Mitai Maori Village
Rainbow Springs, Rotorua

The Mitai Maori Village cultural performance was something we booked online in advance of our holiday.

We wanted to learn something about traditional Maori culture and meet some local people at the same time as have an evening out in Rotorua.

The location of the Mitai Maori village is approximately five minutes drive from Rotorua town centre, next to the Rainbow Springs on Fairy Springs Road.

The evening provided us with the experiences that include a traditional hangi meal, seeing a Maori war canoe (waka) in action, watching the cultural performance, participating in a night walk through the bush to see glow worms, and learning about the native bush and flora.

Mitai Maori Village War Canoe
Maori War Canoe

This was followed by a visit to the Rainbow Springs Nature Park, and the wildlife and Kiwi enclosure. More about Rainbow Springs Nature Park further down this page.

Return transport from our accommodation was provided in the evenings experience and we were picked up from the Rotorua Thermal Holiday Park at 5.45pm.

The journey was in a lovely old bus driven by a member of the Mitai family who was very welcoming and entertaining on the way to the village.

Maori Culture

Mitai Maori Village Haka
Cultural Performance - Haka

The Mitai family gave an amazing introduction to authentic Maori culture in a natural New Zealand bush setting.

They cooked a hangi meal for the visitors, traditionally cooked in an earth pit and lifted out of the ground, talked to us about the ancient Maori warrior canoes (waka), provided displays of combat and weaponry, and gave us an insight into the tradition of Maori carvings and Maori tattoo art (ta moko).

We were taken back in time through the magic of the legendary poi dance, songs, tales and legends, in the fascinating and interactive cultural performance... with the finale being the haka.

Mitai Maori Village - War Canoe (waka)
Mitai Maori Village - War Canoe (waka)

Mitai Maori Tattoo
Mitai Maori Ta Moko (Tattoo Art)

Mitai Family member
Mitai

Hangi

Mitai Maori Village Hangi
Hangi

It was a chilly evening in spring in New Zealand so by the end of the cultural performance we were really looking forward to the authentic hangi meal. To be honest, I was starving hungry!

The food was amazing with a selection of meat and vegetables such as chicken and New Zealand lamb, sweet potato (Kumara), stuffing, potatoes (Rewai), followed by a range of deserts to choose from. There wasn’t one single item on the menu that I didn’t like and I would happily eat there every evening, it was delicious!

Some of the Mitai family then took us for a night walk to the spiritual and sacred Fairy Springs while teaching us about some of the flora and fauna of the area and the uses of these natural resources in Maori culture.

Mitai (external website)

Rainbow Springs Nature Park

We had chosen the Beauty by Night evening package and following our meal we had the opportunity of combining the cultural experience with an inspiring visit to Rainbow Springs Nature Park by Night.

Rainbow Springs Nature Park (external website)

The tour starts with an escort through the natural bush for a night walk in the Rainbow Springs Nature Park along lit pathways and finishes with a night-time walk through the Kiwi enclosure.

Although it can sometimes come down to luck if you do catch a glimpse of the shy Kiwi, there is no doubt as to the hard work and dedication to this nature park and if it wasn’t for such protection I’m sure the Kiwi would not survive in present day New Zealand with the humans introduction of predatory animals. Another great cause to support when you are on holiday in New Zealand!

The bus was then waiting to transport us back to our accommodation. I thoroughly recommend the entire experience at thre Mitai Maori Village; it is definitely an experience that will bring back memories of what will no doubt be a holiday of a lifetime for many people.

Below is a video by the Mitai Family...