Begin the memorable night with pickup at your Rotorua hotel (with advance request), or else make your own way to Te Puia. Get a sneak peek at the delectable dinner to come with a reveal of the hangi, a traditional Maori cooking method in which layers of meat and vegetables are baked over hot stones and wood in an earthen pit oven.
Head to a Maori wharenui, or meeting house, constructed of intricately carved wood for a special pōwhiri (welcoming ceremony), followed by a storytelling performance featuring traditional costumes, music, and dance.
After this high-energy entertainment, tuck into a hearty buffet featuring hangi specialties of chicken, lamb, veggies, and stuffing, along with soup, seafood, pasta, breads, and dips. Vegetarian and gluten-free options are available, and all the meat is halal, with pork cooked separately. Decadent dessert options include Kiwi favorites like steamed pudding with custard from the hangi, ice cream, trifle, cream puffs, mousse, and light-as-air pavlova.
With a satisfied stomach, step onto the waka (motorized people-mover) for a ride out into Te Puia’s bubbling geothermal valley. Sip hot chocolate under the stars while surrounded by steaming rocks, and watch an eruption the Pōhutu — the largest active geyser in the Southern Hemisphere, and one of the world’s most reliable.