Ko Tane The Maori Experience Christchurch
Welcome to Ko Tane Living Maori Village at Willowbank Wildlife Reserve, Christchurch. Where Maori culture and conservation meet to give a unique glimpse into the way of life of the South Island Ngai Tahu Maori people before the arrival of the Europeans.
Ko Tane is the South Island’s only Maori Cultural Performance including Maori Haka and Hangi Dinner Experience. Maori had a well-developed cultural tradition of martial arts, song, dance and games. As well as a profound spiritual understanding of the world through oral tradition, ritual and legend.
Willowbank Wildlife Reserve is home to over 100 wildlife species, some of which have been brought back from near extinction. Native species held at Willowbank include kiwi, tuatara, takahe, kea, wood pigeon, falcon, gecko, weka, morepork and the endangered blue duck.
Willowbank is the only reserve in the world where you can view breeding pairs of North Island brown kiwi outdoors. Your guide will help locate kiwi using a special low-light torch.
Ko Tane The Maori Experience
The Maori Experience includes a Maori Welcome, Maori Village Tour, Maori Interactive Performance (including Maori Haka) and Four Course Hangi Dinner.
- Your Ko Tane experience begins in the replica village where you will be greeted with a traditional challenge (wero) and welcome ceremony. Hear the haunting traditional call (karanga) performed by a woman (wahine) as the ritual of arrival (powhiri) begins, allowing you to enter the hidden enclave and be shown the ways of Maori ancestors.
- The village (kaika) sits in a quiet forest glade, under the protection of the god of the forest, Tane Mahuta, from whom the village name is taken.
- Next you will experience a traditional Maori performance including the war dance by men (Maori haka) made famous worldwide through our national rugby team, the All Blacks. See a poi dance, using short poi which can be beaten on the body and hands to produce sound and rhythm, a waiata a ringa which combines movement, song, expressions and dance and ti rakau or titi sticks which is a popular rhythmic game.
- Finally finish off your evening experience with a four course dinner with traditional hangi mains, where the food is cooked underground long and slow from stones that are heated in a pit.
Ko Tane The Maori Experience & Guided Kiwi Tour
The Maori Experience & Guided Kiwi Tour includes a Kiwi Wildlife Tour at Willowbank Wildlife Reserve, Maori Welcome, Maori Village Tour, Maori Interactive Performance (including Maori Haka) and Four Course Hangi Dinner.
- Start off your evening experience with a 45 minute guided tour to see New Zealand’s big 5 wildlife icons including kiwi! The Willowbank Wildlife Reserve’s Kiwi House is a sheltered area where young kiwi are raised before being released back into the wild. This is the only South Island site actively engaged in Operation Nest Egg, as well as hosting the most successful kiwi breeding programme in New Zealand.
- The Guided Kiwi Tour is then followed by a traditional Maori Welcome, the cultural performances (including Maori Haka) and hangi dinner as included in The Maori Experience above.
- Ko Tane The Maori Experience: 5.15 pm
- Ko Tane The Maori Experience & Guided Kiwi Tour: 4.15 pm
- Ko Tane The Maori Experience: 2.5 hours
- Ko Tane The Maori Experience & Guided Kiwi Tour: 3.5 hours
Ko Tane is located at Willowbank Wildlife Reserve in Christchurch.
60 Hussey Road, Harewood, Christchurch