Kai Ora Authentic Māori Hāngi Experience



No visitor should leave New Zealand with out experiencing a genuine earth-cooked Māori hāngi and the ritual that surrounds it. This is your opportunity to roll your sleeves up and pitch in with the locals as we take you through the step-by-step process to the perfect hāngi.The experience starts with a brief whakatau (informal welcome ritual) at NATIVConnectioNZ Headquarters, set on a family homestead in the continuously occupied Māori village of Wairaka. The homestead lies on the former site of Matirerau – the ancient garden where New Zealand’s first kumara (Māori sweet potato) seedling was planted almost 800 years ago. In this historic and personal family setting you will experience a journey into the heart of ancient Māori cuisine.

What Is A Hangi?

Hāngi is the process of cooking food beneath the ground in a pit filled with red hot volcanic rocks. The food is placed in baskets, covered and placed on top of the rocks. The rocks are then splashed with water to produce steam that is quickly trapped beneath the surface by burying it under mountains of earth (legendary Matirerau earth in this case!).

What Distinguishes A Genuine Hangi?

If it is not cooked in the earth, it is not a genuine hāngi. There are many close imitations that give a similar taste, they all fail to produce the distinctive taste of the traditional earth-cooked method. Also, the actual process of ‘dropping’ a genuine hāngi requires teamwork, concentration and co-ordination. If the steam isn’t captured quick enough, the hāngi may be not cook properly – the ultimate in shame for the ‘chief’ controlling the hāngi team! With pride & reputation at stake, the hangi is serious business and nothing brings a feeling of accomplishment and camaraderie like being one of the team of chefs of a perfect hāngi.

How Long Does It Take To Cook A Hangi?

The time required for a hāngi to cook will depend on how hot the rocks are and how much food is in the basket but most hāngi are left in for 2 – 3 hours. A expert hāngi ‘chief’ will be able to judge how hot the rocks are and calculate exactly how long it should be left in according to the amount of food.

What Do We Do In The Meantime?

Waiting for the hāngi is the perfect chance get us to show you around and share more about the powerful history of Whakatāne – New Zealand’s longest continually occupied settlement. Our first stop is Whakatāne’s newly refurbished contemporary museum for our Te Koputu Gallery Alive Experience that will summarise over 1000 years of Whakatane history into an entertaining 1-hour storytelling tour. From Te Koputu we head to the banks of the Whakatane River for the Awa Korero Māori River Walk Experience before heading back home to lift the hāngi.

Feast As Strangers Become Friends

Enjoy authentic Māori hospitality and feast with locals in true hāngi style. Savour the slow-cooked, tender earth-cooked goodness of a range of succulent meets including pork, chicken & beef accompanied perfectly by the unique taste of hāngi potatoes, kumara, pumpkin and stuffing. Sit back and enjoy the ultimate in manaakitanga (hospitality) as strangers become friends in a very special part of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Pricing:

Adults:

$NZD125 (inc GST) Per Person

Children:

$NZD60  (inc GST) Per Person)

NOTE: Kai Ora Maori Hangi Experience Is Scheduled To Run Daily But Requires A Minimum Of Four Bookings For Each Tour To Proceed.

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