Small Group tour of New Zealand; exploring Maori and Wairua
Welcome to the Land of the Long White Cloud, Aoteroa or New Zealand. We begin this escorted small group tour for mature and senior travellers in Auckland.
Michelle Cotton is Odyssey's program leader for this 15 day journey through New Zealand. This program takes in some stunning landscapes and amazing places but is not a regular tour of tourist stop after tourist stop. Whilst Odyssey Traveller small group tours of New Zealand and all around the world have a significant historical, cultural and environmental learning base this program is more about the role of spirituality, your personal journey which is why Michelle is leading this tour.
On this program we start in Auckland and finish the tour in Queenstown. Visiting and exploring Tongariro, Kaikoura and Castle hill, places of significant importance to the Maori. You have the opportunity to stay on the Marae and enjoy the unique Dawn celebration at Auckland's Bastion point.
The days itineraries have been thought out to bring about time to consider change, time for reflection, time to take you out of your comfort zone to create a place where you can explore yourself. This is why the days are planned to create the opportunity for your to personally explore. There are other small group touring programs offered by Odyssey that will share the history of the place, this program is about you and a chance to travel the length of New Zealand and explore who you are and shift your perspective and consider what level of wellness is relevant for you. Your program leader will be encouraging you to meditate and explore your world with Michelle on at least one private and personal session during the tour program.
Spiritual Concepts of the Maori
The Maori conception of the spiritual nature of man is a matter of considerable interest. The Maori has ever recognized an immortal element in man, which styles the wairua. Indeed, Maori may be said to have held the theory of the tripartite nature of man—body, soul, and spirit being his tinana, mauri, and wairua.
Wairua also means “shadow.” The wairua of a person is that which leaves his body at death, never to return. It also leaves his body for brief periods during his life—that is, when he dreams—and is a more active force than the mauri. Spirits of the dead that do not immediately proceed to the spirit-world but lurk round the village home in the form of ghosts are termed kehua. The mauri of a person differs from his wairua, for it cannot leave the body during life. It is his life-principle, or vital spark, and so is sometimes referred to as mauri ora, or living mauri.
This small group tour will be accompanied by an Odyssey tour guide and are joined by expert local guides who will impart their knowledge about the places we will visit. Odyssey conducts educational tours designed for small groups of mature and senior travellers, focusing on history, culture, wildlife and other areas of particular interest where the trip is taking place. A small group tour is typically between 6 to 15 people. The cost of a Odyssey Traveller guided tour is inclusive of all entrances (unless otherwise indicated), tipping, and majority of the meals throughout the trip.
This particular tour has periods of free time built into the itinerary, allowing you explore some destinations at your own pace, and choose from a variety of available activities. This way, we make sure that there is something to enjoy for every kind of traveller.
This Maori philosophy towards health is based on a wellness or holistic health model. With its strong foundations and four equal sides, the symbol of the wharenui illustrates the four dimensions of Māori well-being. Should one of the four dimensions be missing or in some way damaged, a person, or a collective may become ‘unbalanced’ and subsequently unwell. For many Māori modern health services lack recognition of taha wairua (the spiritual dimension). In a traditional Māori approach, the inclusion of the wairua, the role of the whānau (family) and the balance of the hinengaro (mind) are as important as the physical manifestations of illness.
Seeing health as a four-sided concept representing four basic beliefs of life, summarised in the model below:
Te Taha Hinengaro (psychological health),
Te Taha Wairua (spiritual health),
Te Taha Tinana (physical health),
Te Taha Whanau (family health).
During this small group tour of New Zealand these four elements of wellness are discussed and considered by the group and on a personal level in the places visited and the discussions had during the touring program.
New Zealand is well known for its network of boutique lodges and small charming hotels as well as traditional hotel style accommodation types. For this program we have selected accommodation that represents good value, is close to where we need to be, has some but not many amenities that the group need and has a good reputation for looking after travellers who are visiting and finally has rooms with terrific beds to sleep in after a day in the open air. We trust you enjoy the choices we have made that are above our usual choice of hotel to stay in.
Articles about the New Zealand published by Odyssey Traveller:
- Questions about New Zealand
- Foundations for democracy in New Zealand: 900s - 1945
- Preparing for a walking holiday
For all the articles Odyssey Traveller has published for mature aged and senior travellers, click through on this link.
External articles to assist you on your visit to New Zealand:
Haere mai ki Aotearoa – welcome to the Land of the Long White Cloud. Upon at arrival at Auckland International Airport you will meet your guide and transfer to your inner city hotel. New Zealand’s largest and most multicultural city. Auckland is an urban environment where everyone lives within half an hour of beautiful beaches, hiking trails and a dozen of islands. Auckland’s vast harbour, quiet islands and vibrant cityscape offer an exciting and accessible mix of urban, water and wildlife activities.
Stay three nights at the Heritage Hotel. Heritage Auckland is set within one of the city’s most recognisable historic landmark buildings, the iconic Farmers department store building.
Overview: Today we have a tour of the Maori collection at the Auckland war memorial museum with a guide. This afternoon we have a guided tour around Auckland. There will be free time in the afternoon for a gallery visit or opportunity to explore the city.
Accommodation: Heritage hotel or equivalent.
