Awa Korero Ancestral Māori River Walk

Flowing from the majestic hills of Te Urewera tracing a pathway carved out by two racing mountains, the Whakatāne River is a defining icon of our tribal identity.

In this incredibly personal journey through local culture, we follow the footsteps of our ancestors along the banks of the river and to their most sacred sites.

Encounter Te Paru – a swampy wetland on the edge of the town centre and find out why its importance to traditional Maori arts & crafts has seen it survive many challenges to develop it.

We then move to the site of the ancient fishing village of Otuawhaki and cast an eye across the river to the sweeping sand dunes of Ōpihi where the bones of some of our most famous chiefs lie.

You are then presented with a unique opportunity to encounter 2 very different styles of marae (traditional Māori community centres) with the luxury of having two exhibits to compare.

First we encounter a fine example of a semi-commercial 21st century marae complex in Te Mānuka Tūtahi, established in 2011 as a home for Mataatua Wharenui – the house that came home.

In the matter of a few steps, we arrive at the second and more traditional marae of Te Whare O Toroa, one of the longest established in the region and home to our sub-tribe Ngāti Hokopū. Here we learn more about the ancient customs that are still practiced on these types of bona-fide marae today.

We then share the famous tales of how Whakatāne is the original home of the kūmara and how our town got it’s name from the nation’s very first act of women’s liberation before the chance to view an replica Māori war canoe that was carved in honour of our maritime histories.

At the point where the river meets the ocean we share a tale that connects us to the origins of Pounamu (New Zealand Greenstone) and try our luck with a couple of casts of the fishing lines to hopefully snare a kahawai or two at the local ‘sweet spot’.

Finally, sit with your host on the banks of the river to chat over a light meal of authentic local delicacies of the area. Ask questions, find answers and gain a personal connection to the land, the tribe & the traditions of the Ngāti Awa people of Whakatane.



$NZD65 (+Inc GST) Per Person


$NZD40 (+Inc GST) Per Person)

Te Koputu Gallery Alive Experience Is Scheduled To Run Daily But Requires A Minimum Of Four Bookings For Each Tour To Proceed.

The Iconic & Historical Whakatāne River.

The Iconic & Historical Whakatāne River.

Muriwai Maori Tours

Story Telling At The Cavern Of An Ancient Ancestor Who Lived & Died Here Almost 1000 Years Ago

Ex-All Black Justin Enjoys A Lunch Of Local Delicacies On The Whakatane River.

Ex-All Black Justin Enjoys A Lunch Of Local Delicacies On The Whakatane River.