Te Puia Thermal Reserve | Simply Me / Karen Jardeleza

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Monday, March 5, 2012

Te Puia Thermal Reserve

For our next stop at Rotorua. We had a guided tour at Te Puia Thermal Reserve. 
Te Puia is the premier Māori cultural centre in New Zealand, a place of gushing waters, steaming vents, boiling mud pools and spectacular geysers. Tours and attractions, Māori culture, National Carving and Weaving Schools of New Zealand can be here at the Puia.

Waharoa (Gateway) 
The gateway into Te Puia is marked by a set of five carved waharoa, each slightly smaller than the first. Each of the layers of the waharoa represents, according to Māori, the 5 stages of development in the creation of the physical world.Through this portal visitors enter the Te Heketanga-a-Rangi (Heavenly Origins), representing the spiritual beliefs of Māori.

Geothermal Valley
Every day in Te Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley geysers erupt, mud pools bubble and steam hisses. Over 500 pools and 65 geyser vents, each with their own name, are found in the Te Whakarewarewa geothermal valley in Rotorua. Many magnificent geysers are active here, the most famous geyser, Pohutu (big splash or explosion), erupts up to 30 metres high depending on her mood.

Rotowhio Marae

The Pā, commonly referred to today as ‘marae’, is the centre of Māori tribal society and wellbeing. A marae is the traditional meeting place of a tribe. It is where people come to talk, sing and dance, pray, host guests, wed and weep for their dead. A marae without people is a heart without a beat. 

Pataka (Store House)
The Pataka was used to store food as well as treasured items of the villagers. This ornate storehouse was built and then displayed for an international exhibition at Christchurch in 1906. These storehouses are commonly found in coastal areas.

Hatu Patu - Wharenui (Meeting House)
Hatu Patu is an ancestor who, according to oral history, was pursued into this valley by Kurungaituku (Bird Woman). Many of the land features and hot springs of this area have been named after this ancestor. This where was built in 1901 on this site then transported to Christchurch as part of the Maori Village in Hagley Park for the 1906 Royal visit, after which it was returned to Whakarewarewa. Hatu Patu contains some classic examples of the Ngati Porou (East Coast) style of carving.

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Te Puia Thermal Reserve
Hemo Road (Off State Highway 5), 
Rotorua, New Zealand

Previous: Rotorua, NZ
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