Accommodation: The accommodation is basic but all self contained. Tauhara is a Retreat and Conference Centre located in Acacia Bay, overlooking Lake Taupo in the centre of New Zealand’s North Island. The Tauhara Centre is welcoming and open to people from all different walks of life, all faiths, who hold many different views. By valuing openness and acceptance, the center and staff create a space for unity and community. It is a place of great wairua (spiritual energy). Your evening meal is included tonight (vegetarian).
Overview: Breakfast is included at the Tauhara Retreat before you head to Mt Titiraupenga where local iwi will welcome you to their sacred land. Mount Titiraupenga, long known by Maori to be the centre of the North Island, is home to a sacred area of mature native bush, 600 year old Totara trees.
This mystical and totally private setting is where we like to arrange a formal welcome, powhiri, followed by a ‘sharing session’. From the Maori side, we can include weavers, warriors, and carvers. The main warrior is the master carver for the local Ngati Tuwharetoa tribe – Delani Brown. A gentle, humble, and spiritual man. In Maori tribes the carver is second only to the chief, as the carver is the guardian of the stories and traditions, which he keeps alive in his work.
This is a special event for the group to experience.
This afternoon there is free time time to explore Taupo.
Accommodation: Tauhara is a Retreat and Conference Centre located in Acacia Bay, overlooking Lake Taupo in the centre of New Zealand’s North Island.
Accommodation: Stay one night at the Wellesley Hotel. Nestled in the heart of the Lambton Quarter, the Wellesley Boutique Hotel is an oasis of calm and relaxation. The Wellesley Hotel has the charm and beauty of its heritage, you will be captured by the ambience.
We take the inter island ferry this morning to Picton.
Upon arrival into Picton we will make our way to the marina to meet your hosts for the next two days.
This is an exhilarating two days as a group we explore beautiful Queen Charlotte Sound with Pete and Takutai, a Maori family, operating personalised Eco-Tours on a 75 year old Kauri classic launch called “Tutanekai”. They will share with you stories of the area and also do some shell fish gathering to eat on board. Have a picnic lunch in stunningly beautiful Ship Cove surrounded by virgin bush, Captain Cook’s favourite anchorage in the South Pacific. In the afternoon take a guided walk with Takutai who has an affinity with the native birds that live in the bush and is very spiritually intune.
You will be dropped at Furneaux Lodge for your overnight stay in the Marlborough Sounds. Nestled in the outer reaches of the Queen Charlotte Sound, in the heart of New Zealand’s stunning Marlborough Sounds, Furneaux Lodge is the first stop on the renowned Queen Charlotte Track. Looking out over the calm, clear waters of Endeavour Inlet, the Lodge is surrounded by 2000 acres of native virgin forest which has been unchanged since Captain Cook’s first visit to the inlet in 1769. Built in the early 1900’s at the foot of it’s namesake Mount Furneaux, Furneaux Lodge is set on 3 acres of the flattest and most picturesque scenery in the Marlborough Sounds. Part of the beauty of this historic destination is the isolation – no roads lead to Furneaux Lodge.
Accommodation: Furneaux Lodge for your overnight stay in the Marlborough Sounds.
Accommodation: Stay one night at the White Morph. The White Morph offers great accommodation in Kaikoura. Set on the Esplanade in iconic Kaikoura, The White Morph enjoys commanding views of the ocean right to the distant horizon and mountains, and gives you access to all of the region’s many experiences.
Accommodation: Stay one night at Porters Lodge. Porters Lodge has comfortable, bunk-style family accommodation set against a beautiful mountain backdrop. It is well located to allow easy access to Castle Hill Rocks. Your evening meal will be served at Porters Lodge.
Accommodation: Stay one night at the Beachfront Hotel. Located right on the beach, the Beachfront Hotel is central in Hokitika on New Zealand’s West Coast. With it’s unique location on the shores of the Tasman Sea you are well located for beachcombing and shopping artisan galleries alike.
Accommodation: Stay one night at the Te Tauraka Waka A Maui Marae. Te Tauaka Waka a Maui Marae is based in Bruce Bay and was opened on 25 January 2005 which looks directly at the Tasman Sea.
Bruce Bay was where Maui first landed in New Zealand from Hawaii and the marae bears his name in commemoration of this feat. He then traversed the South Island before fishing up the North Island. There are only about a dozen permanent residences at Bruce Bay as well as a sprinkling of holiday homes and baches and the area is known for its abundant bird life, fantastic fishing, and the magnificence of the sunsets
Accommodation: Stay one night at Lauder School B & B. Lauder School Bed & Breakfast is situated in the charming village of Lauder, deep in the heart of Central Otago. With its spacious Common Room, lovely country gardens and outdoor spa, Lauder School B&B offers a wide variety of places for guests to come together and socialise.
Accommodation: Stay two nights at the Novotel Queenstown. Novotel Queenstown Lakeside is the most centrally located 4-star hotel on Queenstown’s lakefront. Step outside your door and into the heart of Queenstown with easy access to all that this premier four season lake and alpine resort has to offer.
Accommodation: Novotel Queenstown.
Overview: Tour concludes after breakfast today.
What’s included in our Tour
- 14 nights accommodation.
- 14 breakfasts, 10 dinners.
- Transport by modern and comfortable coach.
- Entrances and sightseeing as specified.
- Services of Tour Leader for the duration of tour
- Detailed Preparatory Information
What’s not included in our Tour
- Return international airfare and departure taxes.
- Comprehensive travel insurance.
- Items of a personal nature, such as telephone calls and laundry