Whakarewarewa Village is not just a place full of mock-up buildings where workers turn up for work in the morning to imitate the roles of Maori life as it would have been in the past and then go home in the evening…
…Not that there is necessarily anything wrong in this sort of tourist attraction anywhere in the world, since often that sort of demonstration is the only opportunity left for people to see how a culture existed in the past, and whenever and however people learn is a good thing after all.
But what’s special about Whakarewarewa Village is that the people who show you around during the day are quite literally showing you their back yard, they live here too.
Tourists quite rightly, don’t get to intrude into people’s actual houses, but they can learn a lot about life in the village from the residents themselves.
This puts a whole new dimension to the phrase “Working from Home”… or in this case, ….next to it.
After exiting the building where we learned about the history of the area and bought tickets for a guided tour we pass by a wall, where notable guides from the last 100 years are featured…
…and then pass under a commemorative archway and over a bridge to begin our tour.
I know that “Whakarewarewa ” is a very long name… but the Maori language is full of long names and spare a thought for these folks if they had to use the “official” name all of the time, since “Whakarewarewa” is actually the shortened version!
The village’s website http://www.whakarewarewa.com/about-us/ tells me that their official name is ”Te Whakarewarewatanga O Te Ope Taua A Wahiao” meaning ” The uprising of the warriors (war party) of Wahiao”.
It’s still pelting down rain and the surrounding area could be mistaken for being foggy or misty, but this is neither mist or fog, it’s steam rising from the ground from vents all around us.
We cross the bridge and enter…