, learn about Maori settlement in Rotorua, and gain insight into this thriving culture as you observe master woodcarvers and artisans trained in the intricate art of weaving flax.
At the nocturnal kiwi house, catch a rare sight of this unusual flightless bird — New Zealand's national emblem.
Then walk past the bubbling mud pools and steaming springs of the Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley, and don’t miss the 100-foot (30-meter) Pohutu Geyser, which erupts up to 20 times a day.
Optional Upgrade: Maori Cultural Performance
This spectacle of dance and song takes place several times throughout the day. Start with a ceremonial welcome at the marae, or meeting place, including the nose-to-nose Maori greeting known as the hongi. You’ll see weaponry displays, poi dances and stick games, and be mesmerized by the haka war dance.