We finished our shore excursion about an hour ago. This was another opportunity to learn more about the Maori culture. We were taken into a small marae, which is the gathering place for the Maori. After a traditional ceremony, they entertained us, and then we sang for them. At least there were lots of us so we sounded better!
It’s fascinating to see the similarities and differences between Hawaiian and Maori cultures—even though the Hawaiian are from the same ‘family tree.’ After the visit to the marae, we went to a kiwi fruit farm where we saw kiwi fruit growing. This is one of those experiences that sounds dull, but every person who stepped under the vines and looked up to see thousands of kiwi fruit growing all around them was stunned by the beauty. Later, we tasted the fruits at a nearby community center. Everyone else had scones, which I heard were delicious—I didn’t bother to ask if they were gluten-free (I already knew the answer to that question!)
Our final stop of the day was the original Manuka honey company, where they let us sample the product and most of the members of the group also topped off their scones and coffee with ice cream!
Want to follow along on our journey? Here’s a link where you can find all the entries in our travel journal.