Day 26, February 22, Tauranga, NZ, Part 1


Today we landed in Tauranga, New Zealand. Sherry had arranged a tour to Hobbiton where The Lord of the Rings was filmed. The tour included a stop in Te Puia where we experienced a Maori cultural tradition and the Pohutu Geyser.


Our guide, Robin, met us on the pier and our day began. As you can tell from the photo of Mount Maunganui,  it was an overcast day and Robin said he had brollies for us to use if we wanted. “A  brollie? we asked. Seems that’s New Zealand slang for umbrellas. Another slang word Robin used was “lerikans” Kiwi (nick name for new Zealanders) for hooligans which I think is Irish for trouble makers. (click on photos for full size images)

It was about a 45 minute drive to Te Puia and along the way we learned that Tauranga is a major producer of Kiwi, the national fruit. Still another Kiwi term not used in the states is “car park” for parking lot.


Kiwi is a fragile fruit and is affected negatively by high winds. So Kiwi farmers have planted trees to form windbreaks which we saw all around the island on our way to Rotorura the location of Te Puia, a Maori village and cultural center. 


At Te Puia we were met by an indigenous woman who explained that we would be greeted by a tribal leader. She selected one of our group to be our leader (photo at right). The tribal leader (left) approached our leader and performed a ritual intended to show his strength in case the visitor was hostile. Since our leader did not show signs of aggression, the chief laid a gift at his feet and he bent to pick up the proffered gift, thus accepting it, and we were invited inside the tribal meeting hall (right) and treated to a wonderful ritual of song and dance. (See video below).

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                On the right is a Maori Canoe. 

Below are recreations of Maori huts and a model of a Maori Building.

Below left is a carved arch at the entrance to the village. In the middle is a carved totem that was in the car park. On the far right is another totem - this one we saw on the way to the geyser.


To learn more about the geyser go to Day 26, part 2.

© Surveyor of the Passing Scene