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“Wonderful Cultural & Personal experience”

Mataatua: The House That Came Home
Ranked #10 of 32 things to do in Whakatane
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: After more than 130 years away, Mataatua Wharenui - New Zealand's only repatriated and most travelled Maori meeting house - stands once again as the unifying soul of the Ngati Awa (one of the Maori tribes of the Bay of Plenty) New Zealand. Built in 1875, it travelled to Sydney, Melbourne, Victoria & Albert Museum and South Kensington Museum (London), Dunedin and Otago (South Island) before being rebuilt back in its place of origin, Whakatane, in 2011. Your journey at Mataatua (The Face of God) will Ignite the Soul within, as you discover the extraordinary story of the house that has travelled through time. Mataatua is a living and breathing being and our experience provides an opportunity for intimate engagement with the people of Ngati Awa. Be enthralled as the carvings and legends of Ngati Awa are brought to life through world-class digital technology. A spine tingling experience, HIKO; Legends Carved in Light, is the 2011 GOLD Nga Aho award winner from the New Zealand Designers Institute.
Brisbane, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
83 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Wonderful Cultural & Personal experience”
Reviewed 25 February 2014 via mobile

I can't recommend this experience highly enough. Our two hosts were so friendly and were willing to share so much knowledge about their culture. I was trying to learn it all but thankfully they gave us a little booklet at the end that we could take home with us. We genuinely felt welcomed into the wharenui. Do this if you want a genuine experience. For a detailed review check this out:

http://maniacalbrainchild.com/?p=799

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
Thank Donanap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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88 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Breathtaking”
Reviewed 31 January 2014

This is an unforgettable experience, made very special by the light show inside. That was such a surprise and had us captivated. This makes it very different from other cultural experiences and worth going to.

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank e l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Professional and informative -”
Reviewed 31 January 2014

Really enjoyed our visit to Mataatua. Even as a local I learnt so much about the area and the history of the wharenui that I had not known prior. I was extremely impressed by the professionalism, knowledge and friendliness of the staff. Loved the light show and how it told the history in such a unique way, highlighting the various features of the carvings. The food platter to finish off with was DELICIOUS! I'm proud of such a beautiful attraction in my home town. Will definitely recommend it to others.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Emma B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Albion Park, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Mataatua: Te Manuka Tutahi”
Reviewed 27 January 2014

I was inspired to visit by an article in the Australian Geographic. My husband and I were not disappointed by our visit. The ceremonial greeting, the light show and the staff, were all first rate. At no time did we feel rushed and were able to ask lots of questions whilst enjoying refreshment after the tour. I found the marae to be a very emotional place to visit and would recommend the tour to anyone visiting Whakatane. Thankyou to the Ngati Awa people for opening it to the public and giving us a chance to learn about their history.

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
Thank Rhonda D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wellington, New Zealand
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Legends and history brought to life”
Reviewed 26 January 2014

This is a fantastic experience and something just a little different from the other cultural attractions available in New Zealand.

The story of the Meeting House that travelled around the world before fiinally returning home is amazing in itself. But the myths, legends and history of Mataatua and Ngati Awa are also fascinating. And it is all brought to life by the top-class light show and by the professionalism of the guides.

At no time does it feel like a tourism activity; it is a people proudly sharing their culture and beliefs with welcomed guests.

Anyone going to Whakatane for the trip out to White Island should make time to visit Te Manuka Tutahi Marae.

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
Thank Chris R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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