You may be surprised to know there’s a Māori tour in Sydney! The award-winning Poihākena Tours: Stories of Māori in Sydney - a 2 hour walking tour of The Rocks run by Kotahi Tourism. Kotahi Tourism is all about 'connecting people with people' as Kotahi means 'Be One' or 'Be United'!
So 'Nau Mai, Haere Mai ki Poihākena'!
We asked Mel Loe and Hohepa Ruhe the directors of Kotahi Tourism about this beautiful exiting Tour.
Firstly, what does Poihākena mean?
It’s the Te Reo Māori (Māori language) word for Port Jackson - Sydney and 'Nau mai, haere mai' is Māori for 'Welcome'.
So 'Nau Mai, Haere Mai ki Poihākena' means for 'Welcome to Port Jackson'.
How did a Māori tour in The Rocks come about?
It started with our curiosity about a small greenstone (pounamu) earring that revealed itself on an archaeological dig in The Rocks back in 1994. When we arrived in Australia in 2001, the earring was a lonely dusty exhibit in the Sydney Visitor Centre. We don’t know exactly how or when it came to be on the site, but in trying to work that out we found all sorts of intriguing stories of Māori in Sydney (going back 225 years!) that give clues as to how it might have come to be there.
Then, a second greenstone object revealed itself on the site in 2012 and that really spurred us to develop the tour. In particular, to give a Māori perspective and context to both the stories and taonga (greenstones treasures); and to make them accessible through a walking tour.
What will we experience on Poihākena tours: stories of Māori in Sydney?
The tour begins in Campbells Cove with an Acknowledgment of Country, a Māori greeting - and great views across the harbour. Then, as you explore The Rocks with a Māori Guide, you’ll visit a Museum and an archaeological dig site, listen to waiata (Māori songs), walk down Māori Lane and hear surprising stories of Māori in Sydney since 1793.
How long is the tour - and what footwear should one wear?
It’s a 2-hour walking tour with stops along the way. The route includes stairs, and there are some uneven surfaces in quirky laneways, so wear sensible footwear. (Heels not recommended but you won’t need hiking boots ). For special requirements and/or information around tours organised for families/kids with special needs please contact us here.
When can we book your tours?
Tours depart once a month on a Saturday. Private tours and school groups can book anytime. The tours can be booked through famly & famly is offering anyone using this link $10 off when booking our tour.
We want to thank Mel and Hohepa for providing us with some of their insights and we hope that you will enjoy this tour very soon.
Hei konā rā