If you’ve never tasted a hāngī, or if you have and crave more, you’ve come to the right place.
Rotorua is the perfect place where you can taste succulent fish, meat and vegetables slow-cooked in a traditional underground oven called a hāngī, and then for dessert you can enjoy steamed pudding pulled up from a geothermal hot spring.
For a traditional hāngī, a large pit is dug into the ground and partially filled with heated volcanic stones. The stones are covered by a layer of damp sacking upon which baskets of kai (food) wrapped in flax leaves are laid. The pit is then covered with a mound of dirt, and the feast is cooked and ready in about four hours. The resulting feast is shared among guests and we can almost guarantee you’ll come back for seconds.
Māori have been cooking this way for hundreds of years and it’s a very social occasion. If you attend a hāngī in Rotorua, you may opt for just the hāngī buffet itself, or take in a Māori cultural experience which includes an informative tour and a traditional Māori performance.
Many of Rotorua’s restaurants feature menus showcasing sophisticated dishes that celebrate native ingredients traditionally used by Māori such as kawakawa, horopito (tree pepper), pikopiko (young fern shoots), pūhā (watercress or sow thistle), as well as produce like kūmara which thrives in Rotorua’s fertile volcanic soils.