Visitor groups to Te Puia and the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute can now enjoy a real taste of Maori culture with a steamy new offering to the famous Rotorua attraction – an authentic steam-cooked lunch as part of their guided tour to Te Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley.

The ability to cook food without fire was a major reason Maori were attracted to the area and visitors now have the opportunity to experience a modern version of the traditions of old.

After visiting the weaving, greenstone and wood carving schools, groups select their lunch from a range of food options, which are then transported into the valley where visitors watch their meals being placed into boxes above natural steam vents in the ground.

Visitors continue their tour, taking in the valley’s geysers, boiling mud pools and kiwi house – all while their food cooks in the natural environment. They then enjoy a picnic meal overlooking the world-famous Pohutu Geyser, with the chance to relax, enjoy their surroundings and chat to their guide.

“Visitors love the authentic nature of the new experience and the delicious flavours produced by the steam-cooking process,” says Te Puia Trade Marketing Manager, Sean Marsh.

“The steam box option adds an exciting and interesting new experience for visitors who get to sample food they’ve chosen and seasoned themselves, cooked in a completely traditional way. It gives them a realistic taste of how things were done in the valley, many years ago.”

Te Puia also offers an evening meal option, with its stunning Te Pō Indigenous Evening Experience, which includes a traditional Maori concert, quality buffet dinner including traditional hangi food, and a moonlight visit to the geothermal valley for hot chocolate.

Te Puia is open daily, with Te Pō also available each evening. For further information or to book online, go to www.tepuia.com or call 0800 TE PUIA.