Manawa Tour

A real insight into Māori people, our values and our way of life. Join our family for our multi-award winning tour – a half-day experience that combines stories of our ancestors, laughter and learning with weaving and a bushwalk to discover how we use our native plants.

On all our tours you’ll learn the history of the area and receive knowledge passed down the generations through oral tradition during 800 years of Ngāi Tahu settlement in the Kaikōura region.

Our team of family guides will make you feel at ease with their warm and friendly hospitality. This is an interactive tour where we encourage you to get involved, ask questions and share your stories too, creating a memorable and relaxed cultural exchange.

You’ll have meaningful opportunities to learn and apply key elements of Māori culture, including greetings and farewells, weaving, and waiata (song).

Included in your tour

  • Complimentary pickup from your accommodation or the Kaikōura i-SITE visitor centre
  • Substantial morning or afternoon tea, or light lunch served picnic style
  • Informal weaving workshop with all materials supplied
  • A guided leisurely bushwalk of less than 1km
  • Practical cultural knowledge and coaching to enable you to confidently participate in traditional Māori practices
  • Department of Conservation concession fee

Need to know!

  • All ages are welcome
  • Suitable for all fitness levels
  • Wear comfortable clothing and walking shoes
  • This outdoor experience takes place in most weather conditions – the warmth of your hosts will make up for inclement weather but please come prepared for the forecasted conditions on the day – light raincoats or umbrellas may be required
  • Our specialist family guides provide tour commentary in English only
  • Some sites visited have no wheelchair access

Booking information

  • Tours are available for private single party bookings of 2-10 guests only and must be scheduled by prior arrangement – we recommend contacting us at least two weeks prior to avoid missing out on your preferred date and time.
  • Tours can be arranged all year round and we offer flexibility to fit in with your travel plans.
  • Tour length is approximate and varies according to party size, weather, sites and activities on the day. If you have specific time constraints please let us know.
  • Prices are in New Zealand dollars and include all taxes.
  • Māori Tours Kaikōura is closed on 25-27 December, Good Friday, and 25 April (ANZAC Day).

Meet your guides

Heather and Maurice Manawatu
Heather and Maurice Manawatu

Heather and Maurice Manawatu established Māori Tours Kaikōura in 2002 as a way to provide authentic Māori cultural experiences for visitors to their region. It’s a truly family operation with many of their extended family involved in the business from the beginning.

Heather is of European descent, predominantly Scotland and Ireland, and Maurice is from the Ngāti Kuri hapu (sub-tribe) of Ngāi Tahu. Kaikōura is home for them, their children and grandchildren.

"We love meeting people from around the world who are interested in our culture and who we are. Making visitors feel welcome and creating friendships across cultural boundaries is second nature to us. We also love the reward of a true cultural exchange that comes from hearing our visitors’ stories too.”

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