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Te Urewera Treks

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Rotorua, New Zealand
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About Te Urewera Treks
Whanau (family) owned and operated, with indigenous ties to Te Urewera and the Whirinaki Rainforests. Come and stay with us on our land, just off the Te Urewera Rainforest Route in Ngaputahi. Whakatau Rainforest Retreat provides glamping type accommodation, so that you can connect with nature and still be comfortable. Walking, hiking and other local activities can be created as a package. Our kaupapa (mission) is to transform strangers into friends and whanau, by sharing our culture, our way of life and our home (the forest). Nau mai, haere mai...
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Te Urewera Treks
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AllanandPela wrote a review Dec 2020
Hamilton, New Zealand5 contributions
This was a fantastic experience for us. Hinewai was marvelous. She knows Te Urewera so well - the flora, the fauna, the whakapapa, her turangawaewae - this was her place and she loved sharing it with us. She was a superb host and guide. This was one of the most significant highlights of our hiking and traveling journeys over many years.
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Date of experience: December 2020
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cdn-npl wrote a review Oct 2020
New Plymouth, New Zealand2,004 contributions40 helpful votes
This experience was long in the making. Hinewai very patiently answered my many, many, questions, and through long emails on each side, we worked out a suitable itinerary. I chose the Custom Experience, as I have very specific interests, and if you do, too, then I would recommend it. If your interests are covered by her usual offers to Whirinaki or the River Canyon etcetera, then do that, as they are cost effective and well planned, and Custom Experiences cost... well, a respectable amount of money, due to the complex planning and bookings involved. Due to a medical condition, camping is not a possibility for me. So Hinewai made some telephone calls, and booked me into Te Tii Chalets in Ruatahuna. She organised all the catering too, so much that I had snacks for the next three days! She also organised for me to go on another excursion with other guides, and then charged me an all-inclusive price. I won't give it, as custom experience means just that, and some will me more, or less, costly than others. What matters is that you get what you pay for. The itinerary included: Lunch at Whakatau Retreat, including Rewena Bread. Finding and moving a plant to expand the rainforest. Supplies for dinner at Te Tii and introductions to the guides to Maungapohatu. More karakia (prayers), waiata (songs), and moteatea (chanted poetry), than I could count. 2:1 guiding on both days. 2 nights at Te Tii Chalets. A trip up to Maungapohatu - only possible with guides as it is private property. Lunch at Maungapohatu and transfers each way by 4WD. Dinner at the Black House Cafe, Mataatua Pa. You may look at the list of tours she offers, and dismiss them on the grounds you can go to some of those places on your own. While true, reconsider. Because Hinewai, and her guides, know this country like the back of their hands. If I had gone, for example, to Whirinaki by myself, I would have had a beautiful walk, but it would have been a solitary experience, without the liveliness, jovial chat, information on Rongoa, and teaching on how to tell which tree is which, and this is only possible with guiding. In short, guides enrich your experience with local knowledge that you do not hold. I have long been interested in the community Rua Kenana set up in the remote location of Maungapohatu, and Ngapani and Nick took me up there. A beautiful karanga (call on to the Marae, of both the dead and the living), was done by Ngapani as Nick and I approached the Meeting House. Unlike most Meeting Houses (wharenui), you may eat in this one. It is also decorated with the clubs (Holy Trinity), spades (the hard-working people), and diamonds (the lost diamond of Te Kooti), in the same shapes found in a deck of cards, but with hidden meanings. The wharenui is very brightly decorated, and is full of photographs of the kaumatua (elders) past, and present, of the Marae. The wharenui dates from the Edwardian community, as does a small hut, and the remains of Rua's house still stand quite a distance from the main village. As said, you can only get here with a guide. As local history is oral, different people tell you different things, and you can only make up your own mind, as to what may have happened. Do be aware that some people - known as Iharaera (Israelites) - still follow his teachings today, and that other groups within the iwi - tribe - opposed Rua then and now. He's a rather divisive figure... you need to do your research before you come, and be aware you might not be reading what the person you are talking to considers to be correct. As Ruatahuna is a small community, I was introduced to a few neighbours of Ngapani and Nick's at Mataatua Pa, and one of them took me - free of charge - to a very significant tree on private land where the Tuhoe believe they originated from, and to the large garden at the local school, where children actually learn useful things, like how to feed themselves, which is in stark contrast to my own school days. I really recommend Te Urewera Treks for all of the above reasons. Maori may appear to live similar lives to New Zealand Europeans - as in similar food, homes, work, and so on. Remember this can be a superficial veneer, as beneath this lives a culture enriched by its reo (language), tikanga (customs), whanaungatanga - family ties, but in a rather richer and more extensive depth than many Western societies, whakatauki (proverbs), rongoa (traditional healing methods), and so on. Hinewai can introduce you to all of these, and more. So drop her a line. Her tours, and the people she introduces you to, might change your lives' directions, too.
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Date of experience: October 2020
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jade2014900 wrote a review Mar 2020
Whakatane, New Zealand73 contributions17 helpful votes
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We were blessed to attend “Tane Mahuta - God of the Forest guided tour”. We planted young Miro and Totara, strolled through the beautiful Whirinaki forest, had a delicious sustainably made lunch at the waterfalls, met new friends from Germany and heard amazing cultural stories. Hinewai's knowledge and cultural storytelling is so engaging. My spirit was lifted, sense of calm overcame me and the awe of being surrounded by thousands of years of historic ngahere (forest) was mind blowing. I'm a Kiwi and I've traveled all across New Zealand. This was one of the most amazing nature experiences I've ever had! Thank you Hinewai and the Te Urewera Treks whanau (family) 🙏.
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Date of experience: March 2020
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Karen Shepherd wrote a review Dec 2019
3 contributions
We had the privilege of staying at Te Urewera Treks Bush Camp in October. The stay started with a Whakatau (greeting) from Hinewai’s team. The Whakatau includes a Maori welcoming mihi, then a relaxed sit down for a refreshing drink and some kai. We stayed down in Whare Kahikatea which is right beside the stream. So lovely to go to sleep (and wake) to the babble of the stream. The following morning we planted some native trees and then took a walk to the Whirinaki forest which included a waterfall. Interesting to note some of the native vegetation. We live three hours away from Te Urewera and some of the vegetation we have, is not found in the Te Urewera area (eg Kawakawa and Nikau). It was also lovely to hear the native birdsong. Hinewai is really knowledgeable about the native flora and fauna and is a great story teller who explains some of the meanings around the Maori culture which makes it really interesting. Was also nice to take her lead to just take in the beautiful surroundings in peace and quiet. Enjoyed some more delicious homemade kai for lunch before setting off for home feeling relaxed and reenergised. If you’re looking for an authentic Maori experience, this could be the place for you.
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Date of experience: October 2019
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PatriciaD999 wrote a review Dec 2019
Stewkley, United Kingdom26 contributions11 helpful votes
My daughter and I did the Whirinaki Loop Trek. It was a beautiful area and our guide was a fount of knowledge on the trees, plants and Maori customs. We're so glad we did this and when back in NZ will do another activity, maybe the bushcamp or tree planting. Highly recommended.
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Date of experience: November 2019
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