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The Maori Experience

Willowbank Reserve

sunny 20 °C

The reason we were a bit rushed at Hanmer Springs was we had booked to do the Maori Experience at Willowbank Reserve and were being picked up at 6.05pm.. an interesting sidenote it doesn't get dark here until 9pm so it is a bit disorienting knowing what time it is.
We rushed back here got changed had a sink shower and was out the front waiting for the shuttle. We got a great bus driver named Steve whom we soon made friends with and arrived at the reserve. The location is gorgeous and the staff were all friendly and we immediately liked the place. We were informed on the way that it was happy hour and so decided to try the local beer. It was a bit warm for me I can't drink beer unless it is cold so I didn't finish mine but a little thing like that didn't bother the boys! The kids were soon distracted by feeding some deer outside and Steve took us off to have a photo taken with a kiwi... well the kiwi was kind of stuffed LOL

Before long it was time to watch the Maori Experience, this was really terrific.. fun and informative and I highly recommend it.We went for a walk along the reserve and our guide gave us some background on the Maori people. We then went into the theatre section where the Maori dancers showed us some of their dances and then invited us to go up and try some thing. I tried to learn how to use some traditional ball called a Poi and as I am totally unco-ordinated this just served to make Gary and Rhett laugh until they cried... but then it was my turn to laugh at Gary as he attempte to learn the Haka
After the show it was time for dinner, which was absolutely delicious! 3 courses and a taster.. this dinner/show is truly good value for money and we had a ball.. highly recommend!
After dinner we went for a nature walk around the reserve where we saw some birds including the famous Kiwi, they are a lot bigger than I imagined.. I always thought they were the size of a quail but they are as big as a chicken, you weren't allowed to use flash photography so I didn't get a good photo but at least we can now say we saw a kiwi :)
It was a really great night and a highlight of the trip, if you ever get over here make sure you do this :)

Posted by sonya13 10:00 Archived in New Zealand Tagged tourist_sites

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