MURUPARA | Lake Aniwhenua
Halfway between Rotorua and Taupō and surrounded by forest plantations, it’s unlikely that you will have heard of the tiny township of Murupara in your research into touring New Zealand. Some places are on the map for their scenic beauty, some destinations make the list for their proximity to iconic New Zealand adventure activities, but Murupara and the lakeside Kohutapu Lodge is one of those special places where we take time to really get to know Māori culture.
Living Māori Culture
Located right on the edge of the tranquil Lake Aniwhenua, our Murupara accommodation at Kohutapu Lodge is owned and run by a local Māori family who are really passionate about sharing Māori culture and traditions with their guests. Here we will learn flax weaving, we’ll learn to perform the haka and we’ll prepare and eat a hangi – a meal cooked entirely underground. In the evening we’ll sit by a fire and share stories and legends. Our hosts at Kohutapu Lodge are a wonderful example of the core Māori concept of Manaakitanga (hospitality, kindness, generosity, respect and care for others) which plays a vital role in Māori culture and New Zealand tourism.
Murupara itself was once a thriving forestry township, but it’s fair to say these days that things are a little quieter. Depending on when you visit, we will likely get a chance to show the local community Manaakitanga ourselves – an authentic travel experience so special that we’d rather you experienced it rather than read about it.
Ancient Māori Art
In nearby Kaingaroa Forest, New Zealand’s oldest cave etchings are a hidden highlight that many New Zealanders don’t know about. The Kaingaroa rock carvings embedded into a sheer vertical rock wall have been carbon dated to around 1050 AD! Although protected with a metal grate, you can still see the etched lines of zigzag and ladder symbols, a few faces as well as 16 waka (canoe) decorated with spirals. As part of the Haka tours that stop in Murupara, we’ll be guided to the cave by a local Māori guide and we’ll learn some Māori legends and New Zealand history along the way.
Tours including Murupara
Epic NZ Tour
Discover more of NZ than most New Zealanders, as you thoroughly explore the best of both the North and South Islands.View tour
Legendary NZ Tour
Our Legendary Tour lives up to its name, with stupendous scenery, bucket loads of adventure and eye-opening cultural experiences.View tour
Amplified NZ Tour
Discover the best of the North and South Island. Tours run from Auckland to Christchurch, or Christchurch to Auckland.View tour
Coasts & Culture Tour
Enjoy adventure activities, incredible scenery and fascinating Māori culture as we show you the highlights between Auckland to Wellington.View tour