Maori Challenge in the Bay
He will provide a traditional Maori welcome and a hangi meal followed by a tour to the Ngawha hot pools. Hone will describe the spiritual and historical significance of Matariki and introduce guests to his ancient and powerful cultural history.
Be guided by Matariki and experience an intimate encounter with the giants of the forest - the kauri trees of the Waipoua Forest with Footprints Waipoua.
Learn how these trees are intertwined with the lives of local Maori and the important role they play in the eco-system that is the Waipoua Forest. The spiritual environment of the Waipoua Forest provides a natural stage for an unforgettable encounter with some of the largest remaining kauri trees in the world.
Footprints Waipoua departs from the Copthorne Hotel, Omapere. Opononi is the departure point for Crossings Hokianga - an historical cruise of the Hokianga harbour. Tours depart daily at 12:30pm on a four-hour trip that takes in Hokianga Heads (where Kupe entered the harbour), the famous Omapere sand dunes, Kohukohu, and the Mangungu Mission before heading back to Opononi.
Russell Museums Matariki exhibition features one of the towns early bicultural families. Samuel Stephenson was one of Russell/Kororarekas, early merchant and traders arriving in the 1830s.
He married Ada Charlotte Macauliffe, also known as Hira Moewaka, from the Kapotai hapu at Waikare. They went on to have 14 children who form an important part of Russell and the Norths history. There are many descendants still in the area today. The exhibition will be in place from mid-June to mid-August.
Whangarei Museum will hold Matariki lectures on Saturday, June 15th and Saturday June 29 from 11am-12pm and 1pm-2pm.
For those who want to get creative themselves there are workshops on kite making and flying and kete making. Kite specialist Harko Brown of He Manu o Aotearoa will be running two workshops over the Queens Birthday weekend.
The first on Saturday, June 2nd will be in the Waitaha Conference Room at the Copthorne Hotel in Paihia. The second workshop will be held at Just Imagine in Russell on Sunday, June 3. Kite making has a unique place in the commemoration of Matariki as kites are seen as a link between the earth and the heavens. Adults are encouraged to attend and work alongside their children.
Bronnie Harford will teach her workshop participants how to weave with harekeke (flax) to create their own kete on Sunday, June 3 in the Waitaha Conference Room at the Copthorne Hotel in Paihia. The Waitaha Room also hosts a large exhibition of works by Tai Tokerau artists, carvers, weavers, photographers, and glass artists all with a Matariki theme.
The Kauri Museum in Matakohe is holding a carving and kete making competition. Finished pieces will be on display in the exhibition hall at the museum from June 15-29. The carving competition has helped launched the careers of up and coming carvers. The kete making competition is a new addition and is bound to attract plenty of interest. The Kauri Museum itself is an exceptional tourist destination.
Whangarei Museum will be holding weaving and poi-making workshops on July 2.
All the passion and commitment of kapa haka will be on display on Matariki itself, June 16, when the annual kapa haka competition for the Tai Tokerau region is held at Kensington Stadium, Whangarei.Community celebrations are also happening around the region proving that Matariki is a great time for coming together in a positive spirit.
The Otangarei Community Festival is happening at Otangarei School on June 9th. It will be a chance to celebrate whanaungatanga (uniting families), Matariki and unity in the community, say the events organisers. The day will feature fun, games, food stalls, music, kapa haka (performance), hangi (food prepared by steaming in the ground), ta moko (tattooing), a health expo, whakairo (carving), and a youth forum.
Waipus annual community festival kicks off in June. The Waipu Hotel will be celebrating Matariki with a live band on Saturday, June 16th. Go along to a hangi and kapa haka performance at the hotel on Sunday, June 17 from 2pm. There is an $8 cover charge to raise money for Te Pounga Marae in Kaiwaka.
Kawakawa hosts an exciting community event on June 17 called Getting Up Steam to raise money for the Bay of Islands Vintage Railway. Bay of Islands school students will take part in a Trek The Track sponsored 2.5km walk from Moerewa to Kawakawa.
Students will also compete in the Puff and Pull race. Teams of students will pull one of the vintage railways diesel engines from a start point at the railway station to a finish point near the end of the street in the shortest possible time. Its bound to be a fun day out for the family.
The organisers hope that this will become an annual event. The new maintenance shed and workshop funded by the ASB Charitable Trust will also be officially opened during the day.
Get close to nature on a garden tour of the internationally renowned Taraire Gardens. The gardens took eight years to landscape and attract visitors from all over the world. Native birds, including kiwi, live in the gardens, which are open to the public from 10am-6pm.
Copthorne Taste Matariki Confit of Duck Leg with a Kawakawa Rub
Paihias restaurant and caf menus will feature indigenous ingredients for the month of June. Diners can enter the Taste Matariki competition by purchasing a wine and food match from the table card at a participating restaurant.
They can then go into the draw for one of the following prizes: A $100 lunch voucher at the renowned puretastes restaurant in Paihia and a bottle of Montana wine, or a luxury weekend for two at the Copthorne Hotel and Resort in the Bay of Islands (accommodation, breakfast, dinner, and a bottle of Montana wine).
Whangarei hosts the Best of Northland Matariki Festival Indigenous Dinner on Sunday, June 24. Five top Northland chefs will be cooking live on stage at Barge Park. Dishes will feature Northland ingredients and what Paul Jobin of puretastes describes as a sprinkling of indigenous culture in order to honour Matariki. Each course will be partnered with some of our finest New Zealand wines.
Four newly inaugurated regional hospitality industry awards will also be presented on the night. Tickets are available from email@example.com or at puretastes, Paihia ph 09 4020003 or a deco in Whangarei ph 09 4594957.
The industrys up and coming talent will be pitting their skills against each other during the inaugural Northland Salon Culinaire at Northtec in Whangarei on June 24-25. The Salon is designed to create a friendly competition and will act as a stepping stone on the road to New Zealands national competition, says organiser Sam Timoko. The New Zealand Junior Hospitality Challenge is included in the Salon.
The competition is open to secondary students and juniors in the industry (with no more than two years experience). Application forms can be obtained from firstname.lastname@example.org or ph 027 2102611.
For a full events listing and more information about the meaning of Matariki and how it can be celebrated go to www.taitokerau.co.nz. Events will be updated regularly.
Editor's Note: Matariki, pictures courtesy Destination Northland include Russell Kites from the kite making workshops; pottery by local artist Colleen Urlich; and one of the special meals available as part of Taste Matariki menu.
Maori Cultural Performance, Waitangi Treaty Grounds courtesy Destination Northland
Sunset at Cape Reinga courtesy Destination Northland
Visitors to the meeting house courtesy Destination Northland
Whale Bay, Tutukaka coast courtesy Destination Northland
Russell Kites kite making workshop courtesy Destination Northland