Make your way to the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute and Te Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley at Te Puia, located just 5 minutes from central Rotorua. A dozen monumental Maori carvings greet your arrival at the renowned Maori cultural center, where you’ll set off on a 2.5-hour guided tour of the grounds.
First, select the raw ingredients for your steambox lunch, prepared over the naturally occurring hot-water steam vents — an ancient Maori cooking technique.
Check out traditional artwork, try your hand at flax-weaving during an expert demonstration, listen to Maori legends told by your guide and explore Maori customs via interactive galleries at the Te Whare Tapere meeting house. Then adjust your eyes in the Kiwi House, a specially lit nocturnal enclosure, for a look at New Zealand's national native bird.
Finally, walk past geothermal springs and bubbling mud pools, and stop at a terrace overlooking the 100-foot (30-meter) Pohutu Geyser to see your lunch emerge from the Nga Wha steam vent. Relax as you enjoy your meal and watch the geyser’s daily eruption at the end of your tour.