There are so many ways to experience Māori culture in Auckland, from guided tours that give you an insight into Māori history, traditions and beliefs, through to contemporary Māori art at local galleries.

Māori are the indigenous people – the tangata whenua – of New Zealand, and their culture is unique to our island nation. 

Early Māori called Auckland Tāmaki Makaurau – a place desired by many. It was a land fought over for its fertile soils, abundant natural resources and harbours full of seafood. Today, this beautiful setting still draws people from all over the world.

In the spirit of manaakitanga – hospitality, generosity and openness of spirit – we welcome our visitors as guests. Discover this spirit as you connect with the people, land and stories that have shaped our region.
 

Discover Auckland’s Māori culture
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Auckland Museum Māori cultural performance

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Get a glimpse into Māori culture in this powerful performance, which takes you on a journey through the story of Aotearoa (New Zealand) and Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland). The museum's performance is recognised as being one of the best in New Zealand and culminates with a moving version of the world-famous haka, a war dance.

The museum is the only venue in Auckland providing daily Māori cultural performances, with three 30-minute shows a day (with an additional afternoon performance from November to March). After the show, take the opportunity to meet, talk and take photos with members of the performance group. 

Combine your performance with admission to the rest of the museum – or take a Highlights Tour – to discover more. Explore the world’s largest collection of Māori taonga (treasures), including tools, clothing, ancestral carvings and weavings, see the huge ocean-going waka (canoe) carved from a giant totara tree, and step inside Hotunui, a full-size meeting house that was originally a wedding gift.

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Hike Bike Ako

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Hike Bike Ako offers fully guided walking and electric bicycle tours on beautiful Waiheke Island. Your Māori guide will share the island’s rich Māori history as you explore – and tour sizes are limited to provide an intimate small group experience.

After the scenic 40-minute ferry ride from downtown Auckland, you’ll be met at the Matiatia Bay ferry terminal on Waiheke Island before heading off on your tour. 

Walking tour (3.5 hours)
This walking tour takes you along the foreshore, through native forest and along a coastal trail – learning about Māori culture and practices as you go. Reward your physical efforts with an included wine tasting session at one of Waiheke’s many award-winning wineries. 

Electric bicycle tour (4 hours)
Electric bike tours run through the island’s safer back roads to visit beautiful beaches, scenic lookout points and the island’s much-loved community marae (Māori gathering place). The tour includes a visit to either a winery for wine-tasting or a cafe for coffee and a sweet treat. 

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Māngere Mountain Education Centre tours

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For 20,000 years Māngere Mountain (Te Pane O Mataoho) has been part of Auckland’s landscape, erupting long before the arrival of humans. For 700 years it has been home to a living community.

The area’s mana whenua (local people) will guide you over the landscape and interpret its rich history and geographical features. Learn about Māngere Mountain’s volcanic origins and explore the history of settlement and cultivation on its fertile slopes. 

Featured experiences:
Te Hikoi O Te Nga Wa O Mua (The Māori History Walk)
Go on a journey through time. Hear stories about the first inhabitants – Hape, Maki and Te Wai O Hua – as well as later Māori occupants. See the terraces where kumara were grown and the site of the last battle on Māngere Mountain.

Te Hikoi O Te Maunga Puia (The Volcanic Walk)
A unique opportunity to uncover the story behind one of the volcanos that created the Auckland landscape. Explore the two craters near the summit, view lava flows and lava bombs, and learn about the unusual tholoid dome that is a distinctive feature of the mountain.

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Pakiri Beach Horse Rides 

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The ultimate way to experience some of the region’s beautiful scenery and rich Māori heritage.

Pakiri Beach Horse Rides caters to first-time novices through to experienced riders and guided tours range from one or two hours to a half or full day, plus multi-day trails. All rides travel along the pristine white sands of Pakiri Beach and continue through the dunes, with sweeping views out to the islands. 

Ride the trails of the area’s Ngāti Wai tribal ancestors and visit the ancient pā site of a paramount Māori chief, sitting high above the Pacific Ocean. Tread the paths of his people – on the five-day Warrior Trail you can even spend your final night in their sacred ancestral house. Enjoy the freedom of travelling on horseback in this special place.

Pakiri is just 90 minutes north of downtown Auckland, through beautiful country and coastal scenery. Your hosts love sharing the history and the legends of this place with visitors. Their tribe, Ngāti Wai, were seafarers who discovered this place after following the call of the whales across the Pacific. Their home is on land that has been handed down through many generations, where they have gained a lifetime of experience with horses and farming. 

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Tāmaki Hikoi

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Learn about the intrinsic connection of the Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei people (the local tribe) to their land and water. See how their ancestors’ playgrounds became the current generation’s classrooms. Stand in the gateway of the wharenui (meeting house), just 10 minutes from the city centre, and take in the mighty views of the Waitemata Harbour and some of the many volcanic cones that have helped create Auckland’s unique landscape.

From the spiritual base of Orākei, guests will get an understanding of what it takes for the people of Ngāti Whātua to love and thrive through extreme change and adversity. 

Featured experiences:
Home Fires of Tāmaki
Experience the cultural heart of Auckland on the two-hour Home Fires of Tāmaki tour. A short trip from the hustle of the city centre, this magnificent whenua (land) is one of Auckland’s most tranquil locations.

Heaven to Earth
Experience Auckland from Maungawhau (Mount Eden). Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei have been guardians of the area for three centuries. Hear stories of this ancient fortress and see Auckland's iconic sights from the city's highest geographical point.

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Te Haerenga

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Take a journey upon Auckland’s iconic Rangitoto Island and neighbouring Motutapu Island, led by a knowledgeable Ngāi Tai tribal guide.

Te Haerenga is far more than just beautiful scenery – on this interactive tour your guide will share traditional and contemporary stories of these contrasting island sanctuaries, and you’ll get the chance to participate in traditional Māori practices, such as food harvesting, weaving, or learning about the medicinal properties of the islands' flora and fauna.

Te Haerenga is an authentic experience that introduces you to the basic rituals, customs and traditions of ‘te Reo me ona Tikanga Māori o Ngāi Tai’ – the language and customs of Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki.

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TIME Unlimited Tours

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TIME Unlimited Tours is New Zealand’s most awarded tour operator, with a range of tours throughout Auckland and the rest of the country, including specialised cultural experiences. Your kaiarahi (host guides) help you experience the Māori side of Auckland, with insight into myths, legends, history and some of the rangatira Māori (Māori leaders) who have shaped our nation. Visit significant historical sites and see some of Auckland’s best scenery, from beautiful beaches to vast sea views from atop volcanoes. TIME Unlimited focuses on the ‘living culture’ of Māori, sharing everyday and real-life experiences about Māori history and culture.

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Toru Tours

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With Toru Tours you get to see some of our city’s greatest highlights while learning about the cultural history of the region with your local guide. Paul shares his in-depth knowledge of his home town, with plenty of opportunity to ask questions along the way. 

Join an intimate three-hour tour and venture outside the city centre to find some of Auckland’s best views and most historically significant sites. Travel with your guide to the volcanic cones of One Tree Hill (Maungakiekie) and Mount Eden (Maungawhau), the beautiful Victorian-style glass houses of the Auckland Domain Wintergardens, Parnell Village, and the historic Holy Trinity Church. 

Visit Bastion Point for panoramic views over the Waitemata Harbour, and see the beautiful houses along Paratai Drive, New Zealand’s most expensive street. Delve into Auckland’s rich maritime history, see a working farm in action, and gain insight into New Zealand’s unique Māori heritage.

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