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Ways to Experience Tamaki Maori Village
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Reviewed 14 February 2021

Highly recommended. Good food. Plenty of it. World class entertainment. Happy/funny hosts. Be prepared to be social and to step out of your comfort zone too.

Date of experience: February 2021
1  Thank 515rosst
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tamaki-Maori-Village, Sales Manager at Tamaki Maori Village, responded to this reviewResponded 18 February 2021

Kia ora Thanks so much for you wonderful review, we hope to see you again soon, Nga mihi - Tamaki whānau

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Reviewed 11 February 2021

This was supposed to be the highlight of our trip to Rotorua - after all, according to the website this was one of the "Top 10 Experiences in the world". The reviews I read seemed to confirm this, however after my visit to Tamaki Maori Village I am beginning wonder whether those reviewers had reviewed the wrong place by mistake.

I feel that it is important to know that I was all in on this. I WANTED this to be good. I was prepared for the experience to feel a bit hokey or even canned - we were paying for a show after all, and I was all in. We attended the afternoon session since we have 2 young kids and they would never make it through an evening show. I was excited for my 5 year old son to be exposed to some of the traditions of the Maori culture and I was ready to help him feel that the experience was as authentic as possible. Unfortunately that suspension of disbelief was impossible, even for a 5 year old.

The experience we got is NOT what is sold on their website. Our "host" was in sneakers, shorts and a T-shirt, our "activity" was wrapping hamburgers in pizza dough, and then majority of our time in the "village" - about 45 minutes - was spent sitting at a table awkwardly waiting for our hamburger to be deep fried while we made awkward small talk with our host and our kids complained of boredom.

When we finally did get a tour of the village it included a brief overview from our host followed by "feel free to look around". Our "traditional game" was throwing sticks back and forth. The highlight of the experience for the kids was feeding eels ground beef off of wooden barbecue skewers. The whole experience was capped off by our host dragging his poor children down to the village and making them sing for us while he played guitar. Sure, they smiled and went through the motions, but it was obvious that dad dragged them off the couch to make them perform for the tourists.

There was no traditional dress at all, there was no "cultural exposure". This whole experience was an obvious cash grab by a company exploiting people's desire to learn about Maori culture. Describing it as disappointing would be generous, "painful" would be a more appropriate adjective.

At the end of the day we paid $130/person for deep fried food that we had to make our selves while hanging out with one Maori dude in shorts and a t-shirt.

This company should be ashamed of their marketing. Absolutely not as advertised. I write this in hopes that no one else wastes their time and money on this sham of an experience.

Date of experience: February 2021
Thank AnotherPhotographer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tamaki-Maori-Village, Village Manager at Tamaki Maori Village, responded to this reviewResponded 18 February 2021

Kia ora David,

It is sad to read that you didn’t enjoy your time in my village and that you felt was painful and that we should be ashamed. We as Māori have been told this for many generations that we should be ashamed, that we are a disappointment. We are too strong, we are a proud race, we continue to be present in this world and we are resilient.

Our experience is a time of sharing, you getting to know me and I you. This isn’t an act or me putting on a show. To enter into a Marae (Māori Village) is not that accessible for many, but our village is.
The ‘feel free’ to have a look around in the village was so you were able to take photos to capture memories.

My grandfather would say, “Kimihia ngā mea pai ki roto i te mea kino” Search for the positives in anything negative. Your child enjoyed feeding the eels. I got to learn about your career and meet your family.
This was inspirational for me as I have experience in the film industry. But nowhere to your experience level.
This resulted in me asking my children to come and meet you, your children and others on the experience.
My children singing couple of Māori songs is something we naturally do on our village. Sing songs before visitors leave, or say farewell speeches.

I had been talking all day and wanted to offer a different sound and voice. Not on the program, this was spontaneous. Unfortunately I distracted you with my attire hence you missed soaking in the beauty of our village, history, narratives and food.

Our apologies that you feel you were misled. The cultural performance in traditional dress is on our twilight experience, Makue! Kai E!

Hāmamao
Jamus

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Reviewed 19 January 2021

I'm still buzzing from Tamaki's new twilight experience on Saturday night! It was such a creative and personal approach to connecting visitors to the Māori culture, particularly for those of us from New Zealand who are not necessarily seeing it for the first time. I felt like I was a guest of the family and loved the chance to chat and sing around the campfire with them at the end of the night. The food was delicious and the interactive 'Puku Burger' making followed by all the canapes in the forest was one of the most memorable dining experiences I've had in a while. Loved it!

Date of experience: January 2021
1  Thank joraho1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tamaki-Maori-Village, Sales Manager at Tamaki Maori Village, responded to this reviewResponded 18 February 2021

Kia ora, thanks so much for reviewing our twilight experience Makue! Kai E! So glad to hear you enjoyed your expeirence with us! Nga mihi - Tamaki whānau

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Reviewed 2 January 2021 via mobile

We took the Twilight Experience, wondering what to expect because it was new. Our group ranged from babies to older adults - was it suitable for all of us? From the pickup at our motel to our return everyone had a wonderful time, far exceeding all expectations.

Because of how this smaller scale operation was run we felt like we'd been transported to another realm to join this 'other culture' family. Our evening was one of song, dance, games, making and eating food, and talking, with a family who are passionate about their history and culture.

All of our group had a ball and without exception would love to go again.

Date of experience: December 2020
3  Thank MrSteady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tamaki-Maori-Village, Sales Manager at Tamaki Maori Village, responded to this reviewResponded 18 February 2021

Kia ora, thanks so much for taking the time to review us, it was our pleasure to host your group and we are so glad you enjoyed your experience with us! Nga mihi - Tamaki whānau

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Reviewed 31 December 2020

I think we were one of the first groups to try the new kai experience at Tamaki Maori Village and wow, the food was absolutely fantastic, burgers were out of this world - incredibly tasty, guides were top notch and so friendly, we felt absolutely welcomed and comfortable in their home.

Date of experience: December 2020
Thank Laura K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tamaki-Maori-Village, Sales Manager at Tamaki Maori Village, responded to this reviewResponded 19 February 2021

Kia ora Laura, thanks so much for taking the time to review us, so glad to hear you enjoyed your experience at Tamaki Māori Village, Nga mihi - Tamaki whānau

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