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What to Expect: New Zealand's Maori Culture

The Land of the Long White Cloud

The Maori people have a profound impact on the culture of New Zealand and are part of what makes the “land of the long white cloud” such an unforgettable experience. While other places certainly have indigenous peoples, the Maori continue to flavor the culture and impact everyday life with their traditions and heritage. Even the country’s dogged interest in sustainability stems from the traditional Maori value of kaitiakitaga, or guardianship, which produces a deep-rooted belief in man’s responsibility to care for and nurture the environment.


Image: A Maori warrior; empty007, Flickr

In New Zealand, you’ll find many authentic Maori experiences that allow you to get a taste of everyday island life. Here’s what to do when traveling to Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand and other tribal enclaves of the Maori:

  • Enjoy a performance of traditional waiata songs
  • Observe the traditional dances known as haka
  • Stay at, or visit, a marae and listen to a traditional Maori storyteller
  • Visit with tribal elders, or kuia, who explain the cultural ties to the land as well as whakapapa, or Maori lineage

The Farm at Cape Kidnappers has long been tied to the Maori people and their legends. This luxury enclave in the heart of Maori land is set atop 6,000 acres of pasture. The 5-star lodge features an award-winning Par 71 golf course, a highly-rated restaurant and 180-degree panoramic views of the Pacific.

Privileged travelers with Travcoa can experience New Zealand’s authentic cultural encounters like those with the Maori people and stays at the exclusive boutique-style Farm at Cape Kidnappers. Known worldwide for its small-group Escorted Journeys, Private Tours and Custom Travel itineraries, Travcoa defines luxury travel and premier concierge-style tours. To learn more, call your travel agent or a Travcoa Journey Consultant at 1-800-992-2003, or email

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Topics: New Zealand