Cultural Tours

The region you are about to explore is a precious wilderness steeped in history. The Ngati Manawa tribe have lived here for centuries and their culture still thrives….

Journey right off the beaten track, 65 kilomentres Southeast of Rotorua to an isolated part of the Bay of Plenty region between the Kaingaroa Forest and the foothills of the Te Urewera National Park. Surrounded by dense native bush, deep flowing rivers, and lush farmlands - in this rustic and serene corner of New Zealand lies a small township named Murupara, where you will discover a history and a culture not yet touched by the hand of commercialism.

At Rainbow Mountain, pick up your Maori Guide who will take you on a journey back in time en route to Murupara, where the Ngati Manawa tribe resides. Together we’ll explore Maori Cave art, visit a British militia redoubt site, and hear tales of battle and revenge, along with stories of mystical creatures who to this day still protect the people and the waterways which cut through the tribal lands. Journey past historic sites and hear the stories of how Ngati Manawa ancestors secured its tribal boundaries and protected a land rich in resource and breath-taking beauty.

Visit a waterfall and a site where the highly valued eel departs the rivers on their journey to the ocean for spawning. Learn about how the Ngati Manawa tribe protect the eel, a main source of food for the people – and hear how they ensure it is able to continue to breed so the young eels are able to return to their parent’s habitat, despite the man-made dams that have been built in their path. 

Join your hosts at the lake edge lodge, and help with the preparation of your traditional ground cooked hangi dinner including local delicacies, before enjoying a selection of optional afternoon activities: eeling, fishing, kayaking, cooking and more. Our aunties will also teach you to weave your own dinner plate out of flax before your feast with us tonight!!!

Previously trading as Lake Aniwhenua Lodge