As one of Stray's top rated experiences, a visit to Lake Aniwhenua has a sense of magic that simply can't be missed.
Kohutapu Lodge is a beautiful lakeside accommodation, but it's much more than that too! This unique Stray stop is an all-inclusive experience that is also helping to make a difference in the local community.
The experience starts when we pick up our Maori Guide en-route into Murupara. We’ll take a walk down a hidden track to view some of NZ’s oldest Maori stone carvings, hear tales of battle and revenge, as well as stories of the water guardians (taniwhas) that protect the local people and the waterways.
As we make our way through Murupara township, we will learn about the people of the area, its history and challenges.
When we reach the beautiful lakeside lodge where we will stay, your hosts will demonstrate how to prepare dinner: a traditional ground cooked hangi feast, definitely something you must try while in NZ. You’ll also observe how to prepare delicious Maori fried bread – yum! There is a selection of optional activities available, including night time eeling, weaving, kayaking and learning Maori stick games and the mighty Haka!
After dinner, enjoy a drink at the Taniwha Bar and gather around the outdoor fireplace for storytelling with a wise elder from the Ngati Manawa tribe who has a wicked sense of humour! Hear stories of how the Maori people arrived by waka and lived in this new land, and what they hope to achieve for future generations of Maori by feeding children, signing petitions, providing jobs and growing the precious eel population.
Have a comfortable sleep in a lakeside cabin where all the linen is provided for you.
If your visit is during school term, the next morning you'll have the chance to get involved in an inspiring community project that brightens the lives of local school children. Stray passengers will deliver hand-packed food parcels from last night's delicious hangi to the area school and spend some time in the classroom with the children to help expand their thinking beyond the confines of Murupara. If school holidays or other events are scheduled during your stay, the hangi meals will be delivered on your behalf to the local kaumatua and kuia (elders of the tribe).
- Guided tour to a sacred archaeological site to view Maori rock carvings
- Introduction to Murupara area, its history and challenges
- Hangi cooking demonstration
- Traditional Maori stick games
- Storytelling around the fire (local myths and legends)
- 1x Hangi dinner, 1x dessert and 1x continental breakfast the next morning
- 1 night’s accommodation in comfortable lodge cabins, bedding provided
- Participation in a local community program (only available during school term)
Stray and Kohutapu Lodge are making a positive contribution to the local area, supporting the local school and local conservation efforts.
WATCH THE VIDEO