I really wanted to go to a Maori cultural show and was told that they are all pretty much the same. Originally we were going to do a dinner & show that was about an hour drive from Rotorua.
Since we were staying at the Novotel we did the dinner & show there.
The dinner was nothing to talk about. There was chicken, meat, fish, salads, veggies etc... The best part of dinner was that some food was prepared in a modern Hangi. A hangi is an Earth Oven used by Polynesians all over. In a real hangi a whole is dug in the ground and hot rocks are put inside. Then food is wrapped in leaves and buried in the ground to cook.
The show was fun to watch and they called up some of the audience to participate. The coolest part is the "Poi" dancing. Poi dancing is like juggling with balls attached to ropes.
Overall the show didn't have an authentic feel to it but it was nice to see and learn about some of the customs the Maori follow.
Dress Code: The show was very casual, no need to dress up too fancy here.
Leaves are scattered on the floor for the guest representative (David) to pick up to show that we all came in peace.
The traditonal Maori greeting of rubbing noses together then ensues before we are allowed to eat.
A representative is chosen from the visitors (David) to accept the Maori challenge.
David is invited on to stage facing the men doing the &ihaka%. Haka% is the traditional Maori war dance which is meant show how strong you are and intimidate the enemy. With bulging eyes and tongues poked out as far as they will go, the Maori demonstrate aggression and contempt.
We only paid a quick visit to this pub after our walk from where we were parked nearby, down to Ohinemutu, which is directly below it.
There seemed to be quite a good Maori band playing popular rock music.
Unfortunately the weather wasn't at all nice on our one night in Rotorua, so we werent' reallu tempted to go out, but we did go for a drive in the city, which was a great idea, as we discovered that the information centre lights up really nicely at night!
This is an interesting Bar, with a small Casino area. Also to one side, family and kids are able to go, separated from the bar and casino.
Nice cafe and internet area. Simple but central and nice.
The internet is interesting. You buy a card worth $x and just keep coming back using that card until the money is run out. The machines take the cards, so if you don't use up all your time, just bring your card back another time. Just like using a phonecard.
Quite a good concept for the traveller while he/she is in town.
Dress Code: Casual, but shoes required.
A range of activities here from dining and drinking, to watching sports on the Big Screen.
Great Pub Meals, available 11.30am - 9.30pm 7 days.
Starting 9.30pm Friday & Saturday nites a local DJ or live band plays in the Garden Bar.
Soon after writing my postcards, the time came for the "hangi". A hangi is a Maori feast of all manner of food cooked by the steam from the natural hot springs. In addition to the food, there was an entertaining show of Maori culture. There was all manner of fish and seafood (even eel), and bread. They served this unique meal in form of a buffet. On some things, I went back for thirteenths.
During dinner, traditional dances are performed, including the women only poi dance where fluffy balls on strings are whirled around.
After supper, the Maoris put on a show for us in traditional costumes. They even called the youngest in the group, Brian Baker, up to participate in the act.