Ohinemutu Maori Village

Ohinemutu Maori VillageOhinemutu was the region's original Ngati Whakaue settlement. The location was chosen for its lakeside setting and abundant geothermal energy for cooking, bathing and heating. In pre-European times, Ohinemutu was the main centre for the Lake Rotorua region - visitors and food arrived at this bustling settlement before going on to the surrounding villages.

Today Ohinemutu is a suburb of Rotorua city, but the village retains a sense of importance. Standing on the forecourt of the marae, as steam rises through the pavers from the earth below, you can feel the spirit of this significant place.

The carving on the large meeting house is exquisite and highlighted by hundreds of inlaid shiny paua shells. Towards the lake's edge is the magnificently decorated Saint Faiths church. Inside the church, Maori carvings and woven panels add a unique dimension to the European Tudor-style architecture. The quality of this century-old artistry leaves you in no doubt of the importance of this building to Maori people. A memorable feature is a window etched with the image of Jesus clad in a Maori cloak - he appears to walk towards you across the surface of the lake.

At Ohinemutu you can see how the Maori and European cultures have collaborated. Visitors are welcome to explore the area on foot, taking care to treat sacred places with respect.