Rotorua is to Aotearoa New Zealand as Florence is to Italy – a centre and show case of art and culture.
Generations of Rotorua crafts people have kept the traditional arts of carving and weaving alive and brought them to the high art that they are today. A long-established and robust tourist industry has created an environment where they can flourish.
At Rotorua’s Whakarewarewa and Ohinemutu traditional Maori architecture, design and decoration are at their most beautiful and authentic. But around the city too, inside and outside buildings, on gateposts on shop fronts and churches there are beautiful, unexpected and easily overlooked examples of whakairo (carving) kowhaiwhai (scroll-pattern painting) and tukutuku (reed weaving)
To see carvers and weavers at work, be sure to visit Te Rito, the weaving school and Te Wananga Whakairo at Te Puia.