Weaving magic

Nadine explaining rourou

Learn the local haka

Maori martial art Mau Rakau

Groups and School Camps

Let us become your outdoor education centre! Single or multi-day school camp programmes can be tailored to suit your classroom/s! Itineraries can be catered for various ages, areas of study and specific learning requirements. With accommodation options for up to 65 students onsite at Kohutapu Lodge, or 150 students at our local marae, the options are varied.

Education programmes can include:

Cultural Tours
Journey right off the beaten track, 65 kilomentres Southeast of Rotorua to an isolated part of the Bay of Plenty region between the Kaingaroa Forest and the foothills of the Te Urewera National Park. In this rustic and serene corner of New Zealand lies a small township named Murupara, where you will discover a history and a culture are not yet touched by the hand of commercialism.
Step back in time, and learn about life pre-European for the Ngati Manawa tribe. As one of New Zealand’s only land locked tribes, surrounded by nine other iwi – the tales of warfare, battle, revenge and survival will keep you on the edge of your seat. If you wish to extend your tour, our guides can take you to authentic pa sites – some of which still retain some of their original fortification. Learn about the volcanic history of Central North Island, as your guide takes you through the Kaingaroa Plains – a vast flat landscape carpeted in volcanic ash, rich soils, and now home to the largest man made forest in the Southern Hemisphere. Learn about the forestry industry and the huge economic benefit it provided for the people of this area. Take a short bush walk and visit hidden Maori rock art, carbon dated 400 years before the Great Migration. As you enter in to Murupara township, learn about the struggles our people face today, after the once thriving forestry industry fell away. Your journey out to Kohutapu Lodge at Lake ANiwhenua will take you past further sites of significance, such as British Militia Redoubt, homes of taniwha and more.
We look forward to sharing and interactive cultural and history lesson with you, and welcome you to delve as deep in to our past or present, as you like.

Tour Duration: 2.5 hours plus (dependant on questions and additional stops based on specific areas of interest of clients).

Haka Lesson
Learn the history and the importance of this art to our people, and the true significance of what it means to perform haka. Our guides will share with you the history behind the world famous haka performed by the All Blacks “Ka Mate”. Find out who composed it, when and why. You will learn the Maori words, the English translation and the literal meaning of this haka. You will then learn the actions and the various meanings behind the actions, before putting it all together and performing the haka “Ka Mate” alongside of our people.

Mau Rakau
Meaning "to bear a weapon", is a martial art based on traditional Māori weapons.
This activity includes a lesson on the skilled use of sticks, and includes history on various training techniques/games undertaken by our warriors, which you will also have the chance to participate in.

Raranga (Weaving)
Learn the history of harakeke (flax) and the many uses our people have for this highly valued plant. From medicinal properties, harvesting to weaving and more. You will weave your own bracelet/dinner plate or flowers to take home with you as a memento of your time spent with our people.

Night time Eel Fishing
When the sun has gone down, the eels come out! Venture down to the lake edge with your guide, a handline, hook and bait – and try your hand at night time eel fishing! Under the blanket of stars above, you will most likely hook an eel – however, the real test is if you are able to pull it in, and get it in to the bucket without squeeling!! Set the hinaki, traditional Maori eel trap, which we will collect in the morning.

Please note: we fish responsibly. Culturally, your first eel will be returned to the water. All small eels will be released, and if you wish to taste eel (tuna) only one will be taken. We will teach you how to prepare and smoke your eel yourself. We must ensure we fish sustainably for our future generations. Kia ora.