Our tours offer you the opportunity to experience an unhurried and deep exploration of a living, breathing culture. Incorporating a carefully selected mix of our favourite urban, volcanic, historic, rainforest & black sand beach locations.
Urban Maori Experience Tour - Full day tour for a maximum of 10 people. Visit the archaeological site of a Maori village built on a volcano, our favourite cafe in a trendy suburb, a contemporary Maori art gallery, the Waitakere Ranges rainforest & a black sand west coast beach.
Hear stories & learn traditional protocols whilst finding out how we incorporate these philosophies & practises into our lives today - as Maori living in the city. Experience a profound yet entertaining insight into our world.
North Island ▷ Auckland Region ▷ Auckland
Ever since learning about Maori body art as a photographer working with North American tattoo magazines, I had been obsessed with learning more about the Maori culture, and especially their art forms. I was intrigued enough that I had been actively looking for grants that would allow me to head to NZ for several months or more, to give me time to really learn from and about the Maori people.
Though I hadn’t found the perfect grant, I was compelled to finally visit NZ when I discovered a $598 round-trip fare from the US!
When I headed to NZ in the midst of their winter, my primary focus was snowboarding. But I was also looking for an introduction into Maori culture, not a performance geared towards tourists who were looking for an afternoon’s entertainment rather than learning about another culture.
When I arrived in Auckland towards the end of my holiday, I researched my Maori learning options. Other than Potiki Adventures, most consisted of brief performances that allotted no time for really learning about the culture.
So I signed up for the Urban Maori Experience with Potiki Adventures. It was perfect.
Shortly into the tour, at One Tree Hill, I learned that our guide Melissa had actually majored in Maori art and offered custom tours showcasing Maori artists and their work. I was in heaven. I explained to her that I had a long-standing interest in Maori tattoos. Before I left the next day, Melissa made sure to help me find the book Mau Moko at a local bookstore.
I only wish I had discovered Potiki Adventures earlier in my holiday. They will definitely be a major component of my next holiday in Aotearoa!
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I went on a tour with Potiki Adventures, a local tour operator whose directors are both part Maori because it was important to me that I won’t only be driven to the ”most important sights” by a huge coach to take pictures. It was a familial and exclusive tour because the maximum of clients on one tour is about 10 people.
The first place to go was the Auckland Museum where Melissa gave an introduction to Maori culture, to the meaning of the carvings, symbols etc. Our next stop was One Tree Hill, a volcanic peak and a fortified village in former times. From here, we had an amazing view over the city; there were not too many tourists as huge coaches can’t drive up the hill. Our next destination was Kingsland, where we had lunch in a nice local café, went to shops with Maori art, clothing and jewellery. The last places to go were the Waitakeri Ranges Rainforest and the black sand west coast beaches. Here we could gaze at the amazing beauty of the nature of this country. We walked along the desolated Karekare Beach where “The Piano” was filmed. Finally, we had a walk around the bush and stopped at a waterfall where Melissa told us the Maori legend of creation.
The trip was informative but also vivid, lively and spirited. It was enriching, inspiring and cheerful. Melissa was great. She unified passion, knowledge, warmth and friendliness. She was like a friend showing us around and telling us about herself, her heritage and her favourite places.
The tour was memorable, unique and impressive. I walked around in amazing scenery and got great insights in a fascinating culture by nice anecdotes and worth knowing information. Although I “prepared” my stay in Auckland/New Zealand and I recognized evidence of Maori culture before doing this tour, this trip has aided me in developing a deeper understanding and aroused the curiosity of getting to know much more about the fascinating culture of the Maori.
Conclusion: Highly recommendable.
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I`ve been in New Zealand for 4 weeks now and I am really overwhelmed by the beauty of this country. Because it is difficult to summarize the whole time I just want to tell you about my favourite day which I`ve had since my arrival.
During my time in Auckland I searched for a one day tour which is a little bit different from the normal commercialised tours with large buses and heaps of people. I wanted to see the nature and the beaches and at the same time learn something about the history of these places, especially about Maori history. I found the company Potiki Adventures which offer Maori one day excursions for small groups in Auckland. I booked a day with them and haven`t regretted it…
On a lovely and sunny Thursday morning Melissa, the owner of the company, picked me and the other two persons up from our hotels and we first stopped at One Tree Hill. At the summit we had a gorgeous view over the city and the sea and learned a lot about the origin and history of this place and the surrounding area. It was very interesting listening to the stories about this volcanic mountain which is also called None Tree Hill because there isn`t a tree anymore. Next we went to Kingsland, a small and beautiful suburb of Auckland, had lunch at a café and visited some Maori arts shops. Then we continued with my favourite part of this tour. We drove to the west coast and to the rain forest where we stopped to do a bush walk. It was amazing walking among these plants and trees with their beautiful green colours and getting information about their history and Maori uses. We finished our day with a visit to a famous black sand surf beach - Piha Beach. Here we could swim, refresh or just relax and absorb the beautiful impressions.
I really enjoyed the day and recommend it to you if you are interested to half an awesome day in Auckland!