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Exploring History

New Zealand has a long and expansive history from the Maori’s who are the native owners of the land to when the British came and settled. There are so many places over New Zealand that you can learn all about the history and culture of New Zealand- why not visit them all!

Te Papa Tongarewa in Wellington is the perfect place to learn everything you need to from cultural treasures, to information, deep ancestral links to the indigenous Maori people, changing exhibits and much more. Te Papa has a mixture of cultural objects, hands on and interactive exhibitions, cultural spaces and touring exhibits. The hands on interactive exhibitions focus on particularly engaging families. The entrance to Te Papa has Maori carvings outside and is a phenomenal sight.

The New Zealand Maritime Museum, in Auckland CBD, tells you all about the remarkable stories of the country’s maritime heritage. Learn about how the Polynesians got here, understand the hardships that European settlers faced, and be moved by modern day maritime heroes. There are great hands on experiences for the young ones. Make a yacht design, hoist the sails, hear the cannon fire and much more.

Auckland Museum is a fantastic museum, renowned for its unique collection of Maori and Pacific treasures. It tells you the story of New Zealand as a nation, with natural history exhibits, galleries displaying artefacts and the great Maori war canoe.

Walk through the gates and experience what life was like back in the 1800’s at Howick Historical Village. Staff are dressed up in period costumes as they go about their day doing the chores and activities that the early settlers would have done. There are hands on experiences, like churning butter, traditional games and crafts or sample some of the hot food. A different kind of history education!

Mataatua in Whakatane will give you a glimpse of the Maori ancestral houses that the Maori built. Share in ancient rituals and traditions as you learn all about Maori history.

New Zealand’s only living Maori village, Whakarewarewa, is a must to learn all about the legacy and home of the Tūhourangi Ngāti Wāhiao people, who have been sharing their unique way of life with visitors from all around the world for over two hundred years. Take a guided walking tour and explore where people live on a daily basis and use natural geothermal resources to cook, bathe and heat their homes. See the famous Pohutu geyser and boiling mud pools and learn what it is like to live in the geothermal plateau.

Experience the magic of Te Puia and learn about the stories that have shaped the land and culture for generations around New Zealand. Te Puia is home to the largest active geyser in the Southern Hemisphere. It is also home to the Maori Arts and Crafts Institute that is training the next generation of artists, learning the ways of the ancestors. Join a tour around the geothermal valley, learn the Maori culture and see a real life Kiwi!

The Buried Village is New Zealand’s most visited Archaeological site, where stories of the 1886 Mt Tarawera Eruption comes to life. Whether you are there to take in the relics and interactive stories of The Buried Village Museum, walk the archaeological site or waterfall trail, there is an activity, or combination of activities to suit all ages, tastes and preferences. With so much to take in, be sure to come prepared and make the most of your time exploring a historic and monumental time in our recent history.

The choices to learn about the history of Maori culture and New Zealand in general are endless. From interactive displays to museums and cultural performances, it will give you a deeper understanding  of what shaped New Zealand from the beginning to what it is today